Born Kaalan Rashad Walker, "KR" brings a refreshingly honest new voice and sound to Hip Hop.
While he only has lived 20-years of life experience to draw inspiration from, his passion, insight and talent prove that he has what it takes to succeed.
The road to becoming the evolving artist that he is today has not been an easy one for KR. Though born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina until the age of 6 he and his single Mother relocated to Southern California, however they constantly moved from city to city around the Los Angeles area & suburbs due to her career. While adjusting to new schools caused him much isolation, KR found solace in his music. " I talked to the music, created music and connected with the music. The music made me comfortable being by myself, because I always felt like someone was there."
The day after his High School graduation, KR began diligently studying YouTube videos to learn how to record and mix his own music. It wasn't long before he began releasing his music content via SoundCloud, and with each song debut, KR progressed as an artist at an astonishing rate. Creating what he named the "I$0Lyf3" movement over three mixtapes, his lively, introspective raps have elicited comparisons to Chance the Rapper, Childish Gambino and Kendrick Lamar.
KR explains the acronym: "The 'I' stands for me. The 'S' is a dollar sign symbolizing 'I need to make my own money, to be financially stable and independent.' 'O' represents my small circle. And I spelled 'Life' 'LYF3' because life is filled with lies, you see failures and experience."
In 2014, KR appeared in Source Magazine's "Unsigned Hype" and XXL Magazine's "The Breaks" Column. He has also been featured in several press outlets and music blogs such as: MTV's Rap EFX, Mass Appeal, Complex, LA Weekly, 2DopeBoyz and more.
His talent has been recognized by industry peers as well, and in the past year alone, KR has received numerous invitations to perform and tour with fellow hip-hop artists such as: Snow The Product, Alex Wiley, Hopsin, Bone Thugs & Harmony, Chris Webby, ASAP Ferg, School Boy Q, Isaiah Rashad, Mod Sun, Waka Flocka and G Eazy.
So who is KR? In his own words "A misguided individual who fell in love with music through pain. Music could understand me, didn't depress me, and didn't cheat on me. As an artist, I want you to feel my music so you can have a deeper connection to me."
Scheduled to release in the early new year is his next album which is currently untitled, is a mix of diverse and unique musical styles while showcasing KR's his vocal ability along with his his lyrical flow.
With an undeniably recognizable falsetto after the first listen, Kyle Dion possesses soul
that extends far beyond his 21 years. Dion's transition to Soundcloud sensation was
seamless. His newfound cult following grew into a loyal fan base that gave his debut
mixtape over 1.2 million plays. His youthful, genre-bending perspective is only just
beginning, expanding even further with the release of his second full-length project,
Painting Sounds, in early 2016.
Despite the fusion of jazz, funk, and doo wop, amongst other various sounds first heard
on Sixes & Sevens, in which Kyle worked with producers such as QnAce, Jahaan
Sweet, and Instinctz, Kyle admits, "If you wanted to classify me as R&B though, you
wouldn't be wrong." He openly admits his roots sprout from a familiar place of "hella
runs" and soulful lyricism. Authenticity has run through his blood since he wrote his first
song at nine-years-old, rightfully titled "I Wanna Know," a process he would carry into an
industry full of artists with ghostwriters and co-writers. His well-rounded talent has set
him apart from singers who have yet to know the struggle of a songwriter.
In late 2014, Kyle connected with emerging R&B artist Kehlani, through the close-knit
Internet music community. While briefly residing in LA, the two recorded "How We Do
Us" for the Bay-area native's first EP Cloud 19, which received over 2 million listens,
launching Kyle into an even bigger arena where he flourished. The collaboration of two
young artists became more than simply musical, as a friendship bloomed. It would be
difficult to not feel a genuine connection with the soft-demeanored, musical catalyst,
religiously rocking the signature tousled curls and round glasses. Even without a hearing
ear, it's easy to identify the raw foundation that Kyle has laid for himself in all aspects of
his music and life, just by glancing his way.
Despite youth and an assumed naivety, Kyle's identity and worldly awareness remind
you age is but a number, and wise souls rest in young bodies. After the release of Sixes
& Sevens, the gravitational pull towards Los Angeles for the Florida-native was
unassailable. Even though his sound was established behind small town bedroom walls,
Kyle always knew he "fit in" to LA's booming industry. With an perspective now in an
overpopulated city, his inspiration stems from the range of his surroundings, his version
of tranquility and heartbreak, and a rendition of experiences highlighted in tracks such as
"Purple Meadows," "The Other Night in LA," and his newest singles off Painting Sounds,
"Another Life" and "Get You Alone." A connection with both his own reality and a matured
understanding of emotions has allowed Kyle to harness his voice and his words into a
force bursting through the Internet music scene at breakneck pace.
From winning over his own fans-turned-friends, a following now reaching over 32K
across all platforms, from the comfort of his childhood bedroom in his tiny hometown of
Coral Springs, Florida, to now taking on the bright lights of Los Angeles, Kyle's fire is
certainly burning bright enough to compete. His second project is set to release in early
2016, not to mention that it's been a little over a year since his Sixes & Sevens debut.
Painting Sounds is just the beginning of a career only fit for the genre-defiers and the