I AM :: ONE
"I AM" and "ONE" explore the themes and sounds of Americana through Kyonté's experiences as a Washington, D.C. native and 7th-generation American.
His journey from tragedy and loss to healing and legacy, coupled with the perspective of time, empowered Kyonté to emerge to tell his story as a Black man, a human, and a creator.
// INCEPTION OF 7OUTH7IDE7UN
Following the regionally-acclaimed release of his first studio album, 831 Vol 1: What's That Sound? in 2010, Kyonté suffered a series of personal tragedies including the unnatural deaths of those closest to him. His promising career as a music artist stalled as he struggled with the losses of the loved ones who influenced, shaped, and supported his life experiences the most: his childhood best friend, family matron, and musical mentor.
As a musician by DNA, Kyonté never stopped creating or performing. Music is his substance and his therapy. Over the years, he contributed to multiple Grammy-nominated albums, joined national tours, and poured himself into the projects of industry colleagues and friends while constantly honing his craft and navigating the path to his own sound.
Kyonté's experiences over the past decade led him to reflect on his personal and musical identity. His journey from tragedy and loss to healing and legacy, coupled with the perspective of time, empowered Kyonté to emerge to tell his story as a Black man, a human, and a creator. In 2018, Kyonté founded 7OUTH7IDE7UN LLC, a creative consulting and entertainment production company.
// ABOUT "I AM" AND "ONE"
7OUTH7IDE7UN's inaugural project I AM :: ONE launched as dual singles (A/B sides) on President's Day in 2021. "I AM" and "ONE" explore the themes and sounds of Americana through Kyonté's experiences as a Washington, D.C. native and 7th-generation American.
"I AM" was composed pre-pandemic, during escalating political and cultural tensions, as a self-declaration of identity and pride in Kyonté's heritage as an American. Fellow Washington, D.C. artists and musicians siced the anthem to include a snare drum intro by NBC's America's Got Talent alum MalikDOPE, a choir including The Voice alum Rayshun Lamarr, and a guitar solo by Jay Rojas (musician for TOP5, Ari Lennox, Kelly Rowland, Kevin Ross, and more). Created in our Nation's Capitol, "I AM" is an anthem we can stand for.
Penned in a jail cell, "ONE" was inspired by a shared moment of humanity between Kyonté and a cellmate suffering from a mental health crisis. His celly's episodes went unacknowledged, either mistaken for behavioral issues or because of his inability to speak up for himself. Once he figured out what was causing the man's distress, Kyonté insisted on gaining the attention of guards on the cellmate's behalf until he received his required medication. "ONE" reminds us of the significance of our connection and humanity, especially when we feel most insignificant.
// "ONE" MUSIC VIDEO
In the official music video for "ONE," shot and directed by Indigo Republic Films and filmed at Gala Music Studio in McLean, Virginia, Kyonté performs to a montage of visuals shot throughout Washington D.C. in 2020 by Udy Short Films (edited with additional stock footage by UltrArt Projects). The scenes provide a glimpse of our Capitol and collective social action at one of the most volatile times in our Nation's history and the world: during the midst of a global pandemic and following the Black Lives Matter protests for racial justice, launched by the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota. COVID-19 safety protocols were followed throughout filming.
7OUTH7IDE7UN premiered Kyonté's "ONE" music video in April 2021 to nearly 1500 guests at National Cannabis Festival's (NCF's) Dazed & Amused Drive-In Experience presented by Pink Fox and Synergy & Serenity at RFK Stadium Campus in Washington, D.C. 777 also partnered with NCF for Mary Jane's Muses, a curated series of music videos celebrating cannabis culture. Selected videos by DMV independent artists E'VAAN, Covaboy, Henri B. Styles, and Mike Willis screened throughout intermissions at the drive-in.