Ukrainian video blogger, rapper, and former member of the "Griby" project speaks candidly about the life and art of a person who was raised by the streets and boredom.
It's been about two years since Kyivstoner's first concert. Looking back, he notes that he was dissatisfied with his last concert.
"I'm tired of how Kyiv is always 'dead.' People come to the concert as if they're doing me a favor. It happens because you expect something more from a hometown concert. About two years ago, I had my first concert in Ternopil. I had about nine songs, and there were 3000 people there; that's when I felt the energy, the vibe was strong. Krakow was amazing, so was Kharkiv. In Russia, the audience is livelier, but I rarely perform there."
With a smile, he insists that he's a serious person, but his mom only likes one of his interviews, considering the rest as "nonsense."
"Maybe someday, I'll become serious, but not now. Those who know me well know that I'm a very serious character. When it comes to something responsible, I always get it done. If I'm goofing around on Instagram, it doesn't mean I'm not serious. Everyone relaxes in their own way."
Life in Contrast
Kyivstoner has a lot of work and creative plans, but he approaches planning skeptically.
"This year, I released tracks like 'Summer' and 'Meow-Meow.' There will be two more releases by the end of the year. I have a very nice spring song planned for March, which I hope will captivate everyone. I don't think about what will happen in a few years. I've only recently learned to think ahead for even just a week. From my own experience, I've noticed that nothing works out when you make plans, so I let things flow naturally. I have a couple of people who plan for my future. I try to shield myself from business as much as possible. As soon as I have money, I give it to my parents."
The Ukrainian rapper and video blogger lives and plays in contrast, easily combining a positive attitude towards strip clubs with a love for quietness.
"A strip club is cool. The last time I was there was about three weeks ago, and before that, I hadn't gone for three months because I don't have the time. I go there to smoke hookah because it doesn't bother me. I don't smoke, I don't drink alcohol, and I don't like noisy scenes. Consequently, I avoid clubs and karaoke. When I hear the word 'karaoke' or enter a noisy place, I'm already in a bad mood. I love silence."
About the Right to Choose and the Role of the Master of Ceremonies
He claims that he built his career on his infectious laughter and doesn't consider himself to be a snob.
"In every neighborhood, there's a specific crowd of people. We had few snobs in Raduzhny. I still live there now, although it would be more convenient to live in the city center. At the moment, I'm signed with a DJ in the center, although I have my own studio in Troyeshchyna. The DJ immediately makes music, but it's quite expensive with him. So, if you're creating underground stuff, go to the guys in Troyeshchyna, it's cheaper."
Kyivstoner highly values the right to choose. If he appears in advertising videos, it's not for the sake of earning money, but at the request of friends.
"The HyperX advertisement is not really an ad. For me, the concept of advertising involves funny videos with integration, it's promotion. I don't like the word 'advertisement.' I got involved with HyperX because my friends work there. If there's some promotion associated with me, it's not because of money, but because friends asked."
"I don't host corporate events. I've been to them twice in my life. If I were to be a master of ceremonies, I would demand a crazy fee. If you don't like corporate events, set a price that compensates for your pride. It's great when you have the right to choose in life because some people don't have that choice."
A Cool Character
Kyivstoner aspires to become a true artist, and he's not interested in others' creativity. That's why he declines when people approach him for production work.
"Among Ukrainian artists, I like Dima Monatik. I listen to American rap, and from Russian artists, only Basta. I understand perfectly well that there are people who don't vibe with my music; they enjoy the character I portray."
"I have no plans to pump up muscles or get tattoos. Right now, I weigh 142 kilograms, and that's my image. I can run the 100 meters in 14 seconds; I have calves like Roberto Carlos. If people recognize me on the street, it doesn't necessarily mean I'm successful. I just enjoyed life and did what I wanted. I can't call it luck."
Kyivstoner speaks frankly and candidly about how he learned to do what he enjoys.
"I was raised by the streets and boredom. When you're alone, you get bored, and you start doing what you like. I found myself in vines. One of the first ones was called 'Bulava,' and it was a hit in the neighborhood. When I came to America in 2011, I filmed and voiced everything that was new to me."
"I'm not going to America yet because I haven't finished everything here. I can always go there and start a new life. I'll spend my old age there. I still live in Los Angeles, but I haven't been home for a long time."
"I interact with authorities. Some of them are from my childhood, there are a few – about four people, and I recently met some. Everyone who didn't take me seriously before meeting me now does. I'm enjoying life. Everything suits me."