Kid Ink to perform at Zorn Arena


Brian Collins, also known by his stage name Kid Ink, is performing at Zorn Arena in Eau Claire this weekend, Nov. 9. News Editor Steve Fruehauf recently interviewed the artist, asking about his ascension to hip-hop fame and current touring details.

Steve Fruehauf: “You originally just produced and created beats for other artists. What made you pick up the mic and start performing?”

Brian Collins: “For fun and I thought a lot of the producers I looked up to at the time were also doing their own thing for fun and making albums and becoming writers — such as Timbaland and Pharrell and Swizz Beats. These are the people who not only did I look up to as making beats, but they were also on hunks of beats that they made and verses sometimes here and there. I could see that they were using all of their creative talents and it inspired me to pick up the pen and just write.”

SF: “Just 10 days after you released your ‘Crash Landing’ mixtape in 2010, you went straight to the top of datpiff website and had over 50,000 downloads. So can you walk me through how it was touring for the first time as an artist?”

BC: “It was dope. You know what I’m saying, its cool to get that response and really see people paying attention. Of course it was a build up from releasing certain records and trying to grab features and working with certain producers … but to actually look up and seeing people paying attention to me, not only the features and other producers because when I dropped the second tape I could see a growth from more than just the same fans. So it went from 50,000 to 100,000 and the next tape was 150,000 … when you see the people grow with me on that level, it really just inspired me to work harder.”

SF: “In 2011, you dropped your ‘Daydreamer’ debut album and that even had more buzz. It was just featuring a ton of people, you had Meek Mill, Sean Kingston and Bei Maejor. Can you tell me what it was like working with those big names?”

BC: “It was dope for me because around those times when I was working with those people, they were just getting buzz themselves. Of course above me getting buzz, but they weren’t really the biggest artists. They were still underground artists. So when I got to work with those artists, they were just as happy to work with me and just hungry to work. It was like no one was really at the peak of their career and it’s just dope to see all those people I worked with actually grow and become those bigger artists because that’s something I paid attention to.”

SF: “In 2012, you absolutely blew up. The debut album started getting a lot of recognition on MTV, Billboard and on the radio. Can you tell me what it was like getting to choose which label you would end up working for? Why RCA?”

BC: “At that time, we did the independent album to show and prove to the labels what we could do. I had label offers before from the mixtape thing and I felt like they were good offers if I just wanted to start … So when we did the independent album and they got to actually show the big fan base and the people who were supporting, it gave me a little more power with the labels. So I had way more people coaching me, way better deals, but it did get to a point where it was overwhelming trying to decide … You have to look at it further on, this is business … when it got down to it, it was like two or three labels to choose from, all the business was the same, just the creative side on the music end and being able to do what I want and then trust me musically, RCA was number one on that end.”

SF: “You’re touring again, right?”

BC: “I just got back from Australia, the small overseas side of the tour that I started almost 30 days ago. We started just U.S., mainly 22 cities. We added a couple cities in the middle and then hit Australia … Then we are going back out on the road again and just continue man.”

SF: “What was it like to perform internationally?”

BC: “It’s dope man. It’s different from doing the U.S. because the U.S. people, they’re a little less excited because I’ll have fans that are (overseas) that’ll know all the words and stand and rap all the words. (U.S. fans) know there’s bigger chance that they can see you again or catch you in another city or see you on the street compared to when you go overseas, they are so excited that they’ll never see you again in their life that they have just the greatest time ever and wild out … It’s definitely a more overwhelming response overseas.”

SF: “I’m seeing all of these big cities. You touched on it earlier, L.A. is right before Eau Claire, Charlotte is right after Eau Claire, how did we get ahold of you?”

BC: “I’m always down to come through anywhere right now, I’ll work through my booking agency. It’s just the response of the fans, it’s all about having the people wanting to make it happen. You know, fans hitting up Twitter and social networking, it actually works. It gets the attention of the promoters. That’s how I’ve been going overseas, just having Youtube videos that a bunch of kids see. The promoters get the response. It gets me sometimes how it ends up in different cities, the kids telling me ‘Yo, we made this happen.’”