Don't let the long golden blonde locks and the lead singer looks fool you, Kellee Maize is as down and intelligent a femcee you'll find around these days.
The Steel City based, former Pittsburgh city newspaper employee, activist and Nakturnal Records artist just released her new album "Aligned Archetype" that successfully bonds her considerable conscious lyrics and spirituality with Baltimore/D.C. club music and has been downloaded over 150,000 times on FrostWire.
The heady wordsmith who doubles as her own boss took some time out on Thursday evening to have a word with me via cell phone and discuss everything from how she got into Hip-Hop, women's rights abroad, her company and distributing her music for free online.
-BIG D O
BIG D O: I wanted to know, is Kellee Maize your Govt. name or is that a stage name?
Kellee Maize: No, that's what my mom named me, lol.
D O: So it was good enough for life, it's good enough for the stage...
KM: Yeah, around Pittsburgh people call me 'K Maize', and that was kinda like my stage name for awhile, and right before I released "Age Feminine" I actually Googled myself and realized I had already had a lot of press and things like that regarding my company...and I just sorta felt like, ya know, my mom gave me my name and my dad passed away so I kinda wanted to carry that on. I just decided to go with my name, it was one of those things where everybody calls me something different, so I just decided whatever I picked was fine, and since I already had a lot of people writing about Nakturnal and whatnot I figured it would be beneficial if I kept it [the name].
D O: You mentioned Pittsburgh, your from Pittsburgh or?
KM: No, I've been here for almost 10 years now, so I feel like I grew up here, but I actually grew up in the center of PA, so about an hour north of Harrisburg...a Very Small town called New Berlin, is actually where my mom lives.
D O: Pittsburgh is not usually considered a hot bed for Hip-Hop artists and nationally is sort of ignored, what's the city's Hip-Hop temperature like for you?
KM: I love it, I've been involved in it pretty much since I got here. I think there's a lot of talent and I think there's a lot of support for it, my only qualm would be like, if everyone kinda worked together a lil' more. It's a large geographic area, so I think a lot of people can't necessarily work together because they're pretty spaced out. I think there's a lot of talent and a lot of potential, a lot of great promoters...the DJ scene is pretty dope too...I think it's [Pittsburgh] overlooked.
Listen To The Full Kellee Maize Interview Here
For anyone that that's interested in downloading Ms. Maize's "Aligned Archetype" album, you can do so here.
Annnnd, if your in the greater Pittsburgh area you can catch Kellee performing @ The Prive UltraLounge (in the strip district) tomorrow @ 6 PM raising money for Haiti...Cover is $10