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What'd I Say


S2, Ep. 4

“It’s you giving 110 percent of yourself.”

That advice from Snoop Dogg to KYLE was not taken lightly. A 2018, confident debut record, titled “Light of Mine” and featuring 4-time platinum single “iSpy,” was accompanied by the artist’s screen debut in Netflix film “The After Party,” and a world tour. Honestly, KYLE might be giving a little more than 110 percent.

Hear his story, including how his father got him into rap, why Kanye West’s “Paranoid” is one of his personal favorites, and why 50 Cent is always his go-to karaoke.

“Light of Mine” is out now.

Episode Transcript

Narrator: Hello and welcome to What’d I Say, where Atlantic Records talks with artists they made, songs they like and songs they’d like to have made. It’s an inside look into the craft of songs from the artists themselves.

It’s been a busy 2018 for Atlantic Records artist and multi-platinum musician KYLE. Not only did he release his highly anticipated debut album, “Light of Mine,” on May 18th featuring four-time platinum single, “I Spy.” But he would also find himself sharing the stage with Chance the Rapper at his Coachella performance. 2018 would also serve as his acting introduction, starring in Netflix’s hip-hop comedy “The After Party,” along with Wiz Khalifa, French Montana and more. We talked with KYLE at our Atlantic Podcast Studio about how his father introduced him to rap, his favorite Kanye West song, and the two different times he got advice from the one and only Snoop Dogg. “Light of Mine” is available everywhere. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram at Superduperkyle.

Jesse Cannon: What was your first favorite song?

Kyle Harvey: My first favorite song I can remember like this being my favorite song. Um, man. That’s so hard. ‘Cause I’m trying to think of being a little, little because I’ve loved songs since I was a little kid.

Jesse Cannon: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Kyle Harvey: So, my favorite song.

Jesse Cannon: Early memory of something you just loved.

Kyle Harvey: Oh. My first favorite. I actually know what my very first favorite song was. “Back At One” by Brian McKnight.

Jesse Cannon: Oh.

Kyle Harvey: That was my first favorite song.

Jesse Cannon: So my question is what made you at a young age take to that song? That’s like [a] much more mature emotional song.

Kyle Harvey: I think it was, you know what? It was randomly on the radio I think at the time. And being a little kid, like I remember that’s just the very first singing song I memorized.

Jesse Cannon: Hmm. So that was the first song you memorized as well?

Kyle Harvey: Yeah. The very first singing song I ever memorized was “Back At One” by Brian McKnight.

Jesse Cannon: So, I remember-

Kyle Harvey: “When the night blow.” (Singing)

Jesse Cannon: Oh, that’s good.

Kyle Harvey: “Easy, easy do.” (Singing)

Jesse Cannon: So this was a lot of in front of the mirror, was it going down with friends?

Kyle Harvey: When I was singing in front of, no. It was just you know, me and my brother were actually, we’d listen to it in the car and sing it together. “One, you’re like a dream come true. Two, just want to be with you. Three, and it’s plain to see that you’re the only one for me. And four, repeat steps one through three. Five I’ll make you fall in love with me.” Yeah. I love that song.

Jesse Cannon: I think we’ve got a cover song coming really soon.

Kyle Harvey: I should cover that.

Jesse Cannon: That’s good. How about the first album you remember buying or illegally downloading or getting off the Internet? Anything that comes to mind?

Kyle Harvey: Um, the very first thing I illegally downloaded? Oh, I think it was “Put You On The Game” by [The] Game.

Jesse Cannon: Oh yeah.

Kyle Harvey: Like “Put You On The Game,” that whole era of songs.

Jesse Cannon: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Kyle Harvey: That’s when my cousin had this CD burner.

Jesse Cannon: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Kyle Harvey: And she had LimeWire.

Jesse Cannon: Yeah.

Kyle Harvey: And I was downloading all that type of stuff. I downloaded “Put You On The Game.” I downloaded “Hate It Or Love It.” Because this was like what? Like 2004, 2005. And that’s when Game was like huge. Especially living in, I was living in Los Angeles, it was like Game everything.

Jesse Cannon: Interesting.

Kyle Harvey: I think that was like the first ones I illegally downloaded.

Jesse Cannon: Yeah, you know, growing up here, we had a lot of beef with him. Everybody, he’d always be talking that shit, so everybody be mad here.

Kyle Harvey: Oh, Game was talking mad shit about NY.

Jesse Cannon: It’s crazy. It’s like every week I feel like I was a music writer at that time. I’d be like, “What the hell?” Like, do I have to write another article about this?

Kyle Harvey: Bro, Game was not giving a fuck back then. He was like literally; he was roasting New York. But um, I was downloading a hella Game. And then I was also downloading, on LimeWire there’s all these mashup songs. So it’d be like “I Got Five On It,” but like the remix featuring like fucking everybody under the sun. Just these weird mashup remixes. I remember um, there was this like ah, Grills remix that had Adam Sandler on it, Elmo on it. It was weird.

Jesse Cannon: Ah, how about for you, when was a big milestone in you making music when you were like, “Oh shit. I’m like doing this.”

Kyle Harvey: Um, man, you know what? When I was a very little kid, I recorded this song ah, called “Mrs. Wonderful.” And this might have been when I was like ten years old. And it was the first, my dad took me to this producer dude who, the beat was tight as hell. His beat was so cool. And I mean ’cause being like a ten-year-old kid, like an 11-year-old kid, like you actually don’t, you’ve heard good beats before, but you don’t know how to get them.

Jesse Cannon: Yes.

Kyle Harvey: And my dad took me to this producer dude and he produced this song I had called “Mrs. Wonderful,” It was like the second song I ever wrote. And yeah, I remember hearing that as an 11-year-old and being like, “Wow. I think I actually have the ability to be fire like one day.”

Jesse Cannon: Wow.

Kyle Harvey: Like one day. And yeah. That was when, I mean I’ve never had a Plan B. Not once. I was also one of them kids that had an over supportive family. When I say over supportive because sometimes they tell you can do anything.

Jesse Cannon: Yeah.

Kyle Harvey: But you know what I mean? So kind of had me thinking, “Yeah, no. Why would I do anything else? I’m just gonna be a rapper. I’m gonna be a singer.” Like, they didn’t tell me that the success rate of that is literally like point zero percent. Like point zero one percent.

Jesse Cannon: Yes.

Kyle Harvey: But that had been my plan.

Jesse Cannon: So the real question is though, who was Mrs. Wonderful?

Kyle Harvey: Who was Mrs. Wonderful? I mean.

Jesse Cannon: Who was the inspiration?

Kyle Harvey: Yo. You know what’s funny, bro? When you’re a little kid, it’s like you always talk, like the first thing you learn how to write are love songs.

Jesse Cannon: Yes, yes.

Kyle Harvey: But you’ve definitely never been in love before.

Jesse Cannon: That’s true.

Kyle Harvey: And you just do it based on… You know why I was singing shit like that? Because I was listening to Brian McKnight. You feel me?

Jesse Cannon: Mm-hmm (affirmative). That’s what he’s singing about.

Kyle Harvey: Yeah. And it was like, “You’re my Mrs. Wonderful, my baby. My lady. And no matter how far I go, I’m crazy just thinking about you, girl. Won-Der-Ful. My baby.” That was my, that was my song.

Jesse Cannon: Wow. That’s a pretty good for a young kid unless you’re improvising a little bit.

Kyle Harvey: “I go-o” No, that was it. “Crazy. Just thinking about you, girl.” That was the song.

Jesse Cannon: Damn. How about, what’s a surprising musical influence that people would be a little bit shocked by that you’re really into?

Kyle Harvey: Um, a surprising musical influence? I really liked a lot of crooner stuff growing up because my grandfather always played it for me. So, shit like Frankie Lane. You know, I Believe. And things like Dean Martin and random shit like that. And like Frank Sinatra randomly plays a big influence on me still.

Jesse Cannon: Yeah. So is that creeping in in like your hooks? What…?

Kyle Harvey: I don’t know. I think that creeps in more in like my R&B type of side. Um, and then also my mom always had me listening to, when I was a little kid, I didn’t even really, I didn’t listen to rap. I didn’t really listen to it like that at all.

Jesse Cannon: So when did rap come into your life then?

Kyle Harvey: Rap came into my life when I was more like ten years old. That’s when rap really came into my life the first time.

Jesse Cannon: And who was that? Like what was the big impression that…?

Kyle Harvey: That was my dad. My dad was the one that got-

Jesse Cannon: So was there a song?

Kyle Harvey: My dad was the reason I became a rapper.

Jesse Cannon: Okay.

Kyle Harvey: Is because of my dad.

Jesse Cannon: Wow. You don’t hear that every day.

Kyle Harvey: Yeah, no, no. My dad definitely, he taught me. Well one, he would always like freestyle battle me and shit in front of the other kids. So that I had to get my bars up. And.

Jesse Cannon: Wow. That’s something.

Kyle Harvey: Oh yeah, no, my dad, he fucking raps still.

Jesse Cannon: Wow.

Kyle Harvey: And if he were to be here right now, he’d just start freestyling.

Jesse Cannon: Oh.

Kyle Harvey: He just does that.

Jesse Cannon: We gotta see that at some point.

Kyle Harvey: I know, right? Yeah.

Jesse Cannon: Gotta get that on the YouTube.

Kyle Harvey: I know. I’m gonna freestyle battle my dad on YouTube for clout.

Jesse Cannon: Unless he wins, then you’re fucked.

Kyle Harvey: Oh, I’m super fucked. Which he might gonna win ’cause he just doesn’t stop. At the same time, it’s like the, you know what? It’s almost like when a boxer waits to fight another boxer until he gets a little older because they know they’re younger.

Jesse Cannon: Yeah.

Kyle Harvey: And they’re like, “Oh if I just wait three years, three or five years, I’m gonna be able to beat his ass.” That’s what I’m doing with my dad. I been waiting a long time. So now that his style is a little more dated. You know what I mean?

Jesse Cannon: Yes, yes.

Kyle Harvey: Now he’ll catch these bars.

Jesse Cannon: It’s gonna sound real soul like B-I-G on the corner. And everything you do is like, what’s up crew?

Kyle Harvey: No. He’d be like, “Hey you know, me and my kid. And we’re rap battling for the kids on YouTube High.”

Jesse Cannon: So, what did he really play you that made be like, “Oh I’m into rap as well.”

Kyle Harvey: Yeah. He played me ah, ODB, Gotcha Money.

Jesse Cannon: Oh, well that’s a hell of a song.

Kyle Harvey: It was. I remember it just being so bouncy and so free. And that’s what I still feel I carry a lot into my music today. Is just like the kind of freedom of just doing something and sounding like something that you know is gonna weird people out, but not giving a fuck about it. ‘Cause ODB gave zero fucks when it came to his delivery and how he made music. And so that has always like stuck with me.

Jesse Cannon: So how about the last song you discovered that you had to send around to everybody? Like holy shit, like sent to a bunch of friends, like, I can’t believe this.

Kyle Harvey: Last thing I heard that I put everybody on. Um, you know what song I hella love right now and it’s by far my favorite song? Is fucking “Japan” by Famous Dex. I love the feeling that song gives you. It’s just like you turn it on and you can’t help but feel good. You know what I mean? And so.

Jesse Cannon: I gotta listen to this.

Kyle Harvey: Oh, listen to it, dude.

Jesse Cannon: Yeah.

Kyle Harvey: Wake up and listen to it and you’re gonna feel cooler than you’ve ever felt.

Jesse Cannon: Nice. Um, do you remember the first time you heard one of your songs in public?

Kyle Harvey: Um, yeah I do. The first time I heard one of my songs in public, was I had this song called “Hey Now” that I did with Martin Solveig. And it got played on the radio.

Jesse Cannon: Oh wow. I’m a big fan of his. Yeah.

Kyle Harvey: Oh yeah, no.

Jesse Cannon: I know it well.

Kyle Harvey: So I made a song with Martin Solveig back in like 2013.

Jesse Cannon: Oh wow.

Kyle Harvey: Called “Hey Now.”

Jesse Cannon: How did you get hooked up with him? That seems like a weird combo.

Kyle Harvey: It is kind of a strange combo, right? Well, my managers happen to know him. And they were looking, he was looking to try to get a rapper on this song. And they, he couldn’t really pinpoint the right one. And they were like, “Yo, just send it to Kyle. He’s fire.” He’s like, “Okay. I don’t really know who Kyle is, but okay. I send it.” You know. And he sent it to me. And, I guess he liked what I did because when he got back, he’s like, “This is perfect.” And I fly to Ultra with him, finish the song and then we perform it at Ultra the next day.

Jesse Cannon: Wow.

Kyle Harvey: It was crazy.

Jesse Cannon: So where’d you hear that?

Kyle Harvey: Oh, sorry. In a car. I was in a car and the radio came on and I was like driving with my brother and our friends were next to us. And I turned down the windows and I was like, “I’m on the radio.”

Jesse Cannon: Wow. That’s kind of rad.

Kyle Harvey: Yeah, dude. It was tight.

Jesse Cannon: What do you take to first in a song? Is it gonna be that you did some lyrics and you want to match the music to it? Do you hear a beat and you’re like, “Oh I could do something that fits this.” Like what does that usually look like for you?

Kyle Harvey: So I start, the way I start is when I hear a beat I’m really feeling. Even if it’s just a sample or whatever. It kind of just starts with the music. And then before I even do the lyric, I used to sit there and just write the whole song completely. But what I’ll do now is before I even think of the lyrics, I’ll just go into the booth and just freestyle all the melodies and the ideas of it. You feel me? Because I want my voice, more and more the older I get, I want my voice to just be harmonious with the song. I won’t even know if I’ll sound good on a beat until I go in there and mumble some shit. So I’ll go in there and just like really try to freestyle all the melodies and stuff first. And then I’ll chop it up after. Okay, I’ll take this part, take this part, take this part. And then I’ll add the words to it.

Jesse Cannon: Nice. And so are you doing a lot of that chopping up yourself?

Kyle Harvey: Yeah. No, I have to chop it myself.

Jesse Cannon: Gotcha.

Kyle Harvey: I have to. Because I have to like, I listen to it so meticulously, I’m like, “Oh no I went ‘ah’ here and I went ‘oh’ here.” Like I need the ‘uh’ part.”

Jesse Cannon: So the little syllables and those details are a lot of what you’re zoning into too.

Kyle Harvey: Literally. No, I zone into all of it. Like all the songs you hear me do are ones I had to comp those myself, for sure.

Jesse Cannon: Wow.

Kyle Harvey: Yeah. Because I’m just so meticulous with my own voice. Because nobody hears my own voice more than me.

Jesse Cannon: What is a song that no matter how many times you’ve heard it, you will stop what you’re doing and listen to it and zone in on it?

Kyle Harvey: “Paranoid” by Kanye West.

Jesse Cannon: Oh yeah?

Kyle Harvey: Any time that song comes on, I’m stopping what I’m doing and I’m singing the entire thing.

Jesse Cannon: Interesting.

Kyle Harvey: But that is the rawest song of like all time. In my opinion, I fucking love that song. Something about, I mean it just feels so timeless. When I listen to that song it feels like my whole life. It feels like forever type of thing. And I love just like especially like the auto tune on it. There’s so many like subtle things in there that I’m like, “Wow, even that was so dope.” Like when he says, “All of the time.” You don’t really listen to it, but it says like, “All.” It’s like when he does that swoop up, the auto tune climbs a bunch of stairs real quick and it just sounds really dope. That’s how many times I’ve listened to that song. I’m bragging about the part he goes, “All of the time even.”

Jesse Cannon: You know someone’s heard a song a lot when they can describe the way the auto tune glitches in it.

Kyle Harvey: Yeah. Exactly. Like that’s how much I fucking love that song.

Jesse Cannon: Has anybody given you some really sage advice lately that you’ve been really into?

Kyle Harvey: Um, I remember Snoop Dogg gave me some really good advice. He told me-

Jesse Cannon: Oh nobody cares about that.

Kyle Harvey: Yeah, bro. Snoop Dogg. I was with Snoop Dogg in his trailer at, I mean, yeah. His ah, green room at Okeechobee Fest, and he told me, “Man.” He was like, he was basically talking to me about how you maintain a legacy. And he was saying like, “You can’t make your career choices motivated at staying at the top.”

He’s like, “That is,” he’s like, “The top is really an invisible place. You feel me? Like being at the top, that’s not what you should be in this music shit for.” Because he’s like, “‘Cause think about me.” He’s like, “I came into the game at the top. You feel me?” So he’s like, “Where else is there to go?” He’s like, “No, I had to stay focused on me and doing what is true to Snoop Dogg.” He’s like, “So I can stay,” instead of using like a up and down scale, he was using a left to right scale.

Jesse Cannon: Oh.

Kyle Harvey: And kind of showing me like it’s about being around, it’s about being around for decades. It’s not about being at the top for a couple years.

Jesse Cannon: Huh.

Kyle Harvey: You know what I mean? And I was like, “Wow, dude, that makes so much sense.” ‘Cause for a young artist, sometimes it’s hard to not want to branch out and do something that’s out of your character because it’s the popular thing. Because you just want to be hot right now.

Jesse Cannon: Yes.

Kyle Harvey: He’s like basically, “Focus on your legacy and staying true to yourself. So that you’ll stick around for years to come.” And he gave me good advice twice already. That was his second good advice he gave me.

Jesse Cannon: So what was the other one?

Kyle Harvey: The first one he gave me is when I performed on the Martha and Snoop show and he was basically kind of explaining to me in his way how, because basically what happened is I jump up on this bench on the beginning of the performance and I just start going in. And he kind of gets put off, not put off by it. He kind of gets caught off guard by it and is like, “Oh snap. Snoop Dogg’s really feeling our performance.” But then the producers of the show stop it and they stop the song. And they’re like, “We have to do that again. You can’t jump up on that.” Type of thing. And Snoop Dogg gets pissed. And he’s like, “Yo don’t ever stop somebody in the middle of their performance.” You know what I’m saying? Because him as a performer, he knows me giving my energy and giving my all is my job. And he’s like, “If you guys need to get it again, let him finish and get it again. But don’t ever interrupt it.” He’s like, “I got you, nephew.”

Then I did it again and after, he came up to me and was basically telling me like, you know, to remember that my job is my energy and my heart and my soul. That is my job, is using that. And he’s like, “Don’t ever get on stage and not give that 110 percent.” He’s like, “This is my best advice for you.” He’s like, “This is your business. Right here.” And he’s like pointing at my chest. He’s like, “This is your business. Using this.” He’s like, “So you gotta use this like, you gotta use this like it’s your bread and butter. Like this is what keeps the lights on. You feel me? Like it’s you giving 110 percent of yourself any time you get on stage.” And I was like, “Damn, Snoop.”

Jesse Cannon: How about a good story of something that happened while you were making this last record? I know you just put out a record last week.

Kyle Harvey: Yep.

Jesse Cannon: Is there any big inspirational moment? Anything that was really influencing you? Anything you can talk to me about with that?

Kyle Harvey: I mean there was so many great moments when making this record. So many enlightening moments when making this record. I had this one song. Ups and Downs is the intro. Well actually, no. Most exciting moment for me is when I was making this song called “Coming or Going”, right? And for two years, I’d been trying to find a way, literally two full years I was trying to find a way to get in contact with Take Six. So they’re basically this really legendary like gospel R&B group.

Jesse Cannon: Oh, but they would like play at Arsenio Hall back in the day.

Kyle Harvey: Yeah, yeah. No, no, no. They’re from the 80’s.

Jesse Cannon: Yeah. Like I remember this growing up.

Kyle Harvey: Yeah, yeah. And they’re the most Grammy award winning R&B group of all time I’m pretty sure or something like that.

Jesse Cannon: Wow.

Kyle Harvey: They have like ten Grammys or something crazy. And I was trying to get in contact with these guys forever. And then I finally did. I ended up communicating with them.l And they’re like, “Okay, we’re gonna do it like this and that.” They’re great people by the way. And then when I got those vocals in. And Take Six is like a harmonizing group. So, their vocals sound insane. And I pressed play on this song and heard it for the first time like, “Oh my God. This is insane, bro. They’re just so good.”

Jesse Cannon: That’s rad.

Kyle Harvey: That was like the most, that was the funnest part of making this album to me. ‘Cause personally it’s just something I’d worked for so long. And I finally got it. And I was like wow, like yes.

Jesse Cannon: They say everybody wants to blow their record budget on the orchestra. And you’re like, “No. I got this. Take Six.”

Kyle Harvey: No. I got this. I need Take Six on there. ‘Cause they’re just so legendary, bro. Honestly I want to show kids and stuff who are just kind of listening to like, whether it’s like me and like fucking Lil Pump or whatever. Just listening to young kids shit. I want to also put in front of them some very, you know, some legendary stuff they might not know about.

Jesse Cannon: That’s rad.

Kyle Harvey: You know? I want to bridge the gap a little bit. ‘Cause very soon after is like, like Lil Yachty. Like Lil Yachty is on the like the next song or something.

Jesse Cannon: I love the little skits in between your stuff on the record.

Kyle Harvey: Thank you.

Jesse Cannon: Yeah. That was great. What is your guilty pleasure?

Kyle Harvey: My guilty pleasure is sitting in my room literally all day. The blinds down. Playing Xbox just in like literally just in my drawers. Like, not going anywhere. Just sitting in bed all day long playing video games. That is my guilty pleasure that I know is a bad habit, but I’m not kicking it for nothing.

Jesse Cannon: So, the real question is what are you playing and what are you listening to when those blinds are down?

Kyle Harvey: Okay. What I’m playing is, um, I play a lot of Elder Scrolls, Elder Scrolls online, Skyrim, all that. I’m also playing a lot of Call of Duty. I’m playing a lot of Fortnite. I’m playing a lot of 2K. I’m playing a lot of Assassin’s Creed.

Jesse Cannon: Okay.

Kyle Harvey: ‘Cause I fucking love history too.

Jesse Cannon: Okay.

Kyle Harvey: So it’s like the best of both worlds. I get to like kill people virtually. You know what I mean? I get to fight people with swords and shit. And also learn about like, you know what I mean, American Revolution shit. Or like Ancient Egyptian shit.

Jesse Cannon: White or Nub? What’s your go to karaoke song?

Kyle Harvey: Ooh I’m hella good at 21 Questions.

Jesse Cannon: So the question is how much of a showstopper is that? That’s kind of get some respect in there.

Kyle Harvey: If I do a 50 cent “Ha ha, yeah, ah, yeah. Yeah. I’m charming but the words. Fine and look so good would you still hug me?” I was killing at 50 Cent karaoke. I did “Many Men.” I was like, “Many men, hey, what’s that for karma? Blood in my eyes and I can’t see. I try to be what I’m destined to be. And he’s trying to take my life away.” I was just, you know.

Jesse Cannon: I like this imitation.

Narrator: Thanks to KYLE for coming on What’d I Say. Visit for more information. Our theme music is by Max Frost. Be sure and catch up on all the Atlantic Records podcasts at Thank you for listening.