Melbourne artist KVNYL just dropped off the final instalment to his eight-part series, which combines the works of Shakespeare and Kanye West’s unreleased beat tape from September, 1997.
Drawing from the ‘All The Worlds A Stage’ monologue from “As You Like It”, KVNYL has delivered an incredible project, which embodies a unique and innovative approach.
Upon discovering West’s ’97 beat tape, ‘in the midst of a 2AM YouTube procrastination bend”, KVNYL was immediately captured and enthralled by the lo-fi godliness of a young Ye.
“I had to do something with this brilliance, so I began formulating a concept in which I could release content whilst adding more strings to my artistic bow,” he told TLF.
According to the emcee, the series follows each stage in the development of a human, representing infancy through to adulthood, and old age to death.
“I decided to put my degree and crippling HEX fees into good use and apply concepts I had learnt into these stages,” KVNYL explained.
“I plotted for each stage to primarily recount the stages of my life I had lived up until the present day, and how each stage contributed to the development of my identity, as both a man and an artist,” KVNYL told TLF.
Additionally, this project is heavily influenced by Kendrick Lamar’s ‘To Pimp A Butterfly‘ album. The emcee perceives ‘TPAB’ as a musical, where in turn, the storyline shapes the album, (which itself reads as a poem) and is extrapolated from another poem.
“It is the inception of music,” KVNYL added.
Dig deeper into KVNYL’s ‘All The World’s A Stage‘ project and check out a track-by-track breakdown from the rising artist himself, below:
Stage I //infant//
The infant stage revolves around the early development years in which a human is totally dependent on others for survival and development. I outline that those years of my life were spent between two homes and two parents. It was here I learnt the two most important lessons I ever will about music.
My first memory of music is the stark image of my mother blaring Gloria Gaynor’s ‘I Will Survive’ out of her system in an act of defiance towards my father who stood in our driveway. I am not sure what the specifics of the situation were, but I remembered it being a key moment in my mother’s reclaiming of her individuality and strength.
Furthermore, my most of my father’s life lessons sit in the “what not to do” box. However, he taught me very early on that elitism in musical taste was a fraudulent concept. He is what I regard as a musical connoisseur.
He collected records and could tell you anything and everything about a plethora of artists from Hendrix to Elvis long before the days of Wikipedia. He would sit me in front of his record player in the house to listen to Bob Marley as he cleaned, yet our car rides would be spent belting out Britney Spears’ ‘Overprotected’.
Finding the beauty and appreciation of artistry in all aspects of music is something I will always carry with me.
The episode ends with my first introduction to what would become my greatest obsession, hearing ‘Lose Yourself‘ on the radio for the first time ever.
Stage II //schoolboy//
The schoolboy encapsulates the early thirst for knowledge young children present. I was never a poor student and enjoyed learning. However, these years are remembered for rapid sprouting of the seeds planted within the infant stage regarding my love for hip-hop.
From my obsession with all things Eminem, to following his hip-hop genogram to Dr Dre, to the NWA, to Snoop, Cube, Eazy-E etc. Before I knew it I was obsessed, moving carefully and precisely from artist to artist, dedicating months to entire discographies.
Lyricism, flow and delivery for a long time were the components I held in the highest regard which for a while shunted my view of the totality of artistry. I was defying the principle my father had instilled in me.
Though, that all changed the day my best friend Sam forced me to listen to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, as this was my first true taste of artistry in its absolute totality.
This album truly reinforced my subconscious that pursuing an artistic dream was my purpose in life. Unfortunately the severe degeneration of my mental health and consequential shattering of my heart forced me to take a major detour.
Stage III //lover//
This episode tells the tale of the first time I thought I had fallen in love and how those feelings eventually turned into heartbreak. It was both a tidal wave and the single straw that broke the camel’s back.
I had managed to deal with the trauma I had faced throughout my childhood, however the perfect storm of love combined with the daunting reality of becoming an adult crippled my mental health severely.
It was a long, strenuous, and silent process of recovery. This episode finishes with me in a position of self empowerment. Ready to embark on my journey.
Stage IV //soldier//
I am currently in the beginning of this stage in my current life. Being an artist is finding where you belong on the spectrum of creativity and productivity.
There are times where you simply must hustle and grind, milking each day for what it is worth, moving on from one project to the next to gain your reps. At other times, you must take a step back, to breathe, to analyse, express and perfect.
The narrative of the series surpasses the present day half-way through the episode. I achieve my goal of developing into a fully fledged artist who’s work is truly original and stand alone. With that I achieve a level of success which allows me live purely as an artist.
Stage V // justice//
This episode simply lives out all my dreams from my childhood. I never set out to make it on a global level, I simply aimed to be the best artist possible. Where, after making more money than I’d ever need, I concede that is time to make more room for those closest to me on my perch. It is time to give back to all those who supported me for close to 15 years of a selfish pursuit. I have become the mogul.
Stage VI //pantaloon//
The pantaloon is the age in which you begin the process of reverting into infancy. It is a time of reflection, to which you are either filled with fulfilment or regret. This entire episode is a play on Frank Sinatra’s my way.
Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again too few to mention. I look back on what I have achieved in life, from what I overcame to who I became. I set out clear morals and I stood by them, even after achieving levels of unheralded success. It is pride, in knowing I have set an example to be passed on to my family once I am gone.
Stage VII //death//
In old age, I notice myself withering away day by day. Despite all, my mind remains intact. I focus on my more personal achievements, how I uplifted the community I grew up in. The first hello’s I’ve said to my children and the last goodbye to all those I have lost. Sans Teeth, Sans Eyes, Sans Everything. That is life. Death.
With such a remarkable body of work to come from the upcoming emcee, TLF can’t wait to see what KVNYL releases next, as he continues to push boundaries as an artist.