By Felicia Clark
Soulful, smooth hip hop melodies that read like a movie script. A script that is thought-provoking as equally as it is relaxing. That’s the vibe that is given by The Blk Cinema. Which consists of members, Kelvy (Kelvin Wilson), and Lenny (Leonard Anton Gary). Both are Chicago natives with a sound that is equally as Chi-City as it is international.
Their song, “Leave”, starts with a snippet from the show Martin from the famous break-up scene between Martin and Gina. The verse, “I’m sorry bae but we gotta leave”, discusses that no matter how much you may love someone, when a relationship has run its course, sometimes you just gotta “Leave”. Words that have a universal understanding for anyone, anywhere who has loved and lost. The full body of the tracklist toggles between subjects and scenarios that are equipped with emotional depth and powerful lyrical agility.
The SistaGurl Blog caught up with The Blk Cinema to discuss their background and what brought them to become The Blk Cinema.
How would you define your sound?
Kelvy- Very Genuine and Soulful. Everything comes from the heart.
Lenny Virgo - We would define us as Alternative Hip Hop or Experimental Hip Hop.
What was your big break?
Lenny- Performing parodies with the Bad Boyz on WGCI, also with R&B group Precyse.
Kelvy- Just being creative, on platforms like Youtube, doing internet radio shows, creating the Black History Month Film Showcase while I was living in Paducah, KY, also doing freestyle videos.
In general, what led you to music? How do you actively seek inspiration, or does it find you? Or is it a combination of the two?
Kelvy & Lenny- Just being around music and how it influences every aspect of our lives. We seek inspiration from just life and art that inspires us to create.
Let’s talk about your latest project. What was the inspiration behind it?
Lenny- The Blk Cinema, is our debut self-titled album. When we started recording, it was a different project because it was supposed to be Kelvy’s solo album, but our vibe was so dope it just fit for us to be The Blk Cinema.
Kelvy- It was the album I wanted to make for more than a year. I went through some things and I wanted to express them in a way that most black men don’t get to do. Inspiration is my life and the love that I've had and lost. Hip Hop doesn’t always treat me with the same love that I treat it. It's a breakup/love/therapy album.
Did you rely on faith or your own understanding of this project?
Kelvy- Faith is all over this project. Stepping out on faith, to trusting the person you’re working with.
Lenny- Faith is in this, also blind faith. When Kelvy wanted to record, he gave me only vocals, so I had to have faith to build music around the vocals he sent me.
How much does music inspire you?
Lenny- It inspires me in everything I do.
Kelvy- It's all that I think about. From the time I go to sleep to the time I wake up, I’m thinking about rhymes and melodies.
Most talented artists have mentors. Who are your mentors?
Kelvy- Lenny Virgo is my mentor.
Lenny- Wildstyle from Crucial Conflict
Name three people who have inspired you in your life or your music/film career.
Kelvy- Life, my parents, siblings, friends, music, Lenny Virgo, Jay-Z, & Will Smith.
Lenny- The people who inspired me in the art are Dilla, Musiq, and Kanye.
What affirmations do you repeat to yourself that contribute to your success?
Kelvy- I can do all things through Christ that gives me strength.
On a more personal note, what do you like listening to when you are not singing?
Kelvy & Lenny- Any and everything: Gospel, Lofi Hip-Hop, Jazz, R&B, etc.
If you were a color, what would it be, and how would you describe yourself?
Kelvy & Lenny- I don’t think we were ever asked that question and we don’t really go by stuff like that.
How do you live life to the fullest?
Kelvy & Lenny- Just by doing everything you’ve ever wanted to do in life. Even if you succeed or fail. If you set out to do something and you’re actually doing it, then you’re living life
Name a creative outlet or artists that changed how you view life and/or yourself.
Kelvy & Lenny- Anything from James Baldwin, Spike Lee, and Quentin Tarantino. Any individual, group, or artist who bring changes through art. It gives us a better view on life and what we can create.
Why do you consider lifelong learning important?
Kelvy & Lenny- You really never want to stop learning. Life keeps on teaching you and it’ll never stop.
What role does technology play in your day-to-day life? How do you utilize it?
Kelvy- Technology is in every shape of our lives. It helps you communicate with the people. It also helps build your brand, put your music out for the world. It’s in our daily lives as well.
Lenny- Tech is every day for a lot of us. Especially to build your brand.
What is next for you?
Kelvy- We have another album dropping on Juneteenth.
Lenny- It's called “Darkie Horror Picture Show” with everything that’s going on now, It's a perfect album.
If you could work with any artist in the industry dead or alive, who would you work with?
Kelvy & Lenny- OutKast, Prince, Jay-Z.
For those who haven’t heard your music, describe your music in one sentence
Kelvy & Lenny- Stream of Consciousness Soulful Hip Hop.
What’s your vision for yourself 10 years from now?
Kelvy & Lenny- We want The Blk Cinema to be an inspiration to the next duo or artists to carry on what we are doing.