Who is Kastle Li? The interview and Testimony.

Posted: August 14, 2016 in Uncategorized
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Yesterday, I was giving the opportunity to open a few doors for a friend. I was approached by him, a few months ago, after I promoted a local artist. He asked me if I could do a write-up for him, also, and I gladly said yes, as promoting local artists happens to be very fun. There were a few hold ups during this process, as Kastle refused to send me the email back (LOL), but he finally got the email sent. As I read over the questions he answered, I knew instantly, this was going to be a very fun post to write. This man is great and has a very big heart for the Lord, making it easy to sell him to people. I got the post put up yesterday, but I would like to share, with you guys, his testimony and the interview!. This is a great way for you guys to fall in love with him all over again!
Don’t forget to Check out Kastle Li’s Facebook and his Labels page!
(Please take a look at the post, before clicking any links!)

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Kastle’s Testimony!
      My story is not like not so much like every professing Christian or believer of Christ, in a sense it carries the same message as some.
      I had parents; I had a mother and father but not so much for we didn’t bond as a family should, I didn’t feel that love til after I was already older and able to make my own decisions and be my own adult.

      I didn’t struggle with drugs or alcoholism, have I tried them before? Yes. Do I regret them now that I look back on it? Yes. But my past doesn’t conflict my future because my future lies within God.

      However, I did struggle with acceptance, and fitting in and wanting to belong amongst my peers, I lack identity and because of that I wore many masks to see which was fitting.

      I gangbanged, I attempted to sell drugs, I wanted money and woman, it never filled any missing spots in my life.

      I use to want to play pro basketball and football, even be a professional wrestler, even went as far as going to the wrestling schools, but in the end none of that interested me at all.

      I got into the habit of poetry as an outlet to escape the my environments growing up and even isolated myself from my peers in school, because I didn’t fit in, I was suicidal, bullied on a regular, got into fights at school and got kicked out number of occasions, show little to no respect for authority to the point, the school principle said himself that the direction I was heading, I wasn’t going anywhere and I believed him, grades slipping, no friends really, going nowhere in life.
     
      I got into the hip hop culture with no knowledge or experience in at all, the similarities in it is that it carried an poetry feel to me, substance, which has always been the fabric of hip hop since day one.

      So I got into rapping, and 2 years out of high school, I get set to drop my debut album “Still Searching” in 06’ and I run into an friend of mine, who was saved at that time and talked to me about God, at first I wasn’t buying it for the simple fact that, I’ve been around it as a kid and I didn’t believe in God for I had hatred towards him, I literally was raging war with God, I was an atheist and ok with it because how can an almighty God allow so much in this world?
     
      I can tell you now is because it’s of free will, free to make your decisions, but not free from the consequences of your decisions weather good or bad, there’s consequences in any and everything In life.

      I went to church with him one day, with my thoughts and questions to myself, spoke to no one, not even introduce myself to anyone, a quick in and out what was my plan was, but no.

     A youth pastor approached during worship, and asked to pray for me and I accepted, and as he was praying I felt this calm, peace come over me, like an reassurance that everything is going to be fine, he told me what I was struggling with, what my hurt was and I was in shock for I said nothing to no one, and the message that was preached that night was about hopelessness, while story of the prodigal son was the illustration piece to the message, they did alter call, I was so ashamed and worried about people looking and judging me that I almost backed out, and I felt something inside of me telling, assuring me that everything is going to be ok and this is why I came here, so I as I approached the alter, I dropped to my knees and cried  like a new born baby, as ministers prayed over me, I felt that one thing that has always eluded me for years,  I finally felt loved. I finally felt like I fit in and I don’t have to be something that I’m not, I can be me, the true me that God called me to be and I received much freedom in finding my identity inside of finding him, for the more I searched and find him, the more I find myself.

      That’s my testimony, the short testimony for that matter, the truth of the matter, is this: there’s freedom in Christ Jesus and whatever you going through in this life, big or small that you can trust and rest assured that God is able.
Kastle Li

                                                                                              Interviewing Kastle:
Part 1: Early Childhood

1. When were you born? I Was born July 17th 1985, I remember my mom’s telling me the doctor said I was going to be smart, because for a baby, I had a big head LOL

2. Where were you raised? I grew up on the Southside of Chicago

4. Where was your favorite place to go as a kid? We had a restaurant called Sal’s pizzeria, man that was in 1995, I had my first gyro, and played street fighter turbo for the first time, every Saturday I was doing chores to gain enough money to beat E.Hunda LOL.

5. What school did you attend as a kid? I attended Yale Elementary and in 96 we moved to Springfield, Illinois.

7. Was it hard for you to make friends in school? Yes definitely, I was socially unequipped down to the tee; I didn’t share the same interests as everybody did.
  
8. Were you more of the “Nerd” or “Class clown”? Neither, I stayed to myself and I had really bad social anxiety that I would hope the teacher wouldn’t call on me.
  
9. What is your favorite childhood memory? I have to say the summertime, red light, green light, two hand touch football, and ICE CREAM!! LOL.

10. In school, what was your favorite subject? Science for the most part…Still is to this day exactly.

11. And what about you’re least favorite? History for the simple fact that everything we we’re brought up to believe are a lie, that’s why boys and girls I stress to you to do your own research.

12. Did you move a lot as a child? Did it have any effect on you? Yes, it was difficult for me, because it seemed like someone was continuously hitting the reset button on me, I felt like I was starting over all the time to the point I became numb to it.

Part 2: The later years

1. When and what was your first job? I worked at McDonalds for three years.

2. Did you attend college? What College? What major? Yes, I attended ITT-Tech and I major in applied computer science and graduated June of 06’

3. What was your first car? How much did it cost you? My first car was a 1986 Ford LTD Crown Victoria and I didn’t pay for it because it’s been in the family for a long time, gas guzzler Foreal bro!

4. As a graduate, what were your goals set after high school? I didn’t have any except be the biggest rapper and have all the money and girls, then I grew up LOL.

6. Who, in your life, impacted you the most between ages 5-25? My fathers to this day (R.I.P.) that man showed me first hand, the definition of working hard and bow down to no man, and take care of yours before you tell someone how to take care of theirs.

7. Is that mentor still mentoring you to this point in your life? Yes I must say, I still carry some traits of him in me.

8. Are you a participant of sports? Which ones? Did you play in high school? No. The most I ever did in school was wrestling and that was for one year and outside of school, I did some boxing nothing major, it’s just as a teen, I was getting jumped and the owner of a boxing gym wanted to show me a few pointers.

9. Are you big into writing? Yes and No, it depends.

10. When did you begin to write music? Junior year in high school, I was big into poetry and I lost one of my papers and someone who happens to rap found and gave it to me and said if this was a song it would be dope and it just took off from there. Prior to that I was always big on the culture of hip hop, just wasn’t a rapper because I always received negative feedback, but clearly all that changed.

Part 3: It’s all about inspiration

1. As an artist, who inspires you to keep following your dream? Underdogs, people who was always told that they can’t because I was always told that I can’t, it something about that position to prove any and everybody wrong, it gets me all the time. 

2. How will your music impact teens of this generation? It will give them a message that no matter what you’re going through in life, Jesus is there, and he loves you and nothing you ever done is to big for you to not come to him. That’s what someone told me before I found God and that’s the message I want to send to everyone.

3. How will you inspire people beyond your beats and rhymes? Hopefully, it’ll inspire someone to look in the mirror and say “This life, I’m living needs to change and I want something better for myself.” Well I like to think anyway.

4. In this world there are a lot of inspirations, what do you think inspires kids these days?? Moving beyond the normal honestly, their visualists were visualists, you and me, we don’t want to hear it, we want to see, and that’s what my music does in my opinion, it gives you a visual prospective.
 
5. Is there more bad influence or good influence in this world today? A combination of both, good influence being overcrowded with bad influences.

6. Can you give me a few of your lyrics that would inspire someone to make it through the day? Whatever you got going on, you’ll make it, you’re made to endure, best believe you can take it, because you’re a fighter, a survivor, a natural born rider, light of this world, a walker lighter.
  
7. Is Jesus an outline throughout your previous album? Will this stay the same? Jesus has and will always be a huge part of my music.

8. What artist would you like to mirror throughout your career? Not sure, never really looked at an artist and be like, I want to do what they’re doing you know? Well that’s just me I must say.

9. Which parent would you say you’re learned more from? Explain? My father, he didn’t have an education, but you wouldn’t know that talking to him, he showed me that because you may lack something, doesn’t defect your worth at all. I mean this had no degree or diploma and still held down jobs on top of jobs, that’s why I hear dudes complain about not getting work, I’m not trying to hear that, it can be done if you really want it man.

10. What inspiration will you bring to the table? My drive, focus, and never say die attitude of course.

Part 4: Music so sick!

1. What genre are you under? Has this always been the same? CHH (Christian Hip Hop) no. I started out rapping like everybody else until I found God and as I was growing, my passion was growing as well, like there’s more to this life than even we may ever know.
What did you learn from past shows? Rocking the stage is very important, you can put out hot music all day every day, but if your live performance suck then that’s all she wrote.

4. How many shows have you been a part of? Which one was the most memorable? 6. I can’t pick for the reason that each one taught me to grow, but if I had to pick it would be my first one, I was so nervous that I was stuttering on stage and was so glad to finish that set.

5. What is your fondest memory, of the years you have put into your music? Completing my first mixtape in 2009, I was going through so much, lost a job, homelessness was approaching, I was suicidal and all I had to keep me going at that time was God, a bible, pen and pad and recording equipment and that was my therapy.

6. When and why did you begin to use music to express yourself? Music and poetry has always been one in the same to me, it has always been my place of escape, my way of expressing myself creatively in a sense.

7. What were your first songs about? Salvation at the cross and how we can grow from the inside out.

8. What were some of your first rhymes?  Man (Chuckles) they so wack that I voluntarily forgot them!

9. When you write a new song, is it lyrics before beat, or beat before lyrics? Has it ever changed? Man sometimes it depends the mood or state of mind that I’m in, sometimes, I hear a nice beat and write to it or sometimes something nice come to my mind and I write it out and I look for a beat to match it and write some more or edit what I wrote and build from there.

10. Are you a self-taught musician? If not, who taught you to work the magic? A combo of both, most of my friends are musicians, writers etc. and I learned a lot from them and mostly I listened to hip hop a lot, not just the songs, but the flow, the patterns and timing of it all. I was literally a sponge to the art.

11. What is your artist name? What is the story behind it? I go by Kastle Li, I was in worship one night and God gave me castle for that’s where the king dwells at, inside of me, so I switched the C to an K as a reminder of the “King.”

12. What is your signature? Something that people will know you by? My rawness and willingness to keep it real.
13. Where do you do most of your writing? Is there a certain place you have to be in? I have a home studio, but none the less, anywhere, park bench, at the table of a coffee shop, don’t matter as long as I got a notebook, bible or bible app on my phone and two pens and headphones.

14. How do you recover when a mistake is made during a show? Keep going; finish the set (hahaha)
15. Who do you look up to in the music industry? Why? Bizzle, the fact that he was who he was, when he came into the game to begin with and never changed, it was God over money then and it’s God over money now.

16. Do you play any instruments? Do you add these instruments to your songs? No, if I could it would be a piano.

17. I want to become an artist, but I’m nervous. How can you help me calm down? What advice? It’s good to be nervous, it builds you and reminds you that you’re human, but none the less, have fun for the most part, the crowd is like kids, they can smell fear (haha) I got kids that’s why I said that, but if you chilled and the crowd rocking with you, it’s all good bro.

18. Are you willing to teach those who want to become musicians? I can teach what I do know, but in actuality I’m a student myself, so first thing to learn is to stay humble and ready to learn.

19. Do you practice a lot? How do you practice? Yes. I practice in front of mirror when I know I’m performing live, but when I’m laying down vocals for a track, I practice rapping a lot before I lay down the track, so it comes out smooth.

20. How do you stay calm as the show begins? I remind myself why I’m doing this and there’s somebody coming that don’t knows God and would like to, and have fun for the most part.

21. What’s more nerve racking? The pre-show or during the show? During the show, you never know what could happen.

22. What is the best way to stay calm? Practice, plenty of rest and a balance meal.

23. How do you keep a balance in life as an artist? Being married with children, it becomes difficult at times, but at the end of day, family is the first ministry and everything else comes after, if my family good, then I’m golden bro.

24. In shows, how do you reach out to the crowd? Man I share my past experience, something people can relate to because we all struggle with something in this life, and start to pray for people.

25. If you’re giving any label, which one would you sign to? Doesn’t matter to me as long as they know where I stand with God and we’re on the same page.
26. Are you working on any projects right now? I’m working on my first debut album that’s slated to be released soon.
27. Do you own your own studio? What kind of equipment do you have? Yes. I have an home studio and I have an mxl 770 condenser mic, subwoofer speakers, and I use adobe audition as recording software.
28. How did you record your first album? I record from home, and I ship my files online through email to my label boss and he mix and master it in a studio and we go from there.

29. What are you plans in the music industry? To share the gospel and reach any and every one in need.
30. Where will you be in five years? I don’t know, hopefully a good place.

Part 5: Tell me more
1. Tell me about your upcoming album? It’s my first album, so it’s a bit personal and uplifting, but creative for the most part.

2. What is the title to the album? The story behind that title? The wait was worth it, I call it that because this album should have been out years ago, but a lot of setbacks and things in life derailed me numerous times, but at the same time from what I can take from it, is the growth I received from it all, how to be an better mc, rhymer all of that. So when it’s time for me to release this album, all the hard work, all the waiting, is going to be worth it (Smiles).

3. What can we expect from this album? Anyone that’s ever heard my previous work will definitely hear the growth in it and the new found drive as well. The energy in this is crazy.

4. Do you have any shows coming up? Where? Not as of yet, I put everything aside to focus on this album, but soon.

5. How long did it take you to write this album? A month.
6. Did you make all the beats to this album? How long did that take? Some yes and some no, I have a team of go to producers I kick it with, oh yeah shout out to jruso beats and Choo valentine, you guys are the MVP (haha).

9. Who will be featured on this album? Being that it’s my first, I didn’t want to overload it with features, but it’s light, I wanted everyone to hear mostly me and build from there.

10. How will this album be unique? Fast raps, new style beats, Rock underlines, anything?
11. How does the present state of the world affect your music? It doesn’t, it only proves my point on how we need to turn back to God.
Fun fillers
Xbox or Ps3? Xbox, 2k all day.
What did you want to be when you were 5? Superman.

Married? Or Dating? Married.

Can you freestyle? A little.

Dream vacation? Florida, with a nice house ocean view.

Favorite ice-cream? Oreo.

Coffee fan? Yes, hazelnut. 
Nerd or Jock? Neither.
Who will win the super bowl this year? Are you a sports fan? I still have high hopes for the bears man, my Chicago bulls please pray for them (haha)

If you are a fan of sports, what’s your favorite sport? Team? Bears, white sox, bulls, Blackhawks, Chicago everything.

Favorite movie? The outsiders, loved the book in high school, and really dug the movie.

If you were on the titanic, would you have saved rose? Yes, but we both would’ve been sharing the board, I wouldn’t be freezing.

Impromtdude @ Facebook.com/impromtdude

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