We recently sat down with Kosha Dillz, an East Coast rapper with neon sounds and great vibes. We thought we’d talk to him about his journey as a musician – check out the interview then listen to his tunes for some good dancing!
RootMusic: Tell us about yourself and your band – what kind of music do you make? Who are your fans?
Kosha Dillz: My nam is Rami Even-Esh, Kosha Dillz, and I am a one man rapping and rocking machine. I make Rap music that includes melody, harmonization, multiple languages and israeli/jewish culture mixed with improvisation and 90’s boom bap flavor and future funk sprinkles. What a candy bar that is. You can dance , bob your head, tell a friend takea picture and stare and point your finger…all at the same time
RM: How did you get started making music? What were your main influences?
KD: In late 1999 1998 i was doing the usual with friends. Partying and smoking weed and listening to hip hop. I grew into Mobb Deep, NAS,and WU Tang and Boot Camp Click and Nas. I was heavily influenced by NYC hip hop and continued to attend events eveywhere. Thie first thing I got down was Braggin Rties, known for being the most influential rap battle circuit of all your favorite indie rappers. Nuyorican Poets Cafe is where it all started for me. East 3rd ave between avenues B and C!
RM: What kind of message are you trying to tell with your music? How would you describe your rhyming style?
KD: My rhyming style combines mutiple syllables and loses track a lot, but hops in weird forms. For instance i might focus on a song to be one way, but being a sucker to a rhyme pattern, I fall off course of topic and then focus on the rhyme content. The way I make it more mainstream is by staying more generic with specifics and making lines ambiguous in relation to the hook. The message I send in my music is a lot to do with triumph, overcoming tribulatons and standing up for yourself, hustling and positivity out of street life. I draw much connection with that and Judaism because Jews have been persecuted through out the entire existence. Hence Kosha Dillz brings some hardcore flavor to that and have a lot of ambiguity.
RM: Where do you get your beats? Do you have one DJ or do you have multiple producers? Or do you make them yourself? How do you judge if a beat is worth rapping over?
KD: Nowadays Im so hungry to rap i’ll rap over any beat. The beat has to be banging but I’ll enjoy it and it has to be performable. Shuko and Fonty produced my latest EP, Gina and The Garage Sale. Belief did Beverly Dillz. Kentron da Mastodon did Freestyle vs Written with me and C Rayz Walz. I just gotta love it…
RM: Tell us an amazing show/tour story. 1st show ever, best show ever, worst show ever?
KD: First time I hit the stage was at Braggin Rites and I was a surprise entry in a 32 man battle. I recall there being 4 emcees on stage and I was very stoned at the time. I went on, gave it my all, started busting and going at some dude, and the crowd went crazy. Back then I was simply “kosher dill.” I got a lot of props that night. It felt great.
My best show ever was in Bowdoin College in Maine and I stage dived for the first time. It was my own show. I headlined and I stage dived all by myself. I did once before with Matisyahu but they were all there for him. I was proud because they were all there for me. Shout to Dub Proof on that backing. Awesomeness.
My worst show was in 2005 opening for 112…getting booed off stage (but got paid still). A worse experience was in Pittsburgh in 2008 on the Spare Change Tour. I had lost 8 pounds the night before and drove 6 hrs. But I’m not sure if that beats other 2 people shows…or shows where I was supposed to be on stage, my parents came, and I didn’t go on. There is no such thing as “a worst show.” I think there can be ones that will always be worse. Just be grateful that you have the opportunity to keep going.
RM: How do you use the Internet to get the word out about your music, shows and new releases?
KD: Facebook and my website work. My Twitter fanbase doesn’t hit my shows like that. I have a publicist who works the blogs and magazines, and I also contact everyone personally myself. I think personal contact helps. We need to be intouch. Not only are my fans..fans…they are also my friends, who have formed opinions about me while I communicate to them.
RM: What’s the best piece of advice you would give to a new band trying to make it big?
You have to be in it to win it. You have to be willing to lose everything. You have to go beyond limits on a regular basis, beyond that, and then further, and then…maybe someone will know who you are. And after all that you have to want to do it again. Know what your desire is. if you truly love what you do and are crushing it, you are succeeeding. Once you quit make excuses, and complain, things will stop happening. I never want to have a job. I want to rap all day. I rap in my sleep. I write in my sleep. I book tours when I wake up. I eat after. What do you do?
RM: What’s on the horizon for Kosha Dillz?
KD: My EP ‘Gina and the Garage Sale’ is out and ready to be grabbed. I just moved to LA. We (my team and I) are working on getting the national tour going once again, and after that we will most likely record again, and tour again, and continue to go on tour and record and release more music till everyone knows who we are. Think this will all prep up for my documentary which has a trailer that is already out, which will have a slew of stars and drama in it. The main thing is that I continue to stay diligent in this process, help people, and let myself be helped by the true believers in what I’m doing. Everyday i wake up and plan to take the career on full steam. One thing I always do though besides that is call someone in my family, because that is the most important thing to me.
Sounds like: Mobb Deep, Matisyahu
Genre: Mainstream indie Jew Rap for the masses
Hometown: Edison, NJ
Playing since: 2000
Albums released: Spare Change Tour 2008 Freestyle vs Written (2008), Beverly Dillz (2009), Gina and The Garage Sale (2011)
Band members: Rami Even-Esh
Favorite musicians: Herp Albert, Madonna, Rza, Homeboy Sandman, Matisyahu, Tennis, Asher Roth, Idan Raichel, Louis Armstrong and random ones I find on the street and venues across America. I once saw this band Birthquake in Salt Lake City. They were all brothers. I thought that was so cool. I also like Eyes Lips Eyes. I really like my friends. Now that I think of it, I got into music to make friends. I learned how to appreciate ways we (musicians) couldn’t communicate in real life.
Other inspirations: Addiction (from experiences with drugs, jails, institutions…etc), travelling, my brothers Zach and Eilon, my family’s home in Israel, New jersey, Airplanes, my dog, coffee shops
listn.to link: listn.to/koshadillz