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Youngstown, Ohio, United States | SELF

Youngstown, Ohio, United States | SELF
Band Hip Hop Hip Hop




" - KeilyN "White Women & Liquor""

White Women & Liquor - Lilian Chavez for

"Ruby - KeilyN: Flight 89"

Ohio native, KeilyN, offer listeners a true walk in his shoes with his new video for “Flight 89?. The record is from his forthcoming mixtape, Timing, which will drop in March 2012. The song is an introspective track with confessions of living at home, shooting for the Grammy’s, and finding a way. Oh man, to be 21 again. Peep the new clip below. - Alexander Fruchter for Ruby Hornet

"Emerging artist profile: KeilyN"

Picture a rapper. It’s probably someone who’s flashy, raps about money, who only fellow rappers can comprehend, and sounds essentially the same in every song. Now throw that picture away and meet Youngstown’s up-and-coming rap artist, KeilyN.

Keilyn Davis, a 22-year-old Youngstown State University student majoring in Telecommunication Studies goes by KeilyN outside of the classroom. Though he officially hit the rap scene over two years ago, it’s not something new to him. Music has always been a part of his life.

“I used to in grade school, like, ‘fake rap,’” he said. It continued to evolve through his teen years. “I tried to rap in high school and I actually recorded it but it wasn’t anything serious,” he said. Two and a half years ago, he started recording his own songs.

His first album, “My Pursuit of HAPPYness,” was released in March 2011. It was all original music, featuring the main hit “Your Song,” which the crowd always makes sure KeilyN performs. KeilyN said it was based off of his last relationship, so it’s something people can really relate to. In fact, relating to the audience is one of KeilyN’s main driving forces when writing music. He’s inspired by everyday life.

“The people that I want to take from my music are regular, everyday people,” he explains. He doesn’t want it to be like the songs on the radio that are all about the money. “It’s all people want to talk about and it’s not something people can relate to,” he said.

“Timing,” KeilyN’s second album, was just released on March 7. So far, the response is positive. “Timing” features an entirely different style from the first project.

“I don’t wanna keep making the same type of music all the time,” he said.

He explains that as he grows as a person, he grows as an artist.

“Like every normal person, you go through stuff every year. So I decided to put a little bit of that into my music.”

The difference is not only in the sound but also in his approach to writing lyrics, however the most notable is a personal improvement.

“The biggest difference, of course: I improved as an artist. Music-wise I think the beats selection and the instrumentation of it is totally different,” he said.

What can you expect from “Timing”? KeilyN describes it as a lot of smooth, personal songs, but also upbeat songs with catchy lyrics and lighter content. KeilyN says not to expect “one big sad story” in “Timing.”

“I want people to have fun and to feel all types of ways as they listen to the full body of work. I want them to sit there and hear the words I’m have fun but also relax,” he said.

Though KeilyN admits artists don’t like to compare themselves to others, he is most inspired by Kanye West, Jay Z, and Lupe Fiasco, to name a few. KeilyN’s diverse personal music selection influences his flexibility as an artist.

“I want what I listen to be broad, not strictly hip-hop. I try to be knowledgeable of all avenues,” he said.

These include but are not limited to: R&B, hip-hop, and alternative. Hip-hop is his favorite but he sees it as redundant.

“I don’t want to do the same thing over and over... I’m not going to get better that way, so I challenge myself and try new things,” he said.

At the moment, KeilyN is focusing on promoting “Timing.” His past performances include venues in Kent, Cleveland, Youngstown, Columbus, and other surrounding areas. Right now, he’s trying to get as many shows as possible.

“I’m trying to get the music out to the people, it doesn’t matter if I’m first, second or last. That’s all I really care about,” he said. He has also been shooting videos, the most recent of which is “Dope Boy”.

KeilyN’s definition of “dope” is completely different from the normal definition and is actually something he lives by. A few years ago, before KeilyN started to put music out, he was referring to what he did as “dope,” but an older friend told him to change it because of the negative connotation. He was up all night thinking of different mottos when it hit him.

“I turned it around to make it opposite and thought of an acronym — Doing Opposite. Pursuing Excellence,” he said. Ever since, that’s been KeillyN’s mission statement for music as well as life. “I’m big on people just doing whatever they want to do, not following the crowd or trends or anything. The whole mission statement is to keep on embracing who they are and not changing,” he said.

The D.O.P.E. logo is repeated all over KeilyN’s Twitter page. He keeps fans updated with Twitter, linking to his music sharing sites where they can download his work for free. He takes audience feedback very seriously.

“I want them to listen and I want their feedback. I keep count actually,” KeilyN said. He keeps this in the back of his mind and asks himself: What songs are the biggest crowd hits? Should I do another version? What songs should I shoot videos for?

His followers actually get a say in what he does with his music.

Friends and family are also a huge support system for KeilyN. When he first started, only one of his friends was hearing his work. By the time his first song was about to debut, KeilyN was really nervous.

“He said it’s cool, man, it’s good. I put it out, and he was right. He was one of the people that said go ahead, go out and do it,” he said.

While KeilyN grows both personally and musically, we can expect his work to continue to evolve. Follow him on Twitter @DOPE_KeilyN for updates. - Natalie Moses - KSU Buzz

"Music Review: "Timing" EP by KeilyN"

Boasting names like Kid Cudi, Chip Tha Ripper and Machine Gun Kelly, Ohio has long been a breeding ground for rappers. And now, a new star has been found in the rough once again in the form of Youngstown State University student Keilyn Davis, who goes by the stage name KeilyN.

In his sophomore EP, "Timing," KeilyN travels across the beat spectrum, displaying his lyrical skills on slow tracks like "Ok [Prod. Airtight Productions]," and tearing up the fast-paced fun jam "Hip Hop ft. James John [Prod. 1RDT]."

"From quick witted metaphors over progressive instrumentals to the smooth J. Dilla produced interludes, Timing pays homage to the foundation of hip-hop that made us love it in the first place: it's versatility," said Michael Krieger, KeilyN's manager, in an email to Flyer News. "For KeilyN, the project shows growth in song writing, subject matter and delivery while remaining beautifully cohesive in its tone and authenticity."

Originally from Youngstown, KeilyN has worked his way up to become a recognized figure in the music scene in his hometown, as well as across Ohio. He's spanned the state while performing shows in Cleveland, Columbus, Youngstown and more over the past two years.

He'll perform Friday, Feb. 24, at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio, and March 2 at Kara Bar in Columbus.

When asked about the draw to his client, Krieger said he thinks KeilyN is an artist to watch simply because of his authenticity.

"The genre [hip-hop] can be a very saturated, but diluted genre with stories of hardship," Krieger said. "He [KeilyN] speaks from experience which is what makes his songs sound so authentic. To put it simply, he's real."

This "realness" is evident in just one listen to his mixtape, and his agent is not the only one who's taking notice to the authenticity on these tracks.

Krieger said an advance copy of the EP was sent to Wilbert Cooper, assistant online editor of Vice Magazine.

"His rhymes are expertly delivered with a flow that falls between the conscious complexity of Talib Kweli and the simplistic catchiness of Curren$y," Cooper said.

This wide range of flow is another quality evident in all of KeilyN's work. His ability to conquer almost any beat by matching it with the perfect flow is simply astounding and provides for a truly enjoyable listening experience.

Whether you are looking for music to blast at your next party or just something to sit back and relax to on those Sunday night weekend recoveries, there is definitely something for you on this mixtape.

To listen to the latest KeilyN mixtape, visit - Ed Brow For Flyer News

"Timing: KeilyN's Sophomore EP in Review"

Oberlin students often come from cultures spanning the globe and tend to discount the culture of Ohio, buying into the stereotype that Oberlin is a cultural oasis surrounded by nothing but cornfields. But native Ohioans like myself know that the jokes about Cleveland/Ohio are gross oversimplifications, and that many creative people draw inspiration from their lives in the multi-cultural milieu of Ohio outside of the Oberlin bubble.
Joining the illustrious ranks of Ohio-native musicians, which include artists like the Black Keys, Kid Cudi and Tracy Chapman, is an up-and-coming MC from Youngstown, Keilyn Davis. Better known by his stage name, KeilyN has been performing in small venues in Cleveland, Columbus, Youngstown and other Ohio locations for over a year, building his reputation and his fan base.
KeilyN released his sophomore EP, Timing, on Feb. 22. The album demonstrates his talent as a modern songwriter steeped in the hip-hop tradition. "Timing" covers a range of styles, from the slow and introspective to more beat-driven, danceable tracks, but all are unified by KeilyN’s honest lyrics.
The first track, “Ready,” is narrated by what sounds like a motivational speaker encouraging the listener to “follow your heart” while KeilyN raps about some of the hardships that can get in the way of fulfilling dreams. Piercingly high background singing detracts from the listening experience, but the message of the song has been heard over and over. KeilyN’s earnestness when he says “I speak real, hoping you can relate to a young fly dude who be losing the faith” explains that his motivation for making music is to creatively express sentiments that we all can relate to.
Continuing with the theme of pursuing dreams, the second, more low-key track, “Somebody," features a soothing and beautiful chorus, while KeilyN’s lyrics address issues like racial inequality, pressure to fit in and the frustratingly difficult task of trying to please one’s parents.
Although the beats on the tracks provide a solid foundation for KeilyN’s storytelling, the first track where the instrumentation takes a more prominent role is “Tonight." The song has a solid rhythm with a pleasant mix of different percussive sounds. It also features strings, but the focus is still on the clever lyrics with gems like “So you feel good when all these women showed up, but you gotta buy them drinks ’cause they ain’t old enough.” This track, and others on the album are clearly influenced by jazz, incorporating lines played on piano and horn that blend appealingly with the flow of the lyrics.
On the second half of the album, KeilyN pays tribute to J Dilla on several tracks with titles dedicated to the deceased hip-hop producer. The diverse influences acting on KeilyN show through when he samples Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi,” on “Gone (RIP J Dilla)," which works perfectly to create a reflective, pensive mood in the song. Other songs like “Dope Boy (Prod. SoulKlap)” address social issues like the difficulty of attaining an education and problems created by drug trafficking.
“Flight 89” quite literally invites the listener to take a walk in KeilyN’s “favorite shoes,” saying “You will probably trip and fall if you walk in these Nikes.” While strolling along to the slow, sexy beat, KeilyN shares intimate personal details about his religion, living with his mother and his financial troubles.
Overall, Timing addresses the artist's personal and social issues with tenderness and sincerity, dealing with heavy topics while still avoiding being explicit for the most part. The most satisfying songs on the album are the ones that are most emotional; KeilyN has a talent for exposing his heart and mind. Some of the tracks fall short, and have little emotional impact, such as the shallow “Hip Hop," which is mostly concerned with the glamor of the clubbing lifestyle. Thankfully, this is a rare mistake, and on the rest of Timing, KeilyN’s honesty and musicality are able to shine. - JULIA E. HUBAY for The Oberlin Review


2012: Timing

2011: My Pursuit Of Happyness



Raised in church going family in the poorest city in the country, Youngstown, OH, and addicted to music, it was KeilyN's mother who worked to ensure he was being influenced by the right messages. While she ruled out the explicit nature of hip-hop music, KeilyN quickly found his way to his older cousins' CD collections. Although Christ remains his strongest influence to this day, so do the MCs he discovered in those collections such as Common, Eminem and Jay-Z.

It didn't take long for the music to grip him before he started writing his own rhymes to show off to his friends at school. After moving to Columbus, OH in 2008, KeilyN began to live the motto: late nights, early mornings. The passionate fan decided it was time to focus on the development of his own music. Writing down lyrics daily, the once excitable fan was transitioning into becoming a passionate artist as he began to conceptualize songs that would become the foundation of his debut project.

In March 2011, KeilyN released his first official project, My Pursuit of Happyness. Well received by fans, bloggers and tastemakers alike, his his first single, "No Cannon‚and his follow up single, "Best of Me" feat. SoulKlap and James John totaled over 3,000 downloads.

It was his third single, "Your Song" that sent people into a frenzy. A classic tale about a relationship gone awry over a smooth Al Smith soul sample, Keilyn's simple, but truthful hook, "It is what it is" had male and female fans not only reciting the hook over and over, but connecting to the song on every level.

Embraced by his home state of Ohio, the 22 year old KeilyN looks to build upon the buzz of debut by release by continuing to develop his rhyme schemes while diversifying his subject matter. Layering experiential narratives about relationships, religion and life's ills through the use of quick witted metaphors and double entendres, it is KeilyN's values and sense of purpose as an artist that continue to fuel his music with the authentic substance listeners need.