There’s something special about Khalil Ismail. While the current state of Hip Hop and R&B is at an artistic crossroads, suffering from lack of talent and substance, there are still those who dare to dream.
Words can’t describe the magical artistry cultivated in Washington, DC. It’s the birthplace of the legendary Marvin Gaye, one of Khalil Ismail’s musical influences. A Washington, D.C. native with a Baltimore City upbringing, K.I. is not just a lyricist, but also a vocalist, extracting some of the same elements we loved about Marvin Gaye and implements the substance that the industry is currently lacking. It’s the passion that drives him.
“Marvin has one of the purest voices you’ll ever hear. The angle he approached writing and delivering a song, you could really feel his dream realized. The way he cared about humanity and social issues that still plague us today. Socially conscious songs like ‘Make Me Wanna Holla’ and ‘Mercy, Mercy, Me’ are templates that I draw from. Once Marvin got on stage it was like he was in a mirror. He believed in what he performed. I try not to write, rhyme or sing things that I don’t believe in.”
Khalil Ismail’s multitalented inclinations range from music composition, songwriting, music and video production, singing and rhyming. His talents collectively landed him performances on the same stage as Mos Def, Freeway, Brother Ali, and international stars like Zain Bhikha, Native Deen, Outlandish and Dawud Wharnsby. His budding career has taken him from the US to the UK, Holland to Africa and back.
There’s only one objective for Khalil Ismail—to impact the art form we call music by making us remember why we loved it all along. He brings passion back to the platform and makes you feel alive again. His real life stories and social concerns interject a genuine air of caring that translates to an added depth in his music.
Khalil Ismail doesn’t just sing about improving the world around us, he actually does it. He conducts workshops for and SAT prep using Hip Hop as the foundation for teaching and encouraging youth. Khalil Ismail is realizing his dream. Passion and art are the driving force. This is only the beginning to the question, “Who is Khalil Ismail?”