Known for being a member of the acclaimed group Shoreline Mafia, Master Kato and his band mates have been making big moves in the music industry since 2017 with songs such as ‘Bands’ and ‘Ride Around,’ but now Kato is envisioning a solo career. Like many of his peers in the music industry, 2020 delayed some projects the rapper had lined up, but with 2021 looking up, Kato is ready for the new year. Chillin out in Los Angeles, Kato took a minute to catch up with ONE37pm’s Mike Boyd.
Boyd: What’s the scene like in Los Angeles with the Pandemic?
Kato: Everything sucks right now! Everything is closed, and you can’t do anything. After 5pm there isn’t much to do. It’s crazy, but I’ve just been in the studio—we’re trying to make the best of it.
Boyd: Talk to us about Shoreline Mafia and your solo projects as far as 2021.
Kato: Basically the group is done. Everybody is branching out, and it’s time for us to do our own solo stuff. It was cool while it lasted, but now everybody is all grown up. I love this solo stuff honestly! No disrespect to the guys, but I’ve got more freedom and can record whenever I want. I just do it all by myself.
Boyd: For everyone that’s new to your sound, what song should they do first to get an intro to you?
Kato: Honestly if you really want to get an intro to me you have to start with my older stuff. I don’t do the West Coast types of beats, I do my own beats. You’ve got to listen to the ‘Ride Around’ type stuff, and now the ‘Backdoor’ track I dropped. I don’t sound like anybody else.
Boyd: What about ‘Backdoor?’ Tell us about that song.
Kato: I don’t even know how that came about—the song is really about kicking down doors. It was just a vibe really.
Boyd: There’s a lot of inspiring artists watching this, what do you need in the studio to get the vibes right?
Kato: It’s a lot of little things. I just started using this space about a week ago, and it took a lot to get it right. Really the vibes are about what you want. When I’m recording, I’ve got to make sure the lights are orange! I come up with better stuff when the lights are orange. Then we turn the lights blue towards the end for a chill vibe. And then some weed and a good drink—everybody’s got their own way of recording.
Boyd: So you really feed off emotion?
Kato: Hell yeah! Colors have always been helpful to me. I read somewhere that orange is a creative color and I can believe it!
Boyd: For anybody starting out do you have any advice?
Kato: Stay consistent—this stuff gets hard. Even for someone like Lil Baby, it doesn’t matter what position you are in, keep going! Once you stop, you’ll lose your momentum. Even when people aren’t listening to your music, still work on it! It took me a while to realize I have to treat this like my job.
Boyd: Last question, what is the plan for 2021?
Kato: Music! I want to have four times the music I have right now by next December. I’m just about drop stuff myself. More content that’s all.