Self-titled artist-preneuer Kam Kalloway has officially released his new single, “Lights Out (Talm Bout),” featuring BMW Kenny. The song is produced by Noize Beats (TLC, TeaMarr, and Elijah Connor) who expertly balance grit and playfulness, with a tone drawn from Kalloway’s challenging experiences in Atlanta.
Kalloway faced some substantial setbacks on his infamous trip to Atlanta and channeled his experiences into 40 songs over the course of the past year, returning to Los Angeles with new connections and opportunities despite his roadblocks.
Returning from his sojourn, Kalloway made rounds at content creation houses. Here, he connected with Soundz, better known as BMW Kenny. The two hit it off right away and got to work on “Lights Out.” Paralleling Kalloway’s experience in Atlanta, the music video chronicles a descent from luxury to madness. Cinematographer Quinn Hester masterfully captures the regal sex appeal of Cardi B’s “WAP.”
Given the success of BMW Kenny’s single “Wipe It Down,” and producer credits (Rae Sremmurd, Justin Bieber, and Trey Songz) as well as Kenny’s TikTok momentum, “Lights Out” was the perfect collab for the two creatives. Looking forward, Kalloway is thrilled to be working with Leon Thomas (Drake, TY$, Arianna Grande) and Don Cannon (Lil Uzi, Lil Wayne, Dipset) on exciting new ventures.
AllHipHop: How was it growing up in Sacramento?
Kam Kalloway: It’s a very diverse but slow paced city. I’m really from Elk Grove. It was mad trees, cows, and farmland. There’s a lot of talent from the Sac area though Mozzy, Saweetie, Victoria Monét, Keith Powers, Blaq Tuxedo, Stunna Girl, Nicole Murphy, Ebro Darden; its a whole bunch of us.
AllHipHop: When did you come to LA?
Kam Kalloway: I’ve been in LA for a long time now but it’s been back and forth to New York. I met a manager when I first came to LA. I was supposed to be going to school, but ended up going to New York so I’ve been back and forth since then.
AllHipHop: Do you love it?
Kam Kalloway: It’s mecca. You can go to the beach, you can go to the snow, you can go to the mountains. We in the hills right now, everything’s 30 minutes away.
AllHipHop: I know you’re an actor as well, when did music come into play?
Kam Kalloway: It’s a long story. I started off as an extra on set for film. Ended up meeting the producer, they took me in as an intern. I Interned on a music video set that had an executive named Sylvia Rhone. She told me to walk a lady named Robin Sims to her car, which was the Vice President for Universal Motownin video productions. She brought me in as an intern in video productions, then I interned in A&R under Chris Anokute, who found Katy Perry. From there, I worked in management with Neyo for like a day. [laughs] , Then for Chris Brown through his former manager Tina Davis. That was me seeing the behind the scenes. Sevyn Streeter, Joelle James, Karina Pasian were all in a house together. I’d go up there everyday, doing mad busy work. I don’t think they really knew what to do with me but I learned a lot behind the scenes, that led me to starting a production film company shooting music videos for the labels. When the pandemic hit, I was acting though.
AllHipHop: What was your first big break with acting?
Kam Kalloway: Straight Outta Compton, and that was an accident. My friend was a casting director. They were doing big cattle calls. Got booked for one day, someone replaced me, Gary said he didn’t want the person and they kept me. I was originally supposed to be a photo double, then got bumped to an actual role that later didn’t even get credited. That was my foot in the doorish. Since then I’ve done a bunch of campaigns, other shows, various films. Nothing super crazy yet, I have some stuff in the works. I’ve been trying to focus on the music.
AllHipHop: When did you become your own artist and take on the Kam Kalloway moniker?
Kam Kalloway: Kam Kalloway came during the pandemic. Pandemic changed everything because I was doing so much behind the scenes, I’m like “yo I need to finish a project.” I went to Atlanta and got scammed, such a crazy story. The first time I went to Atlanta, I met a bunch of producers and writers who had the same PR as me. One of the songwriters introduced me in a studio session to a tour manager. They said “I’m a tour manager for this, that, and the other. I get half off on Airbnbs.” So I was like Okay, I’m a take that! I sent that dude my money and tried to get it back, and he was nowhere to be found. I ended up flying out to track this dude down. My cousin also an actor, I stayed in a run down house his business partner owned. It was a brim homie in there who helped me get my money back. The s### was a movie, crackhouse across the street, and a bando next door on country one way street.
The people I met that had the same PR, they weren’t f###### with what the dude did. They said “he’s gon’ be here.” It was a music video for Jacquees, Mulatto’s manager was there. They said “hey bruh, if you want to get your money, such-and-such will be here.” We got there, my homies were about to jump him. They said “you want us to rob this n*gga?” I was like nah this wrong time wrong place, I don’t know Atlanta like that yet. It made a big ruckus on the set. Jacquees was like “what’s going on?”
He tried to introduce me to people, I’m like “bro I just need my money back.” Ended up being one of those things like I need my money back in 7 days but on the fifth day, I’m like “nah I need my money back today,” and I got my money back. Still, it’s the fact we had to go through that. I stayed out there for a few months and worked with the same people I was working with. I came out with a whole project and single called “Atlanta”. The first record that you hear that I put out, it was really about my experience while I was out there. That s### was wild.
AllHipHop: How was it putting that into a song?
Kam Kalloway: It was easy because I was experiencing It. Honestly I had so much fun when I was out there. Two of my friends are producers on the TV series Atlanta, there was some inspiration from them before I went out there. I needed to go out there and connect with the sound. Lil Baby, Young Thug was poppin’, I needed to know to understand It and still be true to me.
My first record under Kam Kalloway, I did that in New York with Kayo Genesis. If we want to be specific and real about it, Kam Kalloway started in Brooklyn. I went to Brooklyn. I missed a train to the airport, I was working with Kayo Genesis on his project . I was writing stuff with him. Started a record for me, didn’t finish it. Train was delayed from Brooklyn to the airport, I stayed another night to finish “Honestly.” Put that out, that s### got a million streams in a few weeks. SO I was like okay, let me keep going with the Kam Kalloway thing, then I went to Atlanta. That’s really how it started, with that record “Honestly.” Lots of crazy s###. [laughs]
AllHipHop: How would you describe your sound?
Kam Kalloway: What’s interesting about me, because I come from a songwriting background, my sound changes. Of course there’s uniqueness in tonality for my voice, but my sound changes from record to record. That’s what is unique, I’m a chameleon. You’ll be able to identify my sound but I don’t stick to one thing. I have a creative ADD where I like to hop around and try different stuff. Right now I’m writing Dembow records for Sabi , an artist I’m working with. If you don’t know what dembow is, it’s reggaeton, trap Latin. Ass shaking music for the Latinos. I work with a lot of different creatives so it inspires me to try different things. I’m not just purely R&B, purely rap or hip-hop. I’m pretty eclectic when it comes to the musical taste and sounds I put out.
AllHipHop: You just dropped “Lights Out” with BMW Kenny, how’d that happen?
Kam Kalloway: The thing with BMW Kenny is he used to go by a producer named Soundz, He’s worked with everybody from Justin Bieber to Rihanna. The first time I met him was in a producer aspect in the studio. Then he had a record called “Wipe It “that blew up all over social media. Will Smith, all these guys were doing the #WipeItChallenge, it did like 10 billions streams or something. That was all put together by other friends that I knew that were social media influencers like Liane V.
I saw him do a post and reached out to him because I have a partnership with Triller. I was trying to get more onto the social media influencer scene because he’s big on TikTok. Did the record, a couple weeks later he was getting ready to fly into town for a day because he’s in Miami. I put the whole music video together overnight and shot it the next day with my friend Quin.
AllHipHop: What inspired “Lights Out”?
Kam Kalloway: The song was created by some of the homies that I met in Atlanta. It’s a fun song. We’re not talking about no banging or nothing, well maybe a little bit. Ok I guess, It’s some references in there but It’s a good record, the visuals are real fun and crazy. They exemplify me, my personality is real over the top. I’m really keen on visuals, I was inspired growing up by some real visual artists. I can’t wait for you guys to check that out.
AllHipHop: Talk about utilizing influencers on social media and how important it is in this day in age.
Kam Kalloway: Social media is so important right now. Influencers are very key. It used to be that you could go to these big companies, and have them put you on a platform. That’s still part of the case, but the power’s definitely been given to the people with social media. With TikTok, everybody’s a brand. By putting music in one person’s hands, they can essentially be the life for death of a career that was already made or has never been heard of. Social media is extremely important to new artists, it’s essential. It’s not the only thing. Of course you can put all of your money into radio as a platform, but what does that mean anymore? Labels used to do that s### all the time, but songs are getting into billboards based off of how many TikTok hits they’re getting, coming off social media now. So yea, to me It’s essential.
AllHipHop: I know you’re into fashion, what inspires your fashion?
Kam Kalloway: I’m inspired by life and other creatives. If I see something fly. I’m a throw it on. There’s no one particular person that inspires me for fashion. I don’t have fashion icons, I just like fly s###. A lot this I’m wearing is from NYC. These pants are from the Bronx, the jacket from Melrose. I just be throwing stuff together that’s comfortable practical . I also Model but the whole modeling stuff is me trying to piggyback on being able to have a platform. If somebody offers me an invitation to walk in a fashion show, then yeah s###! Let’s use it as a platform to help get the music out. It’s me piggybacking on opportunities so if people feel like I look like a model, I’m going to take that and run with it.
AllHipHop: 3 things you need in the studio?
Kam Kalloway: Weed, Liquor and some Adderall.
AllHipHop: What artists do you listen to the most?
Kam Kalloway: It changes. I try not to listen to too many people, I switch it up, As of lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of dembow and reggaeton but I listen to everything. Of course I’m listening to trap n*ggas. I’m listening to Lil Baby, Lil Durk, NLE Choppa, that’s obvious. As a culture it’s also the majority of whats playing every 5 minutes but also alternative vibes like Cudi, Kanye, Travis Scott.
When I’m looking for inspiration to do things out of the box, my dad will have jazz on in the car. I listen to Bill Withers, Tracy Chapman, Hans Zimmer ,Soundtrack vibe music . To give history about me, my parents are musical people as well. My mom’s an artist. When I was younger, I’d be on the road doing shows with her, following her around. We have a big musical background. She does gospel music now, so that’s the roots of music for me too in general.
AllHipHop: Any goals for yourself?
Kam Kalloway: Take over the world. Be as big of an impact to society that I can. With my art, with creating s###.
AllHipHop: Anything else you want to let the people know?
Kam Kalloway: Go check out that Kam Kalloway, BMW Kenny “Lights Out”!