I make a mental note to try and figure out when he started writing and who was signed to Atlantic at the time, already resigned to the fact that I’ll never know. We move on and I ask Kyle if he’s ever dealt with writer’s block to which he animatedly replies, “Oh hell yeah! It sucks”, but he’s got a solution.
“I go look at poetry. When I happen to have writer’s block I look at the way they put words together, I keep repeating one of the sentences and try to take something from there.”
This method must work because we’re never long waiting for the next Kyle project or release. He seems to have bountiful energy, that manifests into a strong work ethic and drive.
“For me motivation is not something I struggle with because I always want more,” he tells me.
“I’m never really satisfied. Even though all these great things have happened, all I can think about it is, ‘Damn, how do I make this bigger?’. It’s kind of a wack thing to do, but I definitely do that a lot. I don’t really have to worry about wanting to take it to a bigger place or take it a step further because that’s just something that’s constantly on my mind.”
He keeps it healthy though, with a good work-life balance. Downtime is binge-watching Game of Thrones or getting lost in video games for hours, but ultimately writing and creating music is what he loves.
“You know, it’s weird because my work plays such a huge role in my happiness so in order to maintain that I have to consistently be succeeding and be working and be making myself better and building my career. And at the same time, I have to be consistently giving myself breaks from working so hard. It’s a fine line.”
The energy that Kyle pours into every track, every video, isn’t refined to the studio. He brought it to the set of Netflix’s ‘The After Party’, a film he stars in and wrote music for alongside Wiz Khalifa, and he brings it on tour. You may have noticed from his vigorous live performances that he’s actively trying to reconnect hip hop with its dance roots.
“It’s important to me because hip hop started that way and we’ve lost it somehow,” he says. “People think it’s corny to dance and they don’t understand that if you really do some history, rap started as a very live, colourful, exciting, energetic performance. Every rapper had dancers and every rapper knew how to dance. Every rapper choreographed dance moves and when I first started, I just really wanted to bring that back.”
He’s looking to James Brown, New Edition, Big Daddy Kane, Salt-N-Pepa, The Fresh Prince & Jazzy Jeff and “even NWA to a certain degree” for inspiration.
“Their performances were theatrical, so much more than kids care about doing now. They don’t necessarily care about synchronisation, and a planned, executed performance. They’ll just run out there and scream it out. All of my favourite performers really performed back in the day… It’s really just recently that we’ve stopped caring about fully performing.”
The Light Speed World Tour and its dynamic lead man will make their way to Dublin in December for the final date of the European shows, but Kyle promises to bring it as if it was opening night and he wants to audience to do the same.
“Expect the most live energy show you have ever seen. Expect not your average hip hop show and expect to be impressed by real music and somebody who is actually caring about performing and somebody who just wants to have mad fun. Don’t come if you’re not ready to have mad fun [laughs]!”
I’m exhausted just being subject to Kyle’s relentless energy, but nonetheless inspired by how much he’s already achieved and by his astronomical plans for the future. Before he signs off, incredibly politely, he reveals some big plans for 2019.
“I’m definitely trying to shoot another movie, trying to drop another album and then do another tour. Dude, I want to keep it all going together.
“It’s all secrets for now, but know that I’m already getting a lot of scripts, know that I’ve already started working on my next album and know that my next tour design is already finished too.”
I shouldn’t have been surprised.
Kyle plays The Academy on December 12.