Pepsi gave consumers an exciting first-look at the incredible experiences the brand is delivering to fans this summer through its new app, Pepsi Pass!
In true Pepsi style with music, prizes, giveaways and more, the brand introduced its new mobile app to fans during an all-day party in Bryant Park, New York City. Recording artist Kid Ink and musician Jack Antonoff of BLEACHERS surprised guests with special appearances while POWER 105.1’s DJ Prostyle kept fans pumped while they lined up to experience the Pepsi Pass vending machine which dispensed big prizes every hour in honor of Pepsi’s new “Pop Open Music Every Hour” campaign. Available on iOS and Android, the Pepsi Pass app rewards consumers with out-of-the-blue moments and concert experiences through “music every hour” giveaways. Fans can also earn points through the app for future access to the hottest music, sporting events, as well as dining and travel destinations. All summer long, Pepsi will continue to bring fans closer to their favorite artists than ever before and offer unparalleled rewards. TheKnockturnal sat with down Kid Ink at the event. Read our exclusive interview below:
Tell us about this Full Speed album? How does it compare to your two previous albums?
Kid Ink: I think the Full Speed album compares with the first two just by showing a little growth. I’m always about growth; changing, doing better and making sure people can see the growth. Being consistent but at the same time switching it up so it’s not just predictable. But with the first one I think it was little bit more … independent so I was thinking a little bit more about myself and my fans more than the entire world. I think with the second album signing with the major label I definitely had to think about the fans. The ones that weren’t my core fans and how I was going to still touch them and the brand new fans who are only familiar with me from the single, and then still please the fans who are familiar with me from the mixtapes, the grind and independent game. I think I would still try to find myself and find a lane. That’s why it was My Own Lane. I was really trying to find that zone. I think with Full Speed, it was really finding that growth and having a little bit more confidence in the direction. That’s why I was saying moreso go Full Speed in the direction and knowing what to go after this time and who I’m speaking to.
What was it like linking up with a legend like Usher for this album? How was the work experience?
Kid Ink: Linking up with Usher, I think the biggest thing I took from it was humbleness. I think you know, someone who is a diamond selling artist hanging out with me who at the time just reached my first single going number one in hip hop. I was grinding to get a gold record. I think he was showing a lot of love and support. I think from there, it just opened my eyes about people getting Hollywood. I’ve dealt with a lot of people has less status that are more Hollywood. To be around people like that, it’s kind of like a breath of fresh air. I’m like the whole industry ain’t crazy. It definitely gets to a point when certain artist or people will make you hate the industry because of how things in the system run. It goes to show you can still be you, do what you want and make good music. I think it kind of showed that and it definitely shows when we’re shooing a video and different things like that.
You’re most recent single “Be Real” with Dej Loaf, how did that collaboration come about?
Kid Ink: The collaboration come about really from me making that happen as far as reaching out and feeling she was the only person who could really represent this record the right way and make it make sense. It was a lot of different lyrics at first in the song that were a little bit grittier that we cut and moved around and used for different things. But there were a lot of records, like when I first got the demo from my home girl Star, I was just like “man who can say these lyrics back right now from just this demo?” It wasn’t too many people besides like Nicki Minaj where they can actually make it believable. Everyone else was kind of a little bit more R&B and just a little bit more of a love status instead of that hardcore street status. So I think from there as far as the type of artist I wanted, I didn’t want just anybody on the record. I was still definitely going for big names. Even though Dej Loaf at the time wasn’t the biggest name, I still feel like her grind and the potential I saw there was dope. So we reached out and she had came by a radio show one time and came back to the dressing room and showed a lot of love. Everybody got cool and exchanged information and I just reached out when I got the record.
What about Tinashe? How was the energy working with her?
Kid Ink: The energy was cool. Tinashe is somebody who’s from the city … when I first gave it to Usher, they didn’t have any idea that it was going to be a female on there. Usher cut the entire hook and I remember thinking like yeah this is cool but I wrote this hook to have a female and a male going back and forth. So at that time I was definitely looking into different artists, but not only just being a label mate, she was also around in the same circle. She was showing face at the shows, showing face in the city, and we got the same kind of friends. So I think from there I touched down in Vegas, she had a show in Vegas and I booked the studio and I told her got to do this record today. This is the only day we got and I kind of forced that to happen. I took her to the studio at the Palms and we got it done.
What is your relationship like with Chris Brown? How’s it like working with him?
Kid Ink: I think working with Chris, just in the studio, is always simple. It’s always easy. I go to the studio kind of with an idea knowing what kind of direction I want to go in. I usually go to the studio before and listen to a lot of records he has and new stuff. Then from that I get the idea of what I should play him and then I play him records. We’ll go into the studio for another session and record them all and he usually does two to three records every time just because you know, it’s dope for him to give me options but at the same time I’m giving him records that are just man either one of these could be a hit. I don’t want him to miss each one. So I think he definitely tries to attack that and knows I got some records on deck all the time. From there just seeing him through the city and seeing him every once in a while we just got the talking about the road and he was talking about he was going to do his tour later. He asked what we were doing and I was like I’m free. I got some time. So he definitely reached out and made this tour situation happen and it’s dope. I go on right before him so it’s pretty cool.
Tell us more about this UK Tour?
Kid Ink: This is my fourth UK Tour that I’ve done. Not even the UK; this is my fourth European tour and going all around the world. It’s dope that it just keeps growing. I think every time I go it’s something brand new happening and it really reflects out there cause already I’m such a crazy star out there. I’m like Justin Beiber when I go out there. The fans are like crowding the bus and shaking it and doing all that crazy stuff towards where L.A., in the city everybody is a little bit more cool and I don’t have that super super young fan base where they’re doing that. Out there it’s like adults. It’s like real fans out there doing that. It’s pretty cool to actually get that experience every year and just grow. I finally made the top 100 out there. Full Speed was #1 all throughout Germany and London. It‘s pretty cool to get that experience. Now hopefully we can start getting some awards out there and some awards out here.
So speak about working with Pepsi today!
Kid Ink: Right now we’re doing this Pepsi event, it’s the pop open music event and right now it’s really about the fans. The biggest thing for me is always the fans and giving back to the fans and I think that’s something I’m trying to do more that when I’m off the road to be in situations to do more events, do more charity stuff, throw my own stuff and give back. I think with this, they definitely have a situation where they’re giving back and giving a lot towards summer which is my biggest season. I love the summer. The summer is all about music for me. Every year everybody is like “what are you waiting for, what are you doing?” I’m like I can’t wait until the summer so I can drop. You know I’m from L.A. so you know I’m used to do doing summer stuff, summer songs, summer vibes. Last year, even with Pepsi we did the Summer Solstice concert in St. Louis so that’s when I first built the relationship over here. Now we reached out again and we out here in New York and we having some fun early. I’m with the fans and giving back and they’re able to win and get tickets to shows and festivals and things to hopefully places I’m going to be at. To see these shows, it’s going to be dope.
What more can the fans expect from Kid Ink as far as future music? Tours?
Kid Ink: More stuff like this. Like I said, I want to give back to the fans as much as possible. I definitely want to have some fan music out too. I want to give back some music to the fans. You know I come from the mixtape game and the independent thing. I know how it gets when I hold on to songs so this summer if I don’t have a whole bunch of songs out that I want from the label, I’m going to start dropping them myself. More videos, more stuff to just attack this year.