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Koz B’s New Single Is Out Of This World

Written by on February 2, 2022

We really got a lot of flavor in this city. You have to hone in on your craft, if you want to stand out here.

-Koz B

Koz B flies his spaceship just under the radar with November 2021 single “Backwash.”

Chicago-based rapper and producer Koz B blasted off into space with his November 2021 single “Backwash” — and caught Vocalo’s January 2022 “Poised To Break Through” playlist in his spaceship’s tractor beam. “Backwash” finds Koz showing off his youthful energy as he flies into outer space over a trap beat he created and set aside two years ago. In the track’s accompanied music video, we catch Koz rapping under the sun from a backyard lawn chair, then hopping over hay bales and hanging out a backseat window with an infectious rhythm to get stuck in your head. Koz also released an instrumental album, Mercury Instrumentals, in November 2021, staying true to his cosmic roots by incorporating intergalactic sounds and pilot voice-overs.

We sent over some questions to Koz B — who got back with us from his spaceship, currently stationed in Chicago. He broke down his recent shows, clothing line and plans for 2022.

All photos courtesy of the artist.

What does the name “Koz B” mean to you?

The name “Koz B” means “kozmic being.” I got that from always feeling out of place in my environment, “alienated.” So I thought of putting a switch on “human being” with “kozmic being.” So, in total, it just means being you to maximum level, no matter the weather.

On Instagram you said you’ve been making beats since you were 14 years old. What got you into making music and then rapping?

I started making my own beats when I got my first laptop at 14 — but prior to that, I was heavily influenced by my father’s production and music group. They would meet up every weekend and just do music and I thought that was cool. Once I started showing a liking to the craft, Pops basically was my drill sergeant from time to time. I always loved rapping too, I took my time to find my exact voice and sound. I always knew mine was different, especially making my own.

How has living in Chicago influenced the way you make music, if at all?

Chicago has influenced me in a few aspects. The mainstream sound of Chicago really overshadows the underground’s variety. We really got a lot of flavor in this city. You have to hone in on your craft if you want to stand out here. 

In your submission bio it said that you call Chicago home, but you aren’t from this planet. Can you elaborate on this and how you create music from the “comfort of [your] spaceship”? Why the outer space theme?

Sure, I call Chicago home because this where I am stationed. This is where most of my memories, comfort and loved ones reside. I was molded around this idea of “home.” As I got older, I started realizing this isn’t the home I see myself in, in the future. So the creation of Koz was symbolic of finding your planet or home. When I started producing, I was attracted to spacey sounds and creating an atmosphere for the lyrics to project. I would have friends over and I’d make beats. They always said, “This feel like I’m riding in a spaceship.” And this spaceship has taken me places I wouldn’t have thought I’d see. 

You just played a show on Jan. 21 at Magoo’s Bar! How were you expecting the turnout? How was the show? 

The show at Magoo’s was definitely one for the books! I put the show together for my birthday and had some friends come perform. We could’ve had any one of the artists headline and it would’ve been just as lit — that’s how much love was there from the audience. I usually don’t hold expectations for crowd turnout because I know life happens for people — whether it’s mood, weather, any other situation. I learned to just appreciate the ones who are there, because that’s what really matters at the end of the day. And still we packed the room to the back. To be up-and-coming artists, we all put on amazing performances. I couldn’t be more proud of an event. Definitely an experience. 

When was the last time you performed live? What did it feel like to be up on stage again?

I’ve been performing at lots of open mics and local shows around the city mostly. During COVID’s rise was pretty much the longest time I took off from doing live shows. Before COVID, I was throwing a couple of my own shows around the city. It’s nice to get that back going this year, I’ve had a ton of tracks in the vault, so it was nice to display what I’ve been working on and get a crowd reaction. 

What was the inspiration behind your Nov. 21, 2021 single “Backwash”?

Honestly, my inspiration for “Backwash” was to challenge myself. And that challenge was just to have fun. A lot of my previous work has a serious tone and conscious message. So this was a chance to show people some of my fun side. I actually made the beat about two years ago. 

The video for “Backwash” is incredible! Can you tell us about a funny or memorable moment you had while making it?

Yeah, the “Backwash” video was fun to create. I feel it’s also fun to involve props. One thing I will remember in the future is all the splinters I got from that haystack. Picking those out is worse, because they’re thinner than wood. 

Tell us about your clothing brand JAKSO. How did you get the idea to start a clothing line? 

So I started the JAKSO brand after high school. I had a friend show me how to screen print and heat transfer my own merch. So I started learning the ins and outs of running a clothing company. I took a Photoshop class in school, so I already knew how make designs and logos. I started making mock-up pieces of about anything I thought would be cool to design. I felt those skills would be useful in this industry. 

What do you most hope to gain in 2022?

In 2022, I hope to gain more relationships. There’s a lot of doors that be opened by simply introducing yourself and applying yourself to a situation. Building my network and solidifying the team around was the focus of 2021, so I’m very excited to continue to build with more people this year.

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time, I’m usually in introvert mode. I’ll be working on music mostly. When it’s time to step away from the studio, I’m watching some crime movie or something from the comics. I’m a comic book nerd. Other than that, I’m pacing the floor, thinking of ideas.

What’s next for Koz B?

Next thing for Koz B is an album. I plan to keep dropping beat tapes periodically but, I’ve got plenty of songs in the vault to where I’m comfortable enough to start consistently releasing. Be on the lookout for the “SPACEBOY” series, coming soon.

Follow Koz B on Instagram and Twitter and stream his music on Spotify below.

Interviewed and edited for length and clarity by Milo Keranen

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