Growing up in the suburbs of LA within an Asian-American household, Kuma Overdose surrounded himself from an early age with experimentation. By effortlessly blending Japanese folk music with Western-orientated hip-hop melodies, Overdose has been able to combine his knowledge of jazz and hip-hop production skills to develop and hone his unique sound.
Dropping his debut release “Jaja Kuma” in 2018, the young prodigy swiftly followed it up with arguably his most popular track to date entitled “Bike Lane”, racking up a cool 1.3M Spotify streams in the process. Since, Overdose has dropped a slew of high-quality records including the more recent “Swiftly” – a woozy embodiment of peaceful electronics and Lo-fi vocals, as well as last year’s “Mintia”. This track effectively blends 90s-era Japanese pop with the bouncier vibes of hip-hop, making for a captivating listen. It is a apparent everything Kuma Overdose touches, turns into gold. Armed with a dedicated fan base and millions of streams, we caught up with Kuma Overdose to see how he’s getting on this year.
Hey KD! Please could you introduce yourself to our readers?
Hey y’all. My name is Kuma Overdose AKA K’od. I am an Alternative R&B singer/producer originally from LA and now based in London, and I love ramen.
How did you first get into music?
I started learning and playing jazz when I was 13, and I just fell in love with it. Music was the only way for me to feel relaxed and comfortable in front of people; listening to it, playing it, or creating it.
How would you describe your sound?
Retrofuturism. I often tell people that my music sounds like what people in the past thought of what the future is like.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
Herbie Hancock, D’angelo, and Playboi Carti.
What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
I would definitely say it’s that I finally hit one million streams on Spotify. It feels good when you know there are people out there listening to your creations!
Arguably your biggest project to date is Bike Lane… What was the inspiration and creative process behind this track?
I have always been a fan of Japanese City-pop and Japanese films, so I wanted to make a R&B track with a hint of retro and cinematic twist to it. The melodies came into my mind while I was biking in Tokyo, which really made a solid memory so beautiful that I had to write it down.
Which is your favourite track you’ve released so far and why?
If I really have to choose one, I would say “Mintia”. This is the song that defines my sound and my style meanwhile perfectly describing how I, Kuma Overdose, am as a person.
What do you want people to take away from your music?
Categorizing, definitely categorizing. People often ask me what genre or what type of music I make, and I completely have zero clue on how to answer those questions. Sometimes I really just wish they can just listen to musician’s works without categorizing them, since we all are different after all!
What are you listening to at the moment?
I have been listening to a lot of Buena Vista Social Club, and it is fucking wonderful.
What’s next for you? What are you most excited for?
Since I am almost done with my next project (which is very very different from what people have gotten used to listen to from me), I can’t wait to finish up the music videos and visuals and show these songs I been working on for over a year. I wish I can perform live more often, because 2020-2021 sucked!