By Brooke Schultz
Student Life Writer
A small audience gathered in the intimate Garfield Center of the Arts concert hall for the fifth annual Kent Massive on Sept. 4. Kotic Couture took the stage three performances introduced himself, apologized for his language, and launched right into his set.
“We’re going to start off a little slow and build up,” he said. Soon enough, the set was full of quick-worded rapping and high energy. Kotic Couture moved around the stage, interacting with and engaging the audience and showing off his big personality. The songs flowed into one another, keeping the pace of the set enthusiastic.
At Washington College, you may know Kotic Couture as Kyle. Couture attended WC as a sociology major but moved to Baltimore to pursue music professionally.
“My DJing is very eclectic. You’ll hear some brand new songs, old stuff you forgot about, and things you’ve never heard. I like high energy sets. Baltimore club music is my favorite to play,” he said. Couture likes to incorporate fun into his music but draws most of his inspiration from real life experiences that reflect in his lyrics. “I want to be the voice of the voiceless,” he said.
Couture started performing at a young age. He participated in talent shows in elementary school. “I’ve always loved music,” he said. “I wanted to be a singer when I was younger, but I can’t sing… I started DJing at Jimmy’s Deposit Box – we called it ‘The Box’ – at age 15 and I started performing around the same time as a rapper.”
Couture started out in his broadcasting class in high school, and the project grew from there. Now, he’s not only frequently performing around Baltimore, at parties, and at a lot of nightclubs in the area, he has also played at the Nokia Theater in LA, Billie’s Black in New York, and several different venues in D.C. and Philadelphia.
“This past July, I was at Baltimore’s biggest art festival, Artscape, as well as Baltimore Pride. I’ve done Capital Pride in D.C., and on campus at Drag Ball. I’m anywhere they give me a microphone,” he said.
After being all around the East Coast and heading out to the West Coast, Couture is still excited to be performing at home. “There’s nothing like it to me, because this is my home. To see familiar faces enjoying my music and my show and seeing me as an artist is an amazing feeling,” he said.
Rachel Hughes was in the audience during his performance at Kent Massive. She met Couture through working at WC and always enjoyed watching him perform. “On stage, he is who he is offstage, so it’s really cool to see him up there doing his thing and loving it. I know a lot of his older stuff, so seeing some of his newer stuff is fun… seeing how his music has evolved and how he’s gotten better has been really cool to watch,” she said.
Couture is no stranger to Kent Massive. This is his fifth year performing at the event, having been around at the very first show. Couture knows Tha1WhoTravs, the creator of Kent Massive. “He’s also my DJ, producer, and close friend. He started me out. He put me on shows and helped me build,” he said.
Couture isn’t done building yet. He has some upcoming events in the works and is working on a new project slated to come out in February. For now though, he has completed a Kotic Couture feature with Grammy nominated artist B. Slade, titled “Deeveaux.” The single is out on iTunes. You can check out more of Kotic Couture’s music at soundcloud.com/koticcouture, koticcoutre.bandcamp.com, and koticcouture.com
“I’m officially a published songwriter, and I can’t wait to see what happens next,” Couture said.