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Thursday, Apr 16 2009 | 16:29 Buy this now at GoodToGo (B2B)

4450Often compared to the styles of Common, Q-Tip, and Kanye West, Kero One, a San Francisco rapper / producer / dj / label owner, stands as a true testament to the do-it-yourself success story. Using only home recording equipment and his personal credit card, Kero One pressed and released his first 12″ single in 2003 on his own imprint, Plug Label. Without any experience as to how he should distribute his new record, Kero One spent endless hours researching, cold calling, and seeking help from friends. Of the 50 copies that were eventually distributed around the world, one landed in a tiny record store in Tokyo, Japan. A few weeks later, it was found by a Japanese dj who played it at a club that night and received dozens of inquires, including a Japanese label executive who immediately contacted Kero One and asked for 3,000 copies of the record.

The record became a hit in Japan almost overnight, and Kero One was invited to tour the country just a few months after. He performed in cities throughout Japan where he was greeted by hundreds of fans waiting to take photographs and autographs, much to his surprise. It was at this point that making a career out of music became a reality. Kero One went on to finish his first album “Windmills Of The Soul” in 2005, handling everything from playing instruments, rapping, and sound engineering. Without a strong label backing or a street team, Kero One handled almost all the business himself. From promotions and marketing, manufacturing, finances, graphic layouts and web design, Kero One personally handed out promos to tastemakers anywhere he could find them. Eventually the hard work paid off, and Kero One quit his job as a web designer in 2006 to pursue music full time.

Since 2006, Kero One has been awarded the title of Best HipHop Album of 2006 from Reemix magazine, topped iTunes hip hop charts, received positive reviews from the likes of URB and Spin magazine, and continued touring all over the world. Kero One toured Japan two more times and throughout Europe, Australia, Korea, Taiwan, Philippines, Canada, and the States with artists like KRS1, EPMD, Blu + Exile, DJ Cash Money and Dj Kentaro. Additionally, Kero One has kept busy producing tracks for Talib Kweli, Mark Farina’s Mushroom Jazz, and hip hop / pop artists from Asia. In 2007, Kero One opened his first office and recording studio in downtown San Francisco to house his fledging hiphop / dance / funk imprint, Plug Label, releasing over a dozen records and CDs.

In 2009, Kero One presents his official sophomore album “Early Believers” showcasing the talents of some of his favorite singers and vocalists such as Giles Peterson protégé UK singer Ben Westbeech, Finland’s own modern day “Stevie Wonder,” Tuomo, and Portland’s Ohmega Watts. This is an album that bounces between soulful jazz tinged tracks to upbeat synth-driven party bangers showcasing Kero One’s growth and maturity as a writer, composer, vocalist and arranger. Although Kero One has already made some noise both overseas and domestically, it is his goal to make a deafening impact with this new album. As before, this album will release independently in hopes of penetrating the barriers setup by corporate major labels, all on a do-it-yourself work ethic that Kero One knows best.

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