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Conversations with Aaron Kell

Today we’d like to introduce you to Aaron Kell.

Hi Aaron, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself
Hello. My name is Aaron Kell. I’m an artist based here in St. Louis, born and raised. I grew up in south city on The Hill, which will always be home to me. I LOVE St. Louis, I love music, & I love making music/content that uplifts others. I’ve always loved music and the way it made me feel. I can remember as far back as my younger/cuter years, riding in my moms 8 passenger Chevy Astro van, and her blasting hip-hop music through the speakers. I just remember the excitement and confidence it made me feel. Like I could do anything.

But I didn’t even think about being an artist or touching a mic until I was about 15 and my church asked me to rap “Drummer Boy” by Justin Bieber, for our Christmas production. I know it sounds cheesy, but after that first time on stage, I never felt higher in my life. I messed up the lyrics and mumbled most of the way through it, but it was the most incredible feeling I had ever felt.

But at this time in my life, I kept telling myself that I was going to make it to the NBA. So therefore I kept the music on the back burner and continued to chase my basketball dreams. By my senior year, my passion for basketball had switched to music.

After high school I decided to go to the Nelly school in downtown, St. Louis, to get a better understanding of the whole music world. Because at this point in my journey I had no clue where to start. Honestly, it just felt cool to tell people I was going to school for music. Made me sound more official at the time. I released my first song in 2017 and have been enjoying the journey ever since.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I wouldn’t say any of it has really been “smooth”. I think doing what you love and chasing your passion always comes with its ups and downs. As for me, my biggest obstacle was battling my own thoughts. I have a really supportive family and supportive friends, but the hardest challenge would always be within myself. When I first started I had this skewed view of reality that the second I put out a song I would wake up the next day and be a star.

My actual reality was that I had only written one full song and it was garbage. So I think the biggest obstacle for me was getting out of my own way in my thinking. Getting so down and depressed over numbers, stressed over social media posts, and paying for Soundcloud views because I wanted it to look like my art was performing better than it actually was. I think that’s the biggest challenge for most artists/creatives.

The struggle of almost battling your identity because you want to look like somebody you’re not, or even just not yet because you think it’ll sell better. Once you can fully let go of the analytics and not care what people on the outside think, it becomes a much more enjoyable and beautiful ride.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Ok, so I’m an artist. I used to only rap, so I would say I was a rapper, but now I dabble in a little singer/songwriter/pop. So now I feel comfortable with the label “artist”. I would say 2020 was the biggest growth year for me. During quarantine, I had the time to experiment and try new things, which lead me to start remixing other, more well-known songs. I did a remix to one of the most popular worship songs, “Oceans” by Hillsong United & released it in May of 2020.

I ended up putting it on TikTok that July and the next day it went viral. That was one of the coolest moments just feeling like my work was actually being discovered and appreciated across the world. The TikTok views started translating to my YouTube and right now that video, on YouTube, has over 5 million views. In return for all that traction, it really helped grow my YouTube channel and audience all around. I think what sets me apart is mostly my attitude and personality (not in a boastful way). I feel like I don’t try to act like I’m somebody I’m not anymore.

It took me a while but eventually, I realized people want to see the real you and they will decide if they like it or not. I think once I let go of that facade, my music improved, my attitude improved, and I’m just having more fun with it overall which shows in the music and the videos.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
You can find my music on all streaming platforms under my name “Aaron Kell”. Plus music and other content on YouTube under “Aaron Kell”.

I would also like to shout out my brother Tony Kell who shoots just about all my videos (St. Louis based). My music engineer, Trenton Bylo who mixes/masters all my songs (St. Peters based). And my photographer Ryleigh Jackson (St. Louis based).

All three of them are phenomenal at what they do & I think people should check out their work.

Contact Info:

Image Credits

Ryleigh Jackson, Sarah Cavins @cavins_photography, and Nolan Manning @nolanrmanning

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1 Comment

  1. Nancy Brown

    August 9, 2022 at 11:33 pm

    Follow your dream! God’s speed!

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