Kaalan “KR” Walker: In Due Time
Words + Interview By: Tyrone Davis
Kaalan Walker, better known as “KR” talks about his love of music, battle with depression and his role as Juju in the Sony Film, “Superfly”
First off, I want to say congratulations on your role as Juju in Sony’s “Superfly”. Tell us a little bit about the film, your character and how you got the role.
Juju is a jealous and aggressive member of a collective called “Sno Patrol”. Their main goal is to run the city (Atlanta). I got called in last minute to audition for the role, not really expecting anything. Then, I got a call within that same week saying the casting director was amazed with my performance and flew me to Atlanta to start filming that weekend.
I’ve always assumed that when acting, showing sadness, crying, etc. would be one of those emotions most difficult to pull off on screen but I hadn’t thought about how much it would take for one to not only show anger, but rage as well. After a certain point in the film, I thought to myself, “He’s pulling that from somewhere personal”. How true is that?
I had a very rough upbringing that was full of aggression, jealousy and lies. I took all that pain and frustration and gave it to my character.
I can only remember you smiling on camera once during the film. How did you get in and out of character in between takes?
I stayed in character the whole time. I didn’t want to switch back and forth. I felt like it would take me out of my zone.
Which scene did you have the most fun shooting?
My favorite scene to shoot was definitely jumping through the fire. It was an adrenaline rush for me.
You guys did your own stunts, correct? If so, were there any moments where something may have been more difficult than you thought?
I did all of my own stunts and it was actually a very smooth experience.
Which of your co-stars made you laugh most on set?
Trevor Jackson (who plays the leading role of Youngblood Priest). That guy is full of energy. You just gotta love it.
I’d like to think people build friendships with some of their co-stars after filming has completed, similar to how some people maintain friendships with co-workers after one of them has left the job in the regular world. Did you vibe with any of your co-stars enough that you think your friendships will continue down the line?
Definitely all of them. We are all very busy but we still check in on each other, continuously.
Cool. Let’s take it back a bit. How was your childhood?
Very quiet. I didn’t really have a lot of friends. I spent a lot of time alone.
My mother was in the military and I remember finding out that we had to move and I was going to lose my first set of friends (2nd grade). I cried, lol. We then moved to Germany, I met some new friends, then we moved again and I met some new friends again. Fortunately, by the time I hit 7th grade, we remained stationary for the most part and I was able to rock out with a few people all the way through high school. How did you handle moving around early on and what was the cause of the moving?
My mom managed a lot of different buildings so I was always switching schools. I never really had time to develop a specific group of friends.
How old were you when you discovered you suffered from depression? What caused it?
I became depressed when I started middle school. People always made fun of me for being overly hyper, girls would never talk to me and people always made me feel like I wasn’t good enough.
When I was around your age or a little bit younger, I had just gotten my heart broken for the first time and a few of my closest friends were going through the same thing. We laugh about it now, but it damn sure wasn’t funny then and some of us took it harder than others. I believe one of the biggest obstacles we face as teens is dealing with the opposite sex and from what I’ve researched on you, was one of yours as well. Please elaborate.
My first girl friend and I dated for four years. She was cheating on me and I had no idea. That’s a sensitive subject for me, so I’ll just keep it there for now.
Why do you think a lot of people in our community avoid therapy? In what ways has it helped you?
I feel like people don’t like expressing themselves to strangers but it was actually a mental release for me. I think people just want someone to be there for them at the end of the day.
Tell us a little about Marvel Inc.
I was a part of a dancing group called “Marvel Inc.” in 2009 and that’s where my career started. We started to become very well known via YouTube and we built a fan base from there. I started rapping about 2 to 3 years later.
How did being a dancer evolve into you becoming an artist?
I just like creating cool things overall. I explore a lot and music came very natural to me.
Who inspires you musically?
It’s hard to answer that at this point. I literally get inspiration from everywhere.
Your music is dope. “Party”, “You Deserve Better” and “All Goes Down” are standouts to me off the head. “Play My Shit” and “Westside (Ayy Yayy) is dope as well. I need to catch up, I see. Explain your creative process. You do a good job at beat selection.
Honestly, all I do is walk around my room in circles and ideas just start flowing. I can’t quite explain it.
I would like to say that while it’s true and I completely understand that “people don’t like you until everybody likes you (paraphrasing)”, sometimes we just don’t know. If I hadn’t been doing this interview, I may have never heard your records. A win is a win, right?
How does one become a ghostwriter? What does that entail exactly? What are the pitfalls of that? All ghostwriters didn’t want to be one but were pushed into it. Break that down for us.
Long story short, I pretty much record a lot of songs and I left a lot of my unreleased songs in a lot of studios. I’ll just leave it at that, lol. I feel like my creativity was taken advantage of but it’s all good. I know better now.
What is the biggest misconception about the entertainment business?
The biggest misconception is that it’s all fun and games.
Tell Halle Berry I said, “I love her”. I’m just kidding, unless you’re going to tell her. Lol, how did you land the role as William in the film, “Kings” and what did you learn most from veterans like Halle Berry and Daniel Craig?
I auditioned like everyone else and the director saw something in me I didn’t see in myself. Halle and Daniel taught me to be aware of my surroundings and to always be a respectful and good person.
How did participating in a film dealing with that subject matter resonate with you based on what is happening in our country today?
I grew up in a rough area so it related to me 100 percent. I’m already used to those types of areas so it came natural for me to dive into the subject matter and that character.
I’m going to throw a few names out there. Say whatever comes to mind.
A) Kidd Future – Loyal
B) J. Cole – Intelligent
C) XXXTentacion – Soul Searching
D) Kendrick Lamar – Legend
How did it feel to finally get your VIP invite to the BET Awards? Why was that special?
I told myself back in 2013 that I was going to take my mom to the BET Awards. I finally did it 5 years later so it was very special to me.
In your opinion, how is LA and ATL similar? How are they different?
Atlanta represents teamwork and Los Angeles represents hard work. They are both important cultural settings that influence the masses.
Tell us about your project, “In Due Time” and the meaning behind its title.
The title, In Due Time is a steady reminder that patience is key. It’s something I continuously tell myself over and over to keep me calm-minded and help me understand that everything is a process.
Elaborate on the following tweets:
A) The “hey big head” text been coming non stop lately.
Girls that didn’t care are trying to hit me up now.
B) The microphone doesn’t judge me so the mic is what I confide in.
I can always be myself when I’m making music.
C) There’s been a lot going on in the world these past few months, I’m just sitting back observing learning what not to do.
Learning what to do and not to do based on the things that go on in media.
Follow Kaalan “KR” Walker on Twitter and Instagram @WhoKR.
Photo By: Elton Anderson