Kxllswxtch is the most recent artist to appear on the Artist Friendly podcast. The alt-rapper joined host Joel Madden on the podcast earlier this week to talk about his youth and mental health journey, his genre-defying rap music, and more. 

Before you listen to the episode, which is available now wherever you listen to podcasts, we rounded up the key takeaways from the conversation. Check them out below.  

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He cites Future and Nirvana as his biggest inspirations

Kxllswxtch may make rap music, but he also draws heavily from rock. And on top of that, he’s also known for his confessional, no holds barred lyricism surrounding mental health. It’s no wonder that he cites Future and Nirvana — both artists with a reputation for being very vulnerable in their work — as his inspirations. On the podcast, he says that he admires how Future “writes very sad songs but they’re always hype,” and calls Nirvana and Kurt Cobain his No. 1 favorite artist, saying that they changed his life. Later on in the episode, he also mentions that he looks up to Tyler, the Creator, as well, because of the way he and the rest of Odd Future made their own rules of how to make rap.  

He wants the mosh pit to be a safe space

Rage is a key element of Kxllswxtch’s music, and he brings that energy to his live show. Specifically, it’s all about letting go for him — and he wants the crowd to feel that, too. Mosh pits are a key part of the experience, and he says on the pod that he appreciates how it’s a way for his fans to let out their aggression and wants to ensure they’re always “a safe space” at his performances. He says, “At every show when there’s a mosh pit, I’ll tell them, ‘What do we do when someone falls in the pit?’ and they all scream, ‘Pick them up,’ and then I repeat it again just in case people didn’t hear it.”  

He’s very interested in style

Kxllswxtch shares on the podcast that he’s very interested in expressing himself through fashion. He jokes about just how much he loves buying clothes — even noticing Madden’s Chrome Hearts hats — but seriously admits that he’d love to get into the “modeling and fashion business whenever he can.” It seems inevitable, too, considering he explains on the podcast that he tends to have his own vision on how to style himself — often going into designer stores with suggestions on how to tailor and wear the pieces. He says, “Being your own person speaks way more than the music.” 

After checking out of rehab, his music started to fall into place

Prior to entering rehab, Kxllswxtch didn’t necessarily imagine a future for himself as a successful musician. When Madden asks if the facility helped him, the artist laughs and says through a smile, “Hell no, I ran away from that place.” But it was a necessary step for him to take. The turning point took place at a family Christmas dinner where he was too high to have a proper conversation. “I felt like a scumbag,” Kxllswxtch says. He got home and began thinking, “What would I do if my little sister was like this? I’d be sad as shit. What if I die?” When he got out of rehab, he didn’t have a job to return to, so he began focusing on making music seriously. 

Forgiveness is everything

Kxllswxtch admits that he wasn’t on good terms with his parents until he was around 17-18 years old, but he believes in forgiveness. “Whatever you did in the past, I forgive you. I know you had your own problems, and you took it out on the wrong people, but I’m not gonna judge you for that. I know you didn’t mean to do that,” the rapper says. Madden points out that plenty of people deal with dysfunctional families, and it takes getting older to realize that your parents are also humans. “I end up forgiving and letting shit go, and I feel like that helped me,” Kxllswxtch explains.

He’s going to continue climbing

Kxllswxtch’s music has certainly taken off, with the artist currently boasting over 7 million monthly listeners on Spotify alone. “[That] is no fluke. That’s a lot of work,” Madden points out. “I’m still not happy with 7 million. I want to keep going and going,” Kxllswxtch responds, who’s eager to create a legacy for himself. But rather than get caught up in the numbers, the alt-rapper stays grounded by focusing on his craft. “I’m just thinking about making more music and pushing it as far as I can go. I don’t have time to sit there and bask in [the glory]. I feel like that just holds you back and keeps the motivation to a minimum. I’m hard on myself, but it’s for a reason. I still have more to do,” he says.