“I come from an underdog state. So I need my state to represent the man if you really want the song to like to vote for it,” Khalisol said.
Khalisol competes against 55 other musical groups from every US state and territory, battling to see who has the best original song.
“That’s what’s cool is seeing what each state has to offer and what they need to bring, and then seeing how someone from New Mexico can argue with that,” said Khalisol.
A big part of the European version is national pride. Musical acts often incorporate elements that show their culture, and although New Mexico has its own unique culture, Khalisol says there’s something else he wants to show.
“I tell everyone in the world that I went when I lived in New York and California, like hip hop in certain eras, I lived in certain different places, and I sincerely believe that New Mexico got the hip hop bug, so I want to get out there and show the world what New Mexico hip hop is all about,” he said.
He’s not allowed to release his song’s title or show parts of it before his performance, but says his New Mexico roots play a big part in his songwriting process.
“Everything here isn’t so sweet and pretty, so I feel like what shaped me through the grit and the rawness and really I like to call it that grit, that grit is, like, you know, it’s molded into all of us,” Kahlisol says. “I know I come from an underdog state, so when you’re an underdog, you have to come with that bite.”
Khalisol says win or lose, he’s thrilled his family – and his two twins – are seeing him perform on his biggest stage yet.
“I’m really, really happy that I like doing something in front of them. And as I get older, I hope they can realize what I’ve done and see that you know, they could do it wherever they want for it. make.”
The American Song Contest kicks off live Monday at 7 p.m. on KOB 4. They’ll have 11 acts performing — but you’ll have to wait a little longer for New Mexico’s moment on stage.