From the young age of 15, Mike Kleff (Michael Forson) has put his heart and soul into pursuing his greatest passion: Hip-hop. Now residing in Ottawa, Kleff’s family was frequently on the move when he was young. Moving to Canada in the 90’s, his family relocated to Toronto and Montreal before finally settling in the national capital. Kleff remembers throughout his youth, he was always performing. Whether in talent shows or just dancing in the halls,”Performing has always been a part of me”, says Kleff. “Being the main character, having people watching me. I love it!”
Now 19 years old, Kleff is taking the opportunity to make his mark in the music industry. And in the social media sphere. The young artist has made a point of connecting with his fans and is doing so, everyday, through the twittersphere. This social media genius has accumulated over 91,000 followers and tweets a good majority of those followers back. “People don’t know how powerful the internet is. I have a maxed out facebook friend list and 90 thousand followers you say? Damn,” says Kleff as he pats himself on the back. ” Keeping in touch with the people is going to benefit my career…I told myself I wouldn’t become that rapper who doesn’t tweet or follow back a fan on Twitter.” Clearly Kleff’s attitude has served him well as he connects with his (large) fan base everyday.
Yesterday @WaydeRussell tweeted at Kleff (twitter handle @KOOLAIDKLEFF): the mannnnss trying to take over the twitter woorrrll. Onsum PinkY and ThE BRAIN.
Shortly after @WaydeRussell tweeted again at Kleff for him to: followabrotherback
Staying true to his word, this was @KOOLAIDKLEFF’s response to fan Wayde Russell:
But social media isn’t the only thing on young Kleff’s mind. This kid has set his sights high and hopes to someday break into the industry at full force. Hugely inspired by the likes of Jay-Z and 50 cent, Kleff is taking a page out of the rags to riches book. Kleff says that those guys are the ones, “who showed me anything is possible.” But before Kleff makes it to the big leagues, he has done his fair share for Ottawa’s hip-hop scene. Participating in many festivals and tours, Kleff has performed at Carivibe, opened for D Pryde and is now filling the line up for Winterfest 2012. His song, “I duzz it” sums up Kleff’s love for Ottawa but also his desire to take his hip-hop further when he raps, “I love my city, make love to these streets- Kiss and hug my city- Just smudge your fingerprints, can’t touch my city. Open the flood gates, rise above my city.”
Full of ambition and talent, Kleff knows that the hip-hop scene in Ottawa is fierce, competitive even. “It’s like people want to see you doing good, but not better than them. It’s like every artist feels like they got to be in competition with each other.”
But no matter what the competition holds, Kleff is just happy to be a part of Winterfest this year. “It’s definitely giving myself and others an opportunity to gain more exposure and a chance for the fans to come out and show love. It’s dope.”
Performing at Carleton University on Saturday, January 21st Kleff hopes to stand out. He says his performances always bring “Splashyness” to the stage. When I asked what exactly that meant he said,”…like a mix of style and different things put together. Like swag times five. The ones who know me know the term.” Looking forward to some splash, among other things, Kleff’s performance will be one for Ottawa hip-hop books.