We had the good fortune of connecting with Kyro Wolf and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kyro, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I was 18 with a wife and child, short on education and due to poor choices, my job options were limited. But I did know a lot of underground rappers and since I already had some design experience, doing their album covers just made sense to me.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Both of my parents are artists, both visual and musical, so art is mostly all I’ve known. Being somewhat apocalyptic, they didn’t put much value in education or grounding, but we did travel quite a bit and I would say meeting all sorts and types of people had a big influence on my art. And since I didn’t spend much time in school, I spent most of my free time drawing and pulling things from my mind. I started getting into graphic design as a teenager and eventually started doing album covers for local acts, in Tennessee. My biggest strength at the time would probably be speed. I was turning around 2 or 3 covers a day, mostly every day. Over time, my execution got more refined and I wasn’t able to keep that kind of pace, but in the beginning, it was definitely my strong suit. I went on to gain a lot of regional acclaim – winning the Southern Ent Award for Graphic Artist of the year in 2005, as well as landing several major label jobs. The real turn in my career was meeting Layzie Bone, who brought me with him to Interscope records – which landed me my first gold and platinum credits as well as introducing me to Josh Fisher, who would eventually become my manager and business partner. After that, credits go on to include Dr. Dre, Rhianna, Scarface, Bone Thugs, Yung Joc, Lyfe Jennings, Fergie, and many more. And No, it wasn’t easy. I started from the projects with a wife, one kid, and no car, and slowly over 10 years built my way upwards to a house, a wife, 4 kids, and 2 managers, Josh Fisher and Capo. When I was young, I had more ambition and vision than sense, meaning that I screwed up a lot of relationships and opportunities just not knowing how to properly engage with my environment. I’ve learned many lessons over the years, and some of them 2 or 3 times and most of them hurt – a lot. But that’s how you grow and we should embrace it. The main takeaway I would share is that “Consistency is King” and “Be Anxious for Nothing”. Whatever you want to do in life, if you want to be successful, takes time and dedication. No matter what your circumstances look like, keep walking. That’s one thing that has preserved my brand over the past two decades. If you’re good at something, never stop. Even tapping breaks the glass if the rhythm is consistent for long enough. After burning my youth up in the music industry, I started to find a little better pace in the corporate landscape, which has bigger budgets and slower turnarounds, which ultimately freed up more time to develop my illustration skills. I have a few shows I’m developing with my brothers and I’m working on developing some products for the stoner market with my own art. Not sure what the future holds and I’m good with that because I have a great team and surround myself with nothing but love. Nothing else really matters.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I wanted to have a good time, it would probably be away from the city. Maybe out by a river or at my brother, Big Fella’s spot. It’s always good vibes over there. I’m mainly a homebody but I do enjoy food. First I would say Slim & Huskey’s. Started here in Nashville and I’ve watched them branch out. Great brand and great product. S/O to Dough Joe and the Norf Collective! There’s a good Thai place down called Thai spice – it’s a small spot, but the food is high quality. I don’t drink much, but there’s plenty of bars in the area if that’s what you’re looking for. And If all else fails we can Boom Out with Crowe on a mountain.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Josh Fisher, Capo, Demi, Slim256, Edward Crowe, Pistyle and Toad
Photos taken by Edward Crowe. @edward.crowe