Skaters go ‘Ga Ga’ for Keezo Kane

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When James Brown shouts and the soul clap starts, skaters and steppers let out a collective “Hey!” to Keezo Kane’s song, “Ga Ga Ga (Remix).”

When James Brown shouts and the soul clap starts, skaters and steppers let out a collective “Hey!” to Keezo Kane’s song, “Ga Ga Ga (Remix).”

“Everybody goes crazy,” said Nece, a skater at Rink Fitness Factory on Chicago’s southside. “That’s everybody’s favorite song.”

To this day, Keith “Keezo Kane” Moore is still baffled by how widely his songs have been received.

“I didn’t think ‘Ga Ga Ga’ would travel to the radio or be this big,” he said, after creating the song in 2003 from his mixtape “Keezo Kane’s J.B. Remixes, Volume 1.” “People hit me up at weddings for this track. I just thought it was a cool track, but I didn’t expect this reaction at all.”

But Keezo Kane, who turns 30 on June 7, was met with another surprise when he received a phone call in July 2004 to jot down a New York number. This number led him to an invitation to the record label G.O.O.D. Music by another Chicago native — Grammy-award winning rapper/producer Kanye West.

“I shed a couple tears,” he admitted. He was even happier when hip hop legend L.L. Cool J snatched the “Ga Ga Ga (Remix)” song two years later in 2005 to make “Preserve the Sexy” for his 2006 CD “Todd Smith.”

Keezo Kane also had two other crowd favorites at the skating rink before “Ga Ga Ga (Remix),” and those songs were “Gots to be Funky” and “Getdown (Remix).”

He has now worked with other well-known artists like Estelle, John Legend, Talib Kweli, Kanye West and a pending song with Nas, in addition to Chicago’s own artists Really Doe and GLC. Keezo Kane’s face can be seen in a skating cameo appearance at the end of skate flick, “Roll Bounce,” and in 2007, he skated in a McDonald’s “I’m Loving It” television ad during Superbowl time. He was also the coordinator for gathering skaters and selecting the venue for Disney’s “Roll Like This” music video, featuring Chicago artist, Casper, commonly known for the “Cha Cha Slide.”

Although Keezo Kane can skate now, he didn’t start off embracing the sport. “One of my homies from Julian asked me to go, and I didn’t know anybody who was skating,” he said. After protesting awhile, he was sold the first time he got to the rink. “I saw all them people doing those super cool tricks, and all the girls were looking at the guys doing it. Aw, I had to get in.”

But it wasn’t the girls who got Keezo Kane to become a veteran musician.

“I started playing the trumpet in fourth grade,” he said. “I went to Van Moody School of Music and took private lessons with my band director, Lester Moody, for a little bit over 10 years.”

With an absent father and a mother who was sick with multiple sclerosis for 13 years before passing away, Lester Moody helped a great deal in keeping Keezo Kane focused. Transferring to three different high schools before graduating from Julian High School, Keezo Kane participated in jazz orchestras and symphonies, and he played the drum for over 10 years during his elementary and high school years. He also won numerous awards including ranking seventh best in the state of Illinois for the Illinois Music Educators Association when he was 13.

Due to his music education, Keezo Kane is also passionate about arts and education being properly funded in schools.

“There’s so much talent out there…why would money be taken away from students who have musical dreams to better themselves in life,” he said.

His grandmother and mother influenced him to pursue music, in addition to him needing an elective. But his friends also played a large part in helping him succeed. His friend, George Anderson, had a multi-track digital sound tracker called Impulse Tracker that made Keezo Kane find interest in music production. His roommate in 2002, Darius “D-Breeze” Stroud helped him get a cameo role. But it was his friend Leonard “GLC” Harris, who plugged Keezo Kane’s musical talent to Kanye West before “The College Dropout” released that helped excel Keezo Kane’s career even further.

“He wasn’t really big like that then, but I was already a fan of his work anyway before he was famous,” Keezo Kane stated about the first time he met Kanye West. And now that he’s apart of the G.O.O.D. music label, he confirmed, “G.O.O.D. Music has been really good to me.”

Keezo Kane’s most recent track and music video is with GLC and Kanye West called “Big Screen,” released in March 2009, in which he makes a cameo appearance. He’s also doing  movie scoring for the upcoming film, “Chicago Pulaski Jones,” with one-fourth of the Kings of Comedy, Cedric the Entertainer, and his elementary school comrade (also a comedian and actor) Kel Mitchell.

Before and after being signed, Keezo Kane continues to help other Chicago artists get exposure too with his production company, Mayblok Inc. He has three mixtapes out to date: previously mentioned “Keezo Kane’s J.B. Remixes, Volume 1,” “The Carnival” (2006) and “Keezo Kane on Fire, Mixtape Volume 1” (October 2008), featuring Chicago artist J-Born and a joint collaboration with 3G’s Management.

“I feel like I’ve really been blessed, so why not be a blessing to other people,” he said. “It’s so much talent in Chicago that it really doesn’t make any sense.”

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Photo by Wesley Shinault

Copyright 2009 Chicago Defender. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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