In a world where the reality show reigns, Twitter is on top, and thousands of videos are uploaded to YouTube every day, the amount of young people putting themselves out there in hopes of becoming a star is substantial. One evening while relaxing after work, I stumbled upon a Dr. Phil episode that featured one of these young hopefuls myself.
21-year old Eric, or “King Keith VII” as he has named himself, appeared on the show, speaking against criticism regarding his lifestyle, and combating claims that his dreams aren’t realistic. I did not know what to expect upon talking to him. Would he respond to my message? Would he be just another guy on Twitter, trying to be famous, and having nothing to say? I was pleasantly surprised. What I found was an intelligent, positive man who is eager to share his talent and thoughts to the world. King Keith was generous enough to answer some questions from me, and hear I share them with my faithful readers. I hope you are inspired as I was.
Meg: First, in a few words, tell me how you would describe yourself.
King Keith: I would Describe my Self as Humble, Driven, Spiritual, Strong & Observant. I could add more 🙂 not being cocky but it’s good to know yourself!
Meg: So, how did you come up with the name, “King Keith Franklin VII”?
When choosing a name I thought about a lot. The name had to mean and stand for power! So I did not give myself a title, I changed my name. My 1st Name King: the Head, Monarch leader of the Pack into the new era, or in my case Urban Pop music.My middle name Keith: a masculine given name also meaning “Woods, the Forest” which happens to be where I feel most at peace and whole, which explains my obsession with the Twilight Saga because, look where that takes place. My Last name Franklin: named after the Great Face on the almighty 100 Dollar Bill Benjamin Franklin! I needed a family dynasty that was strong & fit for royalty. It also sends my own personal signal that as long as I have franklins in my wallet I’ll never see my people go without, or their dreams go on hold for lack there of if they really want it. Benjamin was also a music man and an inventor. Like him I make, design and create my own stuff from Props on up so it gave me great foot steps to follow in. The Final VII 7: Ever Notice when we get a new Pope or even when a King or Queen is Crowned in some case there name is changed for many reasons to show respect to past rulers or other spiritual beliefs? Many times if the name has been used before a new number is placed on the side. In my case I have about 7 alter egos living in my head!! It’s also my favorite number because it stands for completion and what that means is I King Keith, know who I am and I can’t be changed or phased! In the end, I’m still gonna be KING KEITH!!
Meg: And when did you come up with this name?
King Keith: I changed my name at 15 1/2 and demanded that my name be respected on my high school campus and that’s just what I got! That was the first time I understood for myself names do possess Power! And I created a great one!
Meg: When did you realize you wanted to pursue this as a career?
King Keith: I have always since I was a child watching Barney & friends wanted a career in entertainment. It’s where I saw myself doing what I will forever love to do and that’s entertain people. But only after 15 did it click for me that if I did not put 100% in now, I don’t know when I’ll see my dream come into reality. I had to wake the world up to the fact that I’m here, and I’m not going any where!! I’m now 21.
Meg: When you appeared on “Dr. Phil” you talked about your inspiration and your “family tree” of sorts. Can you tell me about it?
King Keith: My industry family tree is a replica of my many influences and people I channel during my creative and self discovery process, who through their path have taught me a lot about what to and not to do when the opportunity presents itself. Lady Gaga, my Mother, taught me that dreams are still coming true for the believer! That there’s power within us and it can’t be stopped or reckoned with as long as you believe in yourself. Tupac, my Father in the game taught me while growing up in my own hood that when life’s balls of fire come at you, you still gotta smile, that even though people stereotype us, its for the purpose of having the constant chance to amaze people and show them that we are more then they ever thought we could become. Not to mention the art of Thug Life, the Grand hustle term that says you gotta do whatever you have to no matter how hard the grind is to make your dreams come true because you’re all you got, yourself and God that is. I love Paris [Hilton]. We are so much alike it’s crazy the way she thinks, reacts so much in common with yours truly, well she is my sister. I have always looked up to her and learned from her with every chance I got. Aaliyah my Angel! Because she loved and gave us so much of herself, pieces of her heart are all around us today and because of that I feel so close to her. My love for her grows with each passing day she still teaches me. Also, I still hear her voice in my head a lot saying, “Dust ya self off & try it again” and I won’t let baby girl down! Nicki [Minaj], my “Sista”. Well, she taught me everything I know! I say that because she is such the TEACHER! Everything she does, I know it’s for the purpose of teaching us that we should look up to her to see how it’s done, how to do it and how to believe in your art even when no one else thinks it’s worth it! Drake–Since Degrassi, his spirit captured me, and what he did with his career after that T.V. show certified him Royalty in my book, my brother. He’s also a teacher like all these Royal Artists when I needed a boost, help, encouraging melodies, or instruction. Their voice without even knowing it was there to help me through. I knew then I wanted my voice to do the same and make a difference in a life, like mine was changed.
Meg: Speaking of your appearance on Dr. Phil, what do you have to say about the experience?
King Keith: All I can say about my appearance on Dr Phil was it served its purpose. In order to live out my purpose, America has to see me! No way around that. Other peoples opinions of you whether negitive or postive should not stop you from doing what you have to do, it should be turned as best as possible for the good. My goal was not to go on Dr. Phil to defend my life choices, but simply just to show the world a living breathing talented individual,who knows who God made him to be. I’m an example of my own theory that you are who you say you are, I just choose to be King Keith Franklin VII.
Meg: What is Dr. Phil like in person?
King Keith: Dr Phil is very nice and entertaining in person, and his southern harshness comes off on camera as hard core and over the top but I do understand that he is doing his job and teaching his way! Just like I went on his show and did. I presented myself my way!
Meg: What would you say is the most frustrating part of pursuing this as a career?
King Keith: The most frustrating thing about pursuing yours dreams is that feeling you get when you think that peoples negative opinion of you holds your fate or future, that it holds you back from success When really only you can do that to yourself by being absorbed in those thoughts, which is always hard not to do because no one is ever prepared to be torn down! Also being misunderstood is very frustrating. People think just because I glamorize the life and I am open about my deep love for how it can change your life, that fame is all I’m about. My goal and dream is to be a star! A living breathing one of a kind Royal, Role model of a star!
Meg: You have a super catchy song (link at the bottom of the page) called “Hooked On You”. What inspired this song?
King Keith: Hooked on you, like all my songs, are not just about one simple situation but a mixture of life’s experiences. Meeting on the Internet, falling in love. My generation should know a lot about computer love. The story is even more special to me because it is a true story about love found through MySpace, once on the screen to physically right in front of me: a love dream come true! It’s also from another side from the point of view of my Royal Mates who I hope are hooked on their King and soon now that I’m on their screen I’ll be right in front of them once I get the opportunity to reveal my self on tour. (Speaking in future sense).
Meg: What is a typical day like in the life of King Keith? Take us through it.
King Keith: I wake up every morning and meditate and thank God for the right now! Then I spend my day taking care of the doors that are being opened to me. Social Networking, keeping in touch with my Royal Mates, practicing for my next chance to wow a nation. No day is like the last, but I’m always brand building.
Meg: What would you say to people that have negative things to say about you?
King Keith: What can I say to the Nay Sayers: Rome was not built in a day, my name may be King but I’m not perfect, just striving to be great. Take a little time to find out just who I am, what I stand for, what and where I’m trying to go with my life, and you just might see in many ways we’re are all a little like King Keith. Fighting me won’t make me lose but joining me makes us all win. ( Nicki taught me that) Now if I was a hater of Nicki, my mind would not have been open to learning and I would not be the King you all love today case and point!
Meg: If you could do a song with anyone, who would you pic?
King Keith: If I could do a song with anybody right now it would be Whitney Houston. My Nippy!! My dream of creating great music with her ended Feb 11th, 2012 but my goal of creating great music in her honor and respecting the tittle of the Voice has been created, my love for her will live through my music and live performances. But alive I would have to say Lady Gaga. That’s my Mother and together we will change the world no doubt!
Meg: What are you working on right now? What is in your future?
King Keith: I am working on a lot at the moment. I write my own music and with the help of new up and coming co-writers, we are getting my songs recorded plus all new original ones for my EP and mixtape release. Building up the brand in detail to take on more in the future, getting ready to begin performing live, and getting on Ellen that’s my latest project. Fingers crossed Mates!
Meg: Will you ever come to Chicago and perform?
King Keith: I will come to Chicago and perform my coronation show and make you all official Royal Mates as soon as that door is open to me! I can’t wait to see the world and make great memories. Chicago is on my List!
Check out King Keith’s song, Hooked On You
Click here to view King Keith’s appearance on Dr. Phil: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6asccvON_Q8