Kids stuff: Keep your sense of humor

Cactus; photo by Mike Belleme

Editor’s note: The following Q&A is part of Xpress‘ annual Kids Issues. 

Cactus, the Asheville-based hip-hop artist also known as Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, discusses encouraging self-expression, the lessons children can teach adults and the importance of embracing failure as a means of growth.

Why is it important to expose kids to music and art?

Kids happen to be in the most foundational phase of their lives, where they’re forming their identity and their understanding of the world. When they see the pure joy and brilliance of others’ self-expression, they realize that they can feel safe being a full version of themselves. And they realize that life is diverse, exciting and worth endlessly exploring with their imaginations.

What’s your favorite part about performing for kids?

Grown-ups have what kids need, which is knowledge, guidance, love and protection. Kids have what grown-ups need, which is a new perspective, enthusiasm, love and the ability to be fully in the moment. When we create situations where we get to play together, we get to exchange those things. What a bargain!

What advice do you have for young aspiring musicians and artists?

Remember that the main reason to make art or music is because it feels good. Self-expression should be fun, so don’t be afraid to fail. You have to fail many times before you get really good at anything, so instead of beating yourself up about it, lose the perfectionism and keep your sense of humor. Even art that releases pain ultimately feels good in the end, so don’t forget to enjoy it.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.