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Kompany: “This is only the beginning.” Photo by Julian Lambert.

Kompany Kunda likes to mix things up. The 24-year-old multi-instrumentalist blends hip-hop with pop and a range of influences that hark back to his childhood steeped in gospel and church hymns.

“My dad was a pastor,” the Fort Worth native said. “Playing instruments was kind of our thing to do when [my siblings and I] were bored. My mom bought me a piano, and I learned how to write lyrics. I started taking music seriously in high school.”

Kompany’s career is tethered to producer Brandon Saiz (Avery Burk, Sam Harvey, Brandon Marcel), who collaborated with Kompany on his first single. “Move” came out in June, and now the EP Me vs. Me will be available on all major streaming platforms by the end of the month.

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Kompany said he’s especially proud of how the hip-pop record came out.

“It’s new terrain for me, so I’m glad I got to execute it the way I did,” he said. “This is only the beginning. There are plenty more avenues to explore with my sound, and I’m excited to figure it out.”

Recorded in Fort Worth at Select Creatives Recording Studio (Burk, Harvey) and co-produced by Saiz and Kompany, Me vs. Me highlights Kompany’s diverse influences and talents.

EP opener “God” glows with earnest, energetic vocals set to bright acoustic guitar strumming. “All I need is a miracle,” Kompany sings, “I need a little more of you / I swear I hear you calling.”

Closer “Superstar” comes in heavy like a knockout punch with ominous, low-frequency synth chords undergirding Kompany’s yearning voice, spotlighting his nimble and multifaceted flow, which varies from deep and brooding to a pitch-perfect tenor and angelic falsetto. The song showcases his range of timbre by using the vocal tracks to effectively orchestrate a sense of foreboding.

Kompany said he sticks to what he knows when writing.

“I’m pulling from my source,” he said, referring to personal experiences, adding that he combines “what the beat is speaking to me [and] what I have been wanting to say. For example, ‘Move’ is about not taking life’s punches and doing something about your situation.”

The Fort Worth community, he said, inspires him to hone his songwriting skills, record, and perform. He calls his fanbase his “kult.”

“It’s nothing religious or anything,” he said. “It’s for the oddballs and the black sheep just like me who grew up taking things on the chin without a voice.”

Kompany said he wants to use his success to organize field days and donation drives. “It’s all about the kids. Beyond that, I want to rock the industry by storm by becoming a household name that’s here to stay. I want to bring a Grammy back home to show kids from where I’m from that anything is possible, that even a person of my color can reach past the threshold that society has put on me and my people. I want to keep my late mother’s name alive. She instilled this compass that won’t ever steer me in the wrong direction.”

Me vs. Me is well-crafted, and the songwriting that avoids cookie-cutter verse/chorus/verse forms should keep even the most discerning listener entranced, from the light acoustic opener to the heavy-hitting closer.

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