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David “Bliss” Kittelson has been involved with hip-hop in Duluth for the last twelve years and could be considered a pioneer of that particular niche in the Twin Ports’ music scene. Over the years he has worked with projects such as Kritical Kontact, Modern Gentlemen, Bliss and Sitter and has done a good amount of solo work. Kittleson was born and raised in Duluth but around six months ago he got in his van and headed west to promote his latest album, “The Most Important Things in Life Are Invisible.” We spoke with Kittelson about his trip and time out on the West Coast, specifically in the San Francisco area.
Reader: What prompted this trip out to San Francisco?
Bliss: Lots of stuff. I got the new album done so I just wanted to promote that in new areas and get it heard by people who might not otherwise hear it. It was to play shows in these areas on my way and ended up liking it in San Francisco, so I stayed longer than I would have. Just playing new places, meeting new people and living on the road for awhile.
Reader: So in a way this was kind of a tour for you?
Bliss: I consider the first part of it was like a tour because there were dates. After a month in, it was me living in a new area trying to get into the music scene as much as I could. I’d just play shows anywhere that I could, meet new people and get my album out to people. It was kind of a tour, then it was kind of living in my van in new places after awhile. *laughs*
Reader: Did you have any interesting experiences living in your van?
Bliss: Oh yeah, lots of crazy stuff. *laughs* I got my bike stolen off the back of the van in San Francisco, which sucked. I’ve had people try to break in while I’ve been sleeping in there a few times. I don’t know, lots of shit happened.
Reader: How does the hip-hop scene out in San Francisco differ from the Duluth scene?
Bliss: Well, it’s a lot bigger of an area, that’s for sure. There’s a lot more random people from all over the world that you meet. There’s more venues, but it was funny, it was a little bigger but there was still a core group of people doing stuff actively. So, there’s not many more artists, it’s just a bigger area that they’re doing it in.
Reader: So you’re back in the area now?
Bliss: Yeah, I’m Minneapolis now. I just got here today.
Reader: And you have this upcoming show, which is Friday night?
Bliss: Yeah, Friday night.
Reader: Do you have any shows lined up in Minneapolis?
Bliss: After the show up there I’m coming back down to Minneapolis to live down here for a bit and play some shows. I’m going to do what I did out there down here except a little bit closer to home. I’m not sure what exactly, but I’ll probably be down here in Minneapolis for a few months until I figure out where I’m going to go next.
Reader: Anything else you’d like to add about the future? Basically you have this new album and it sounds like you’re pretty much promoting it.
Bliss: Yeah, I’m trying to promote it as much as I can and now that I’m in Minnesota and I plan to do some more video work for a couple more tracks on the album. More online promotion and stuff like that too. I already have a bunch of new songs and material for another album but I’m going to wait and give this one time to properly promote it.
Reader: Have you ever played the Red Herring yet?
Bliss: No I haven’t. I’m excited that a show back in Duluth is going to be there. That worked out good.
Bliss will be joined by Marc Gartman’s Fever Dream, The Crunchy Bunch and Suzy Q with MC1980. The show on Friday, November 28 will start at 9:30 p.m. and there will be a $5 cover. The show will be presented by the local promotions company, Hypnotic Otter. Welcome back this talented rapper to the area. “The Most Important Things in Life are Invisible” can be heard online at blisshiphop.bandcamp.com.