South London voice Kai Kwasi has shared his emphatic new track ‘t.i.a.r.’ – tune in now.
The newcomer’s mosaic-like approach blends all manner of different sounds, layering together aspects of grime, R&B, jazz, and even faint traces of indie into the mix. New EP ‘Jalilah’ is out on November 18th, with Kai sneaking out an ominous, atmospheric new song.
‘t.i.a.r.’ – it stands for ‘To Incite A Riot’ – is about city pressure, blending the energy of protest with a restrained sense of anger. Soulful and inquisitive, the spider-like guitar lines blend with twilight electronics, all held together by the palpable sense of purpose in his voice.
A song that dwells on conflicting emotions, ‘t.i.a.r.’ has a strong set of complexities driving it forwards. Kai Kwasi reflects…
I wrote/produced ‘t.i.a.r’ aka ‘To Incite A Riot’ just after the protests. It came about following conversations on the difference between protests and riots. I’m a strong believer in both, I owe my rights to these people. At the time It felt like a steady flood of f*cked up news and at a point I think I just closed the gates. All emotions are valid in the circumstances but it’s difficult trying to gauge apathy.
There’s anger and hurt in there somewhere but I think I’d just maxed out. All the talking, reading, having too much time to think, it gets overwhelming. That, the isolation of lockdown, in a strange way I think it took the protests to alleviate the loneliness I was feeling. It energised me seeing all those people put a fresh set of batteries in my back.
Kai Kwasi’s new ‘Jalilah’ EP will be released on November 18th through PIAS.
Check out ‘t.i.a.r.’ below.
Photo Credit: Reuben Bastienne-Lewis