Putting bad habits to bed
introducing: Kasai

With artists emerging from East, South and North London, the West doesn’t get much of a look in at times. The emerging singer-songwriter states that her upbringing in the West side of the Capital has given her the drive to push forward, and she confidently aspires to fill that void and influence future artists in the area.

Despite being relatively new to the scene, Kasai is knowledgeable and ambitious. When asked about her style and musical interests, she said “growing up I’ve always had a huge love for R&B and hip-hop, and I come from a family of musicians, so I like finding ways to combine that with some live instrumentation.” Her home was a musical haven, with her mother’s guitar playing and vocals, it’s no surprise that music was on the cards.

To her, music is a process, and she views “constantly perfecting your craft as part of driving that forward.” A great track will always have a different meaning for everyone, so as she sees it, intuition, passion, openness to others have to be aligned for it to take off.

She hasn’t fallen into the trap of covering generic topics, either. Instead, she’s set her sights on bringing to light issues and situations as she sees it. Kasai remarked, “as a young woman growing up I’m just writing about everything I observe, feel and learn.” It feels relatable and honest in equal measure.

You might have heard of her already. Her debut single ‘Pretty Boys’ dropped this summer, featuring Pro Era’s Badman, and friend, Joey Bada$$. ‘Pretty Boys’ is an ode to female friendship and a diss of the modern dating villains. Kasai puts them back in their place, and it’s easy to see why the song was selected to be the soundtrack to a Nike campaign.

 

How to love yourself when you’re not being appreciated elsewhere is at the heart of her second single. ‘Habit’.  is a refreshing blend of gritty and youthful R&B track, with just the right smattering of sass that feels simultaneously nostalgic and current. Kasai shared that single was inspired by a break-up, but drills deeper into the feelings of self-worth and respect, in and outside of relationships.

 

Lifting the lid on staying in relationships for the sake of convenience and routine, the track’s visual treatment sees fellow musical talent Sam Gellaitry, proving himself more than just a musician. The music video was directed and shot by Gellaitry in a dark room- depicting the single’s notion of the importance of self-love. It’s the authenticity of her subject matter, mixed with her cool-girl R&B and Pop hybrid that keeps me playing it back.

2019 will be bringing more music our way from Kasai. Some live shows will be creeping in too. But when it comes to life, Kasai is just riding the wave and may have a few surprises in store for us.

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Words by Emma McCormack

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