The musical journey for Kwaye the London raised artist has that pre-destined quality. It’s a story that many aspiring artists dream of. To be discovered by a musically influential person without the rigmarole of attempting to be noticed through years of graft.
A multi-instrumentalist playing the sax and viola among other instruments it was a chance meeting in an UBER cab in LA that kick started his journey. The driver was an ex A and R and heard Kwaye’s Cool Kids a cut unashamedly harking to that 80’s sound. Suitably captured by the sound, he sent the track to the label Mind Of A Genius (MOAG) who gave Kwaye a space to create. Kwaye was subsequently signed to the label as its first UK.
Zimbabwean by birth, Kwaye is indeed a retro sounding bit of fresh air. That is possibly a contradictory statement but music is cyclical. Genres which have become extinct usually re-appear. When they re-appear, the essence of the said genre is there but it evolves to fit the time in which it becomes vogue. Kwaye’s sound is a case in point.
The three tracks on the ep are of course Cool Kids which created the furore surrounding him. While Cool Kids with its slightly rebellious message helped Kwaye to push his head above the parapet an #itchysilk favourite has to be Little Ones.
This second release from the ep has that feel of Alexander O’Neil’s classic hit If You Were Here Tonight (1985). There’s a 80’s soul edge, with airy sythns in the background, while Kwaye’s easy on the ear vocals encourage you into this totally gorgeous track. The third cut is Sweetest Life premiered by Zane Lowe. Here retro classic house saturates this up-tempo number as Kwaye enthuses about the beauty of ‘love’ and ‘good vibrations’.
Kwaye could easily occupy the lanes that are currently popular but his current trajectory fits his rather creative individualistic self. While he is new name and nothing is guaranteed Kwaye seems destined for success. The fact that he is in the US bodes well opening him to different influences. It will pay dividends on further projects as we can be sure that his Zimbabwean roots, his experiences in London and his experiences in the US will merge into projects that should be multi-layered, muilti-dimensional and fresh.