Get to know... Kai Kwasi

Credit: Reuben Bastienne-Lewis

21 year old South-East Londoner Kai Kwasi is the latest addition to the legendary Play It Again Sam roster. Recently unveiling the woozy, honeyed tones of his incredible debut single, 'unt' – the songwriter, producer and photographer has solidified as a vital name to watch throughout 2021.

Intrigued by his musical upbringing, clear artistic vision and soothing bedroom-pop effort, we chatted to Kai to learn more about his past, present and future.

You’ve just signed with Play It Again Sam! For those who are unfamiliar with your work, tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Kai Kwasi, I’m from south east London. I write songs, make videos and take photos. You had somewhat of a musical upbringing, right? Did you always know you wanted to pursue a career in music? Yeah, my mum was a dancer so I grew up spending a lotta late nights in the back of a dance studios. my nana loved music as well, all types, they nearly named my ma ‘Blue” after the Joni Mitchell album. But yeah I was definitely blessed with my musical upbringing. Honestly no, I’ve always had a close relationship with music but I’ve really only been working as an artist for the past year or so. I learnt some instruments, played a bit in secondary school but most of the stuff I’ve made myself has only come pretty recently. Talk us through your debut single ‘unt’ - what’s it about and how long did it take to turn it from an idea into the track we hear today? I wrote unt in like 2017 so it’s been sittin around for a minute. We made the video summer 19, it sat around for some more minutes. Now it’s finally out. It’s funny I kinda went off it just because it didn’t feel relevant anymore, I mean 3/4 years might do that, but things always have a way of circling back and to be honest it’s come out at the perfect time. It comes with a video with you directed yourself, have you always had a keen eye for visuals? The video was co-directed with my friend Clay Milner Russel, we worked together throughout the process but he really made it happen. We looked at a lot of Franck Lebon's videos for reference, Czech One, Creeping etc. That’s the kinda level we want to be working at eventually. Would you say that you’ve learned anything about yourself as a person through your music? I feel like I’m learning all the time, what type of artist I am, how I work best, the types of music I enjoy making. I guess my main thing is keeping the joy in the process, never want this to feel like a job. You yourself have a diverse music taste - who are some new artists you’d recommend we keep an eye on? There’s a lot around at the moment n it’s exciting to see. There’s Shrink, Reggie, Lea Sen, Jiovani Jemndi, Knucks, Venna’s about to drop the craziest project - lots to look forward to. Do you have any ideas up your sleeve for when live music comes back into full swing? We’re working on it. And what’s next for you as an artist? Is there likely to be an EP/album on the horizon? Working on that one too. I’m finishing up on a project at the moment I think could be really special, working with some people really inspiring people so definitely look out for that.