Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1084

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Feature

Kyan: Making a play

Kyan @bluesandsoul.com
Kyan @bluesandsoul.com

B&S BREAKER..B&S BREAKER..B&S BREAKER..B&S BREAKER
"You hope that being innovative and creative will enhance your chance of getting opportunities where people hear your music, but you really need to be so persistent and hope that you get a bit of luck as well."

Here at Blues & Soul we love to promote talent and in this juncture we are in effect co-signing, supporting, backing and basically loving Cambridge born producer, songwriter and singer Kyan.

“I have always been fascinated by music” he tells me when I meet up with him down at the rather significant Wise Buddha Studios, “I used to listen to radio and record stuff on tapes and then try and write down the lyrics. My friend’s dad was a DJ and we used to record instrumentals of tracks by people like Missy Elliot and then write little raps on them. I then started to sing a few verses on songs and discovered soul music, where artists like; Roberta Flack and Stevie wonder literally changed the game for me.”

While a love of such greats certainly drew him closer to music, Kyan was still faced with the stark reality that he had to make a choice between three loves; basketball (he played at a national level), acting and of course music. Thankfully he was drawn to the magnetism of the latter.

“I have always been interested in some form of performance based activity, but I expect I got to a point where I needed to make a choice with one, so I chose music.”

Like some of the greatest artists we have in the world there is always a sense of being very driven and indeed his self-taught musicianship is a testament to that drive, “It is weird and in truth I am not really sure how I taught myself to play the piano”…he tells me with a genuine air of amazement, “it’s not like I sat down and started lessons or anything. I just remember, I really wanted to write songs and express my own thing. I guess I just started out tapping a few keys on the piano to try and create, like the Rugrats’ theme or something — it just blossomed from there, as I got more used to it.”

Since making the choice to ‘follow music’, the affable and rather humorous Kyan has gone onto to work with some rather well-known names in the business - the hit machine that is Duke Dumont and Benga to name but two.

It was his first EP that started the proverbial ball-rolling and what a debut outing! “The Purple Experiment” managed to be a type of neo-soul brilliance, tinged with eclectic flourishes - four tracks which came across in rather epic fashion and in turn set industry tongues wagging with the vigour of an individual, who has trouble keeping any form of secret (we all know someone like that, don’t we?). Out of the cuts from that bevy of niceness, we here at B&S were literally salivating over the sonically soaring and expansive tune, “Shuttle.”

So a year later, some hot to death collabos and finally Kyan releases his second (anticipated) EP “Remote View” and it is totally special. Despite the acclaim from that first project, it is only now that the Virgin signed Kyan feels that he is on the road to making this a ‘career’.

“You hope that being innovative and creative will enhance your chance of getting opportunities where people hear your music, but you really need to be so persistent and hope that you get a bit of luck as well.” He adds, “For me the moment came I think, with the current single “Sometimes” - I posted a YouTube video of “Sometimes” and then I spent literally weeks tweeting record companies, A&R, managers, celebrities - literally everyone!"

While of course that type of bloody mindedness is important and indeed is a natural (if not arbitrary) vetting system, the quality of the produce needs to be right up there… ”Remote View” is exactly that. Five tracks that cement Kyan’s status as a name to watch.

“Some of the songs are stepping stones between each other” he states, when we get onto the EP…which incidentally, he really understates when we talk about its quality. “The other songs on the EP are more in keeping with the “Taking The City” vibe, but I just wanted to show people ‘hey, this is what I do!’”

Funnily enough one of the cuts, “Grammar”, was a track that he was less than happy with initially. “‘Grammar’ is one of the tracks being played on Radio 1 by Huw Stevens, and that is a track that I hated when I wrote it - I really did not want to play it to anyone. I played it to my manager however and she was like, ‘no you need to use that track’. Anyway, fast forward and it is now one of my favourite tracks.” When detailing what he thought was wrong with the track. “I just thought the track was really weird because it is quite eclectic and it has different chord changes. I think I spent so long working on it that I fell out of love with it, but I have to admit that now it is firmly one of my favourites.”

For sure, “Grammar” is definitely a great track and displays Kyan’s maverick side rather well - he is not afraid to experiment despite still being new to the game. While we agree with Kyan - “Grammar” is a great track - but B&S are going straight with the commercially viable “Rather Be With You”, which has radio play all over it.

As you might expect Kyan is moving towards an album hopefully for 2016. Material for said album should be literally overflowing, with a two month stint in L.A. working with some ‘names’ in the pipeline - this all sounds VERY interesting.

So, two EP’s deep and Kyan has pulled ahead of the mediocre artists and is now catching up on the bonafide elite. B&S states with assurity, Kyan has the ‘Drive’ to take things to the ‘Stratosphere.’

EP "REMOTE VIEW" AND SINGLE SOMETIMES ARE OUT NOW ON VIRGIN / EMI

kyanmusic.com
soundcloud.com/kyanmusic

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