Get To Know: Kasai
This week we're introducing the upcoming London pop-R&B star...
London pop-R&B artist Elise Kasai is sick and tired of being played by pretty boys.
The upcoming musician’s debut track ‘Pretty Boys’ is an ode to this discontent “Listen, listen, listen - stop playing my girls” she blasts on the chorus, as her personality shines through her sound.
The song opens with the sass and charisma of its fierce bassline, and upon the beat kicking in immediately bursts into the chorus. Kasai is making her point clear from the get-go, and this is only her debut.
On the track she has blended pop and R&B seamlessly, taking influence too from hip-hop too as per the Joey Bada$$ feature, which put all together delivers a really refreshing sound.
This may be Kasai’s debut, but she’s already found solid grounding in the industry – she was spotted by Jorja Smith to be used in her ‘On My Mind’ music video, following that she featured in a Nike Air Max 270 campaign, and of course she's been recognised enough to get Joey to feature on her first studio track.
This London artist has got the sound and the foundation, so it’s not long before she’ll need no introduction. Give ‘Pretty Boys’ a listen, and then check out our introducing interview below!
1) For those who don’t know about you and your music, tell us a little bit about who you are and where you’re from…
Hey, my names Kasai. I’m from London, born and raised but both my parents are Anglo-Indian and Swedish. I come from a family of musicians and started my music lessons at about 7. I began my career in music two years ago when I started making songs in my bedroom and released the song 'Dont Mind' onto Soundcloud where I was then discovered.
Now, I'm working with a small group of London based producers so the sound is starting to evolve. I wouldn't say I conform to one specific genre, nor do I want to, but I draw a lot of my musical influence from live musicians and the culture/world that I'm from which is R&B/hip-hop/rap etc. I like to keep my music as honest as possible, everything people will hear that I write is definitely true.
2) Describe your sound in three words…
honest, versatile, playful
3) Who inspired you to start a career in music?
My mum inspired me to start my career in music. She used to sing with us when we were younger with her guitar every Saturday morning and this sparked a passion in me that I could never deny. She has been really supportive towards my dreams, putting me into music and dance lessons from an early age. After leaving school she would tell me that I shouldn't work a job for the sake of just making money and with no career satisfaction. She has really kept me focused on the goal when times have been hard!
4) Who are your biggest musical influences?
I get influenced from artists and genres for different reasons. I was listening to a lot of Andre 3000/OutKast (who I love) at the time of making Pretty Boys. Lauryn Hill influences me for her swag in delivery and the messages she likes to convey. Amy Winehouse’s ability to story tell and make us feel something. Pharrell because he can just do it all... I really want to produce at least two songs on my first album.
5) Tell us about the writing and recording process for your new single/album…
‘Pretty Boys’ was initially a story that I wrote about my friend who was getting played. I showed my producer the idea and he then pulled up this beat with a sick bass line and the melodies came to me straight away, almost like a freestyle. We made this song quite quick, it was fun.
6) What can we expect from your live shows?
Choreography/dance, maybe just me and the piano sometimes. Either way I want the audience to enjoy themselves
7) What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
My biggest career highlight has been making the music video for ‘Pretty Boys’ and actually putting this song out. I’ve waited really long to release music so it’s an amazing feeling right now.
8) Have you met anyone and been totally starstruck?
I have never been star struck by them no, yet to meet that certain celebrity that can do that for me haha
9) What’s on your iPod/playlists that people wouldn’t expect?
Bob James, Little dragon, Toro y Moi
10) When can we see you live?
End of this year, hopefully as soon as we have released enough music
If you need to be introduced to MORE upcoming artists – you can check out last week’s introducing interview with B Young right HERE.
Words by Alex Beach