Last night, I had the pleasure of attending a showcase at the Publicis offices in London with Aneko artist Jazz Morley. The event was set up by Globe, Universal Music UK’s commercial partnerships and TV production arm. Essentially, they connect music with brands. Now, as a topic of keen interest to me as a new music manager, I could probably write a whole blog about this, however, there was only one reason for us to be there last night. That was to see the superbly talented Kyan.
Kyan appeared on my radar in the early part of 2014, with a hugely impressive EP titled ‘The Purple Experiment‘. A beautiful future R&B record that held references from Prince and John Legend to Frank Ocean and Miguel. A hugely accomplished record by a guy that had written and produced everything himself. I was by no means on this early, as Kyan had already released another EP ahead of this entitled ‘Days In A Triangle‘.
Fast forward a year, and Kyan has released another stunning EP. ‘Remote View‘ shows a clear progression in his growth as a songwriter and producer. Still hugely emotive, Kyan has the ability to effortlessly balance his great musicianship and vocal performance with writing songs that remain accessible and relatable. It would be easy to overdress these with production that distracted from the core piano and vocals, which in my opinion are the foundations of what makes his songs so good. It was hugely refreshing to see that the lead single from this EP was a piano ballad called ‘Sometimes‘. A beautifully soaring song that bears all in a story of lost love. Kyan said to Billboard “I wrote [the song] after a messed up relationship, it was kind of my way of dealing with it”. This is a brave release that I absolute salute him and his management for. Having worked in radio, everyone is desperate to label you and give reason why they should or shouldn’t play something. This record is so much more than whether it ticks record label boxes or pleases radio producers and their demographic restrictions. Its just a bloody brilliant song, stripped of gimmicks. Accompanied by an equally beautiful video directed by Georgia Hudson.
The rest of the EP doesn’t disappoint either and delivers in 5 songs what many albums fail to deliver in 12. It’s got a flow and is dynamic. Each song feels like a mini movement similar to that of an opera, and keeps you captivated throughout. Huw Stephens at Radio 1 picked up on ‘Grammar‘, which blends influences from Kanye and Wale style hip-hop to his more familiar future R&B style.
On our blog, we seem to have a theme that runs through every artist we’ve featured. We talk a lot about musicianship and musical integrity, which I think is what draws us to write about music. Kyan is one of those artists. He has stories to tell and a great ability in which to do it. With the weekend coming, put aside some time to put this EP on. Listen to it in it’s entirety. You won’t be disappointed.