For a singer and songwriter who found his stride in Hip-Hop in his earlier years, Barbadian artist, Kairos paid homage to his country over infectious tropical beats and authentic lyricism on his latest project, Take Me Home. We got the chance to talk about it all with him.
Raskal: How long did the album take?
Kairos: From conception to completion, just about 2 and a half years. I didn’t set out to make the album. In fact, I was working on two other distinct projects that never came to fruition. All the while, I was adjusting to living away from home in Toronto and consequently, I was writing about those experiences. About a year and a half in, I realized that there was a cohesive story being told in the songs I was writing (not just narratively but also sonically). That’s when I consciously decided to develop and execute the album as we know it now.
Raskal: As your first album, what separates it from your other projects?
Kairos: It’s my first album, and by that token, it’s already distinct from anything I’ve ever done. I still hear the value in my earlier EPs and singles, but Take Me Home is leaps and bounds above any of them. On a quality level, I’m a much better songwriter than I was when I dropped my last EP and I have a much better grasp on what I want Kairos to sound like. On a character level, I’ve developed as a person tremendously. Life comes at you fast, and in the midst of the noise and chaos, I found myself.
Raskal: Are there any tracks that had special significance to you and why?
Kairos: Every single track is so important to me and it warms my heart knowing that each of them is at least someone’s favourite. I’ll just talk about a few.
Body Move / 6ix Side
Over the last year and some, spearebeats and I would link up regularly for beat cook-ups and writing sessions. He played me a snippet of the body move beat when I reached his spot for a session and the hook came to me immediately. He fleshed it out and through the course of conversation, we ended up including the beat switch that would become 6ix Side.
This one is so special for me on two levels. 1) Execution. It’s easily one of my favourite hooks that I’ve ever written. Also, I challenged myself vocally in the execution of that first verse and I couldn’t be prouder of the end result. 2) Subject Matter. As simple as that first verse is, I touched on an experience that was so raw and real. It’s not all sunshine but it doesn’t down the listener either. As for 6ix Side, I’m proud of the honesty of it and the grace with which I address things. My tone is bitter but it’s also one of hurt and more than that, it’s one that’s fair.
Days in the East
Just press play. I was scared to release that one because I’m not proud of who it paints me as. But last year when I wrote it and later when I recorded it, it was what I needed to say. It’s honest, and it’s raw. That was a major priority for a lot of these tracks. Shout out to darealwinjo on the production.
Wine & You
AMIR. much like the other guest artists on here is a master of the craft. spearebeats sent me the beat while I was home during the summer that just passed. I immediately hit AMIR. up and told him I had a vibe. We parked by the sea and got to writing; this definitely influenced the energy you hear on the record. Some weeks later, he came by my ends and we finished it up and recorded it. It’s such a fun track and a stand-out. I think of it fondly.
Raskal: Why did you choose the name for the album that you did?
Kairos: Short answer: homesickness - Long answer: It’s about to be 3 years since I moved to Toronto. As much as I love this city and as grateful as I am to it for the person it’s made me and the people it’s given me, there’s no place like home. The songs are so Barbados inspired whether that be in style and delivery, the production, or the subject matter. From that lens, I’m taking the listener home with me – showing them where I come from, and sharing a part of me. If you listen to the project you’ll probably realize that home means more than just Barbados though. I leave that part up for interpretation.