I like to start most spotlights with the artists’ real name in order for the reader to get that feeling like “huh, they’re just a regular old person with a regular old name”. For Kaytranada however, I will not. You look up his name if you wish to know it so bad, I prefer to let him just be the mysterious “Kaytranada,” even though he would probably laugh at me if he read this. Anyways, like I said before he is very mysterious. Not mysterious in terms of who he is and what his opinions are (he loves to share them, as controversial as they can be, on twitter without hesitation), but mysterious in terms of what his next move or sound is or will be. Most artists have a distinct “flavor” to their craft, be it music, painting, filmmaking, etc. there always is some sort of consistent describable personality emitted from their work. Although Kaytranada has a certain “flavor” if you will, he is one of the most unpredictable artists out there.
Initially starting his career as “Kaytradamus,”an electronic-dance powerhouse with over 13 projects and forty-one remixes, Kaytranada is now a major industry name for hip hop, dance, electronic, and r&b. His debut album “99.9%” was a major success with huge names contributing to different tracks from all corners of the entire music industry. To name just a few personal favorites: Anderson Paak., GoldLink, Vic Mensa, Craig David, Little Dragon, and much more. If you haven’t given it a listen, whether you like his “genre” (I use that term loosely) or not, there is something for everyone in this album. Personally, I think everyone out there should hear some of his work, as its clear this man has some serious talent and a completely different understanding of what it takes for a song to groove. His live sets, especially his boiler room sets, are the stuff of unforgettable concerts. The few people I have met that had a chance to see him either went in a small fan or not a fan at all, and came out with their shirt dripping in sweat, cheeks aching from smiling and laughing, and “99.9%” downloaded and favorited on their phone. Seriously. Don’t want to take my word for it? Check out this one boiler room set here from the last time he was in Houston. It doesn’t get much more entertaining than this.
Now I know this particular spotlight seems to be very biased. Most definitely, I won’t deny that. However, let Kaytra’s career achievements speak for itself. In an interview with Vice (here) he speaks about how he blew up in a year and got to work with some of his biggest idols like Mobb Deep. He goes on to speak about how he has even surpassed some of his idols in terms of measurable popularity (streams, social media followers, etc.). Like them or not, he’s worked with or produced for some major artists in the underground or mainstream of hip-hop, pop, jazz, indie, and electronic; some artists that only “real fans” of the genre’s know or that other artist within that genre look up to. Just for the sake of name dropping: Freddie Gibbs, BADBANDNOTGOOD, GoldLink, Mobb Deep, Vic Mensa, Mick Jenkins, The Internet, Talib Kweli, Chance the Rapper, Kali Uchis, Craig David, Mary J Blige, Denzel Curry, and much much more. From old heads to new heads, from genre to genre, Kaytranada is dipping into styles for the hell of it, and doing it better than producers who have devoted their entire lives to their genre.
Want to learn more about Kaytranada? Check out his website, follow him on twitter, or instagram. If you really want to get to know him, check out his tumblr here.
Dying to see him as well as many other popular artists ? Check out ticket prices and lineup for Day for Night Fest here. You won’t want to miss it.
Like the pictures on this article and want to see where they came from? Like always, click em’ and see!