Kai Kwasi posing for camera
Photo credit: Reuben Bastienne-Lewis
Joe Day
Joe Day

To write about the people, places, and experiences on offer in this beautiful place is some of the most fun I’ve had in my short life, and I am always excited for the future of music in the South-West I’m a sucker for acts from far-off lands, but home is where the heart is right?

Kai Kwasi isn’t one for small beginnings. With an acclaimed single under his belt, blessed by the one and only Annie Mac as “one of the best things we played all week to be honest”, the South-East Londoner has hit the ground running before even considering the word discography. Now, bolstered by the blessings of BBC’s brightest spark, the 21-year-old songwriter, producer and creative has broken the silence with his newest single ‘sms‘ – a rich auditory dish made up of subtly multi-genre layers and neatly packaged with a pretty, soft palleted music video shot on the washed out shores of the Thames.

Dreamy, delectable and doped up to the teeth in a sweet, subdued wash of slushy guitars and hazy bass, the new single (out via Play It Again Sam) lifts listeners from the ground they stand on and gently places them on a cloudy perch from which they may appreciate the slow simplicity of life around them. Thick, soft (but appropriately boomy) percussion kicks the track to life as Kai’s gentle lyricism leads listeners by the hand through the dreamscape his single exists in. A certified summer bop for any lover of lo-fi bedroom pop, ‘sms’ is guaranteed to warm your soul and drizzle delight into your day.

Speaking on the behalf of the track, Kai said: “’sms’ carries the sentiment of what will be will be. It’s about the comfort to be found in chaos when you relinquish the need for control. I got my friends Venna and KarimThaPeasant on the track, both putting their whole selves into the work. It’s a luxury I’Il never take for granted to make the kind of music I’ve always wanted to make, and doing it all with my people. The visual for ‘sms’ picks up where my last track & video ‘unt’ left off. Keepin the same people on board, we just tried to have fun shooting again. We managed to pull the whole thing together in between lockdowns and I think we ended up with something really beautiful.”

sms’ is a single that stamps a seal of approval on Kai Kwasi as one to keep your eyes peeled for next time you find yourself glancing up and down the list of events in London and beyond. His honeyed vocals and uncompromisingly honest lyricism throw him into the melting pot of RnB sweethearts, Bedroom-Pop prodigies and lowkey Lofi heartthrobs, bringing together genres in ways only young talented creatives of the 21st century would prove capable of achieving. It’s great.

If you thought all this was sick enough, get this: Kwasi has also shared the news that he will be performing at not one, but two festivals in the coming year. Both at Hackney’s Visions Festival and Pitchfork Music Festival Paris, its safe to say the up and coming poster boy of East-London will have no trouble garnering attention for himself as he meanders through the unsteady return to form he and the rest of us find ourselves entangled in.

Check out the music video for ‘sms’ here: