Meet KYE, the Melbourne R&B newcomer you'd be dumb not to introduce yourself to
With her debut single Sometimes, the Zimbabwean-born musician makes a grand entrance worth paying close attention to.
Header image by Hana Schlesinger.
KYE is a special talent. Over the last two years, the Zimbabwean-born, London-raised and now Melbourne-based musician has offered glimpses of neo-soul brilliance through her work with acts like Billy Davis and Slum Sociable, while working behind-the-scenes and alongside heavyweights including Sampa The Great, Ruel, Genesis Owusu and more. There's a certain level of passion and shine that KYE has given to all her collaborations the past, often being the highlight of a track or performance she's involved in - even if she's only there for a short minute.
In 2021, however, things are changing - and KYE is entering the spotlight. With her debut single Sometimes arriving this week, the heralding moment of KYE's brilliance as a solo musician has arrived and what a moment it is, capturing the heights of her work as a collaborator and distilling it down to its most pure form, where KYE's musicianship and vision can thrive on their own for the first time.
Sometimes gives a glimpse at what that could sound like, and it's a wonderfully enchanting three-minutes that stops you in your tracks and doesn't let you go until its final beat hits; a stirring blend of R&B and soul with KYE's vocals stealing the show, floating with an almost SZA-like grace. There's a thick, Afrobeat-like percussion sway that holds it all down and keeps the track bubbling with this uplifting feel, but amongst its percussive hits and gentle melodies is KYE, whose vocals feel like a moment on Sometimes, and truly untouchable.
There's a certain intimacy within Sometimes that KYE really fleshes out, both in the angelic potency of her vocals but also in the stark lyricism, and how she draws out every ounce of passion from the words. "This song is about relationship breakdown," she says on the song's theme. "It’s about not being able to pinpoint what exactly went wrong so there’s this sense of denial of wrongdoings. It’s an acceptance that sometimes things just don’t work out despite your greatest efforts."
There's plenty more to come, but in the meantime, Sometimes has all but cemented KYE as a musician worth paying attention to in the year ahead. Now, don't be a dummy and dive into Sometimes below, and introduce yourself to the future star underneath that:
Tell us about yourself?
I’m KYE and I’m a 24-year-old artist based in Melbourne. I was born in Zimbabwe, and raised both in London and Melbourne.
What’s your music like? What does it sound like? What kind of themes does it usually cover?
I usually say R&B/Pop to keep things simple but it’s more like pop with heavy R&B, Soul and Neo-soul influence. My music covers a range of themes but I like writing about them as if it’s about relationships. I’m also a sucker for a good love story so I write a lot about that.
What are your production and writing processes usually like?
It changes almost every time! I write a lot while I’m driving. I like turning my voice recorder on my phone on while I’m in traffic and seeing what comes out. Otherwise, I’m always working collaboratively with producers and other writers.
Can you tell us a bit about this new single, Sometimes?
I wrote Sometimes during the first lockdown here in Melbourne. A lot of things in my personal life were beginning to shift and fall apart and I didn’t have a real explanation as to why. It’s written specifically about relationship breakdown but it’s more about surrendering control and accepting that sometimes things, both good and bad, just end or break.
It’s the new single from your forthcoming EP, can you tell us a bit about your EP and what you have in store?
My EP is a snapshot of where I currently am in my life and in music. It’s a journey through the highs and lows I experienced over the last year or so. It encompasses a lot of the sounds I love too, Pop, R&B, Soul and Funk.
What do you have planned for 2021?
Now that we can play again, I’m really excited to play a bunch of shows! And of course release plenty more music.
What do you want people to take away from your work?
Something I really believe in is finding the joy in all things. I hope even in the sad songs they wanna dance because that’s what life is about for me, smiling through the struggle.
Where can we find more of your music?
Sometimes is currently out on all platforms! And I’m always teasing new things and demos on my Instagram!