Taking on instrumentals and progressing them into a pleasurable three-track EP isn’t easy at all, but KAIS has done that effortlessly with his new EP “What If I”. Dreamy and trance-like, the three tracks easily shine on their own, but together they take the listener on quite the journey. This follows up KAIS’s second single from this EP, titled “Honey Ripples”.
KAIS, real name Kais Khoury, is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer from Canada. He has been building up his career over the past few years, taking part in a number of competitions and events since 2014 from Mayor of London’s Big Busk to the USA Songwriting Competition, the latter of which he became a finalist in 2017. More recently, he has joined the London Indie sync licencing roster, North Note, and chatted with BBC Radio London host Robert Helms about his 2021 single “Take Me Home”.
Chatting about each of the tracks on the “What If I” EP, KAIS talked about “R.E.M. State”, first, saying that: “I’ve always been super inspired by KAYTRANADA’s ‘Bus Ride’ from the 99.9% album. I get lost in the instrumentals every time I listen to that track, and no matter what state I’m in, it has me feeling more rejuvenated after every playback. ‘Bus Ride’ is the sort of track that has left a mark on the canvas of our universe, and I wanted to give back by creating something similar. Since 2020, I find that my direction has generally transitioned into more rhythmic Jazz territory and it’s something I was able to meld into from the psych-rock realm without giving my audience the wrong shock factor.”
He continued by talking about the third track, “‘Honey Ripples’ was written on a rainy day, envisioning how water droplets collide with the body of a lake before reflecting the impact through the warm and creamy honey texture of the Rhodes piano, also experimenting with dolphin samples to create an underwater soundscape haven.”
Then he started delving into the title track of the EP, saying “‘What If I’ traverses themes of revival; the instrumental track with spoken vocals speaks from the dark abyss of mortal defeat. The protagonist weighs up letting his soul disintegrate or summoning an unforeseen strength to claw out of his pit to bring about his soul’s resuscitation.”
Stream “What If I” EP by KAIS on Spotify here:
The EP starts off with “What If I”, which is a full-on experimental jazz track with rolling beats and hypnotic piano chords mixed with ambient percussion that breaks up the dark spoken word that travels from the depths of the track to make an impact, and the beats progress into a crescendo towards the end. “R.E.M State” follows next with personified drums with gentle and soothing percussion that just rolls right off out of our speakers and drifts the listener away. The EP ends with “Honey Ripples” starting off with rain droplets before the Rhodes piano kicks in taking up the soundscape and transforming the listener’s world into nature.
“What If I”, the new EP from KAIS, is available to download and stream, right now, across all platforms, via Hot Soap Records.