Downtown Kayoto - Karma Called
Downtown Kayoto's latest single, 'Karma Called', is a manifestation of sounds that provokes one to indulge in the tranquil feeling before imminent trouble; "The calm before the storm!"
Downtown Kayoto, bred in Kingston upon Hull, England, is an artist extraordinaire originally from Zimbabwe, shaping music into feelings, blurring the lines between indie pop, hip-hop, and lo-fi electronica!
Initially drawing inspirations from artists like Frank Ocean, Daniel Caesar, and the Bhundu Boys, one would argue that his newer releases have been starting to embody a new spirit of their own!
Hitting hard with no wait after a bar of filtered drums and some accompanying vinyl crackles echoing the approaching drum beat, Kayoto allures one to this record with one of his most infectious vocals yet! The amalgamation of just the right amount of boominess to the bassline, the intermittent mono guitar strums breaking into the verge of saturation, and Kayoto's occasional but recurrent breaths scattered throughout the verses create this unsettling feeling that is also eerily calming at the same time for some reason! The music video, directed by Louis Lincoln-Bottcher illustrates the same temperament wherein the intro scene opens with a lone walking Kayoto abruptly being kidnapped in a 78' MG BGT.
Around 33 seconds into the song, Downtown nudges the track into the pre-chorus removing most of the sounds, just leaving behind a faint intonation of the beat accompanied by some thick and clean humbucker-esque guitar picks intentionally drowned by an almost soft-spoken like infliction to his vocal encouraging the listener to brace for an impending call from 'Karma'!
The hook of the song credits an undeniably cool ambiance without the need of even trying. The way Kayoto carries his vocals parallel to the sounds he is surrounded by in the chorus veritably yields this unique sensation of tranquillity before the approaching storm.
In the second verse, one gets to hear a more familiar Kayoto with his more wordy rap-like takes, still following the serene and upbeat motif of the record. This feeling only intensifies in the bridge, where the track breaks down into a more traditional half-time drum beat appended by an almost future bass-inspired chordal pattern. The replacement of the original groovy bass patterns for a more 808 like decay on the bass notes further deepens this emotion in the bridge.
The track closes off into the last chorus, bringing back all the patterns and sounds one got to be familiar with, for one last time, except the addition of a String Quartet this time! Kayoto closes the track strong, bringing home complicated emotions as he intended!
In today's day and age, where there exist a plethora of genres, and while everyone is trying to re-invent music, it is rare to hear something that doesn't sound 'forced!' Downtown Kayoto's 'Karma Called' is one of those gems that slipped through the cracks emitting its own feelings on anyone that listens to!
Watch the Official Video Of 'Karma Called' on YouTube
Listen to 'Karma Called' on Apple Music