New York-raised and now Manchester based artist iamkyami announces their signing to Heist or Hit and releases new single “Stars”.
Serving glimmer-swirl indie R&B with a side of polygluttonous punk attitude; “Stars” is an enchanting introduction to iamkyami’s world. Lifted from a new EP due to arrive Spring 2022 via Heist or Hit, its lead single “Stars” deals with the narrative of how people become victims – not necessarily as a result of acted or purposeful evil, but from a total uncaring lack of awareness.
Speaking on the meaning behind “Stars”, Ky said: “The song is essentially about society, and how we treat others because of exterior variables that affect what boxes other people put us in. Variables such as socioeconomic status, race, and sexuality, when in reality, we’re all just humans that need to be treated with love and respect. Stars is about having enough of peoples’ negativity towards each other but still taking that negative narrative and flipping it into a positive one. We’re only human and so minuscule in the big picture of the universe…there’s no reason to be mean and nasty to others.”
Unpacking and exploding the rich opulence of pop R&B tropes, with near ninja-like emotional literacy, iamkyami is your slick-talking, perceptive narrator exploring notions of identity, uniqueness and self: “My heritage is one where two worlds collide and that’s something really special. Being half Japanese and half Black American, there are so many influences to pull from and my aesthetic is heavily based on my identity. Not only my ethnic identity but my identity as a Queer person too. My music is simply another way to express myself and the ways in which I view the world.”
Following 2020s debut EP ‘Life of Ky’ and a host of exciting collaborations since, Ky recalls her early points of inspiration, “We had dinner at my aunt’s house a lot and whenever she would cook there was always gospel or Mary J. Blige or D’Angelo blasting in the kitchen. But I arrived at the likes of Tyler, the Creator, BROCKHAMPTON, SZA, Steve Lacy and Vampire Weekend via Britney Spears and Avril Lavigne.”
Blitzed up with lyrical nerve and cottony production, these influences inspired Ky to push authenticity to the centre of the frame. “When I was in school, I didn’t identify with Black kids or Asian kids, I identified as a music and art kid.” Binary was always a construct and the disassembly has begun.
From main stage performances at the Liverpool International Music Festival and support slots for Yazmin Lacey and Roy Ayers, iamkyami has earned acclaim across the board: from gal-dem, to BBC Radio 1, 6Music, Radio 1Xtra, Reprezent Radio and Worldwide FM – all lining up to call themselves fans.
It’s not hard to see why. iamkyami has the ability to get to the essence of what many artists spend albums chiselling away at. A Venn diagram where the personal overlaps the universal, the next 12 months is theirs for the taking.