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Album Review: Kaytranada – 99.9%

99.9% of the time Kaytranada is a producer/beat maker who makes high quality music, with a variety of sounds. Kaytranada, who incidentally still lives at home, has become a widely recognised producer, growing more attention with his new debut studio album – 99.9%.

Kaytranada, 23 (real name Louis Kevin Celestin), has become a Soundcloud sensation, using the platform to showcase his talent of mixing sounds to create fresh, original, upbeat songs. Most notably, his remix of Janet Jackson’s If became one his biggest hits, eventually leading to Jackson herself revealing how much she liked the mix.

“Kaytranada gives you energy, forget red bull”

Listening to Kaytranada, what becomes clear is the attention to detail that goes into making his music. Every kick, snare, or clap, usually layered with a sample, gives an energetic, funky, house-vibe to his songs. But what makes him stand out from the popular electronic/house producers such as Disclosure, is Kaytranada’s versatility. He doesn’t just produce house, he produces all kinds. The ‘Kaytranada sound’ has influences from his Haitian roots which have unique, but distinct sounds. Louis and his family immigrated to Canada when he was only four months old.

I discovered Kaytranada on Soundcloud and made it my mission to listen to, if not all, then the majority of his work. The beats are extremely uplifting and give the listener an alluring spark of energy. Kaytranada gives you energy, forget red bull. It became clear to me that Kaytranada has a talent in being able to make most artists illuminate their own sound, giving them an individuality whenever they feature on his tracks.

Personally, my favourite songs of Kaytranada have been Whateva You Want, Modjo’s Lady (Kaytranada Remix) and MNEK’s Wrote A Song About You (Kaytranada Edition). Other artists that have featured on Kaytranada’s songs that have created upbeat sounds include Azealia Banks, Missy Elliot, and more recently Syd from The Internet. The song Girl by The Internet, released in 2015, put Kaytranada on the map even further. On YouTube, it gained over 5.5 million views.

I’ll mention what I thought was the the top five songs on the album, starting with Track uno, which might not get as much recognition compared to other featured tracks. The song is a cleverly sampled track from I Figure I’m Out of Your Life, performed by Delegation, which gives the song a funky, lively start. As it is essentially an instrumental track without vocals, it is a nice beat to get in the mood for the rest of the album. Bus ride also is a similar track in the sense that it is an instrumental, but much more relaxing, I guess it was made to be listened to while on some sort of journey. 

“Kaytranada has mastered the trait of being able to produce a certain beat which suits the artist and the type of sound that they’re seeking”

Got it Good ft. Craig David, my favourite track on album, included a beat which was used on a previous mixtape ‘Instrumental Hip Hop Is Dead’, with the vocals from a familiar Craig David, sounding good enough to get a re-e-wind. The instrumental gives the solo garage artist a certain edge, seeming to slot right into this type of sound.

Glowed Up ft. Anderson Paak works tremendously well with both the artists’ styles. Kaytranada has mastered the trait of being able to produce a certain beat which suits the artist and the type of sound that they’re seeking. This song is another example of that, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if both of these artists worked together again. The song signifies both of the artists on the way up in their careers. The catchy hook makes the song one of the most memorable on the album.

You’re the One is another collaboration with Syd from The Internet. This is one of the best I’ve heard from Syd and she really makes the song her own, it seems they bring out the best of each other. The reason I like Syd in particular is because a lot of feeling goes into her songs, which is always welcomed by an audience. Her songs generally have two elements to them, they are very soothing whilst also having the capacity of being an upbeat dance song at the same time.

At the end of the album we find a delightful song called Bullets ft. Little Dragon, the drum pattern and kicks are nicely layered with the vocals from Little Dragon. I had shamefully not heard of the Swedish electronic music band from Gothenburg before this song, and had a listen to them after; I was surprised to hear the type of electronic music that they made was completely different to the song I heard from them on this album, but I liked their style.

It will be interesting to see if Kaytranada could better this album in his next projects as this would be considered a successful album on his part. Maybe he needs to hit a 110% work rate to better the quality of this album.

 

Essential track: Kaytranada – Got it Good ft. Craig David

By Jordan Edwards

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