The Toronto-based rapper, r&b/hip-hop artist, and singer-songwriter Kem'Yah dissects societal and personal matters in a conceptual 12-track album entitled 'Original.'
Through his blend of Congolese rumba, reggae, hip-hop, soul, and jazz, Kem'Yah's urban sound is nothing but ordinary. Always paying homage to his roots and upbringing, Kem'Yah never fails to showcase his style-bending musicianship in each release. Recently dropping his 12-track album, 'Original,' we're incredibly excited to introduce our readers to this thorough and meaningful project, as it's not one to miss out on.
Jumping into the project through the introductory track, "Check the Clock," the song offers this calming and relaxed r&b atmosphere while Kem'Yah sets the album's tone with his bars that expand on divine timing and being exactly where he's meant to be. Hitting play on track number two, "Black Skin," Kem'Yah's bars and sweet vocals truly make for a chilling listening experience, especially as he rides the rhythmic and downtempo r&b beat while encouraging people of color to see the beauty and magnificence in their skin.
Moving into the title track, "Original," Kem'Yah lifts our spirits with his upbeat blend of hip-hop and Congolese rumba that offers incredible energy and vibrance. As Kem'Yah dives into his lyrical message, he powerfully reminds us that Africans are the ancestors of humanity, emphasizing the respect they must be shown as African culture continues to influence our world today. On track number four, "Find Myself," Kem'Yah turns it down a notch and dives into a deeply introspective message of realizing that his search for God ends when he finds himself. The next track, "Connection," offers this upbeat and electronic/house sonic atmosphere while Kem'Yah grooves his way through and expands on the deep connection he's built with his wife while paying tribute to beautiful black women everywhere.
Reaching the album's midway point with "Gods Are Rising," Kem'Yah heats the project's atmosphere with a powerful hip-hop beat while touching on a rather rebellious lyrical subject of rising against hatred, oppression, and genocide against people of color. The seventh track, "No Light," offers a powerful atmosphere with a mid-tempo hip-hop/r&b beat while Kem'Yah enlightens us on the importance of one's identity and embodying all that your culture and heritage have to offer. Deepening the album's listening experience with "Black God," the scorching hot hip-hop beat hits our speakers like a crash landing. As Kem'Yah expands on God's image and how it unfairly fits the European standards, he also reminds people of color to stay true to their image of God and steer away from the mentality that God is white.
Setting a wildfire with the next track, "VooDoo High," the robust hip-hop beat offers a dense and rich sonic atmosphere while Kem'Yah offers a deeply rhythmic performance that touches on his connection to the spiritual realm and its inhabitants. Landing on "Shango," a track we've recently featured, the blistering hip-hop beat sets the song's energetic and intense tone while Kem’Yah reclaims his individuality and freedom after beating his charges and feeling nothing but invincible. Moving into "Ghetto Magick," Kem’Yah turns the vibes up with his soothing r&b production and instrumentation while expanding on the love he cherishes with his dear wife and the magic of their relationship. Reaching the final track of the album with "Divine Dynasty (feat. Sa Ra Herut)," Sa Ra Herut opens the song with his deep vocals that perfectly contrast Kem’Yah's melodic tones while both artists expand on the creation of the black dynasty and focusing on its importance and originality.
We're truly impressed with the deepened emotion and meaning that Kem’Yah has placed into his album, 'Original,' and we encourage our readers to take a listen and experience the project's sonic dynamic range and lyrical dexterity. Find 'Original' on all digital streaming platforms.
Welcome back to BuzzMusic Kem'Yah, and congratulations on releasing your anticipated 12-track album, 'Original.' What was the main focus or message that you wanted to get across with this record?
Thank you so very much, truly appreciated. The main focus on this body of work was really to find a unique but authentic and unapologetic way to express that Afrikans (people, culture, history, etc) are the 'Original' ancestors, the Originals Gods of all mankind while also sharing how I came to this knowledge thru my personal experiences over the last few years.
What inspired you to create the album 'Original?' When did you initially feel inspired to create this record? How long was it in the making?
I actually started working on this album as I was almost done concluding my first album. Some of the records on 'Original' were originally (no pun intended) on 'Know Thyself.'
Did you face any challenges when writing and creating 'Original?' How did you overcome these obstacles?
Yeah, of course, I mean some of the topics I discuss on the album are hard to hear for the average person, but that's also what my music is about, it's meant to provoke the listener to ask questions and question the status quo no matter how wild what I'm saying might be perceived. It's fact, not an opinion which can all be verified if people pick up some books.
Which track within 'Oringal' do you feel highlights the record's concept and meaning the most?
I'd say "Gods Are Rising."
Did you work with any producers when creating the sonics for 'Original?' How did the producers help execute the visions and genres you had in mind?
There's a ton of great producers on this album, but it's really my engineer Astro who helps bring my concepts and ideas to life.