It’s been a while since the world heard from Kae Sun. After making waves nearly five years ago with the breakthrough single “Ship and the Globe” (which currently sits at a healthy 3.6 million views on YouTube), the Ghanaian-born, Canadian-raised folk/R&B singer has been more selective with his releases in recent years. However, 2017 seems prosperous for the young talent, with his upcoming Canary EP landing a spot on CBC Music’s list of “10 Canadian Albums to look forward to in 2017.”
Tonight, Kae Sun will perform in his debut Montreal showcase, an event presented by Moonshine, the city’s beloved series of lunar-based underground celebrations. We caught up with the singer (born Kwaku Afriyie) to discuss his upcoming work, plans for 2017 and favourite albums of the past year, among other topics.
Mr. Wavvy: If you had to describe your upcoming Canary EP with one word, what would it be?
Kae Sun: Energy.
MW: What were the biggest sources of inspiration for this project?
KS: Music itself is always my biggest inspiration. Being excited by a riff or a melody or a drum sequence. Very close to that is stories and places and encounters with people.
MW: What would you say has been the most significant point of change/difference from crafting this project as opposed to your debut, Afriyie?
KS: Time makes all the difference. I like to think I’ve become more experienced at life.
MW: Why such a long time between your debut and upcoming release?
KS: I was on the road almost two years with Afriyie and then I produced and released an EP for a collaborative short film project, then I took care of other stuff that needed taking care of.
MW: What can fans expect from a Kae Sun live show?
KS: An upward shift in vibration is the goal.
MW: With 2016 capped off, what were some of your favourite albums of the year?
KS: Number one would be Childish Gambino’s Awaken. My Love!, followed by Corinne Bailey-Rae’s The Heart Speaks in Whispers and Kid Cudi’s Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’.
MW: What are your plans following the release of the EP?
KS: I’ll be making some announcements as we head into the spring, stay tuned!
MW: What is the meaning of life?
KS: I couldn’t tell you really, but I have a feeling we’ve come to the right place. ■
Kae Sun performs with opener Mark Clennon at Divan Orange (4234 St-Laurent) tonight, Thursday, Jan. 19, 7 p.m., $10