INTERVIEW: Soul Newcomer Kai Exos

Hi Kai, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

KAI A: Better than ever. 

Can you talk to us more about your song “Fire & Brew”?

KAI A: It’s a vulnerable song. The lyric is, sort of, about the unraveling when I was in love… but it was a slow burn.

Did any event inspire you to write this song?

KAI A: Yeah, haha. For like 4 years.

What was it like to work with Indrani and how did that relationship develop?

KAI A: Indrani was super down and loved the song. I was inspired by her storytelling. I think, traditionally, her work is intimate is this turned out to be very beautiful. The development was super collaborative. We storyboarded together and they’re really were only, like, a dozen people on set. Close knit group.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

KAI A: As I remember it, it was a pretty lucid, organic process. Then again, I may have had a bottle of wine or two.

How was the recording and writing process?

KAI A: I wrote the song about 6 months before I got to Capitol. Bennie was fooling around on the piano, and one of the arrangers kind of added in a breathy chant at the tail end of the hook. What was really cool is that song was actually recorded on Nat King Cole’s piano. And that line ‘black 36, ivory 52’ is an homage to the piano. 

What role does LA play in your writing?

KAI A: I have a house there now and it’s been dope to collabo with artists and friends down there. If I’m not in LA, I’m usually flying.

How has Sam Cooke influenced your music?

KAI A: One of my favourite records is Bring it on Home to Me. It’s that kind of dry-bluesy-rich string sound, and that orchestral, like, backup singer thing has a lot to do with Fire & Brew. And the quiet bridge, where it didn’t feel like it needed a huge belted note, ’cause the song has such a swing to it.

After the success of your previous album – were you any nervous while working on this single?

KAI A: I don’t feel nervous when I’m writing or producing. The only time I’m nervous is during interviews. I think putting out a love song in follow up to Telegraph, which did so well on rock radio… this being on the more soul-side of rock is just balance. I wanted to show a softer side on this one.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

KAI A: Yes – we’ll drop a major release in the spring.

Any plans to hit the road?

KAI A: Yeah – we’re gonna do Europe next. My fav shows on the last tour were there and Asia.

What else is happening next in Kai Exos´ world?

KAI A: Look like early Summer I’m actually opening for someone pretty incredible at a festival, that I’ve respected for a long time.

Watch here

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About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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