Photo by Elissa Salas
Khamari has been one of the most consistent new acts of the year. His first three singles "Jealous," "The Heat," and "That Girl" all showcase his vocal ability as well as his knack for writing emotive lyrics. Khamari returns with his debut EP titled Eldorado that is full of catchy pop ballads and infectious grooves.
We were able to connect with Khamari via email and learn about his EP, Boston influence, and more.
Ones To Watch: How did growing up in Boston influence the music you make?
I studied music as a kid and ended up going to Berklee for a little so I learned the ins and outs of a lot of older records. But growing up I was surrounded by all different types of music. My parents listened to a lot of R&B and my grandfather listened to a lot of Jazz music. I think naturally those things come across in my own music.
How has quarantine changed how you create music?
It's crazy because when quarantine started at the beginning of the year I thought I was going to be working on new records everyday. But the reality is with less going on in life I've had to look in different places to get the same level of inspiration I had before all of this was going on. So I've been watching more movies, and listening to more music, trying to find different ways to approach my creative process.
How would you describe your music in non-genre terms?
I think the best type of music is music you put on and it takes you somewhere else, that's the shit I try to make.
What do you hope listeners take away after listening to Eldorado?
To be honest, I just write about my experiences. I don't really 'hope' listeners take away anything specific, but it’s dope if they can relate their own stories and journeys through mine. That's what I do when I listen to other people's music.
You frequently collaborate with producers Trackside. What's your process for working with them and picking instrumentals?
Yeah, those are the homies. When we work it’s different every time though. For the last three years we’ve started a bunch of records together, and they've also helped me finish ideas I started on my own - whether it was an idea we wanted to pitch to other artists or something I wanted to work on for myself. For "Jealous" I had the song written and had the guitar part, and they helped get the production done. On "The Heat" I had the song and the production real close, so they helped fill in some of the missing pieces and get the sounds right. I've never really picked instrumentals though because I'd rather be a part of the process from the ground up. The collaboration part of it is just having someone you trust to help you see the vision and add their own to it.
What's your favorite track on the EP?
It's hard to say. If I had to choose, it would probably be between "Other Side" or "The Heat".
What's next for Khamari?
The next project. For the next year I’m really about to lock-in with other creatives and create the best body of work I can. This project I wanted to be an introduction, but in my next chapter I want to make something that reflects the times and tells even more of my story.
Who are your ones to watch?
Baby Keem, Rook Monroe and Jae Stephens who's on "Other Side," all dope artists and writers.
Listen to Eldorado EP by Khamari below: