Uber may very well be the greatest invention of the recent decade, as it apparently doubles as a way to discover the hottest new talent. Discovered in the back of an Uber while studying abroad at UCLA, the Zimbabwe-born artist KWAYE would go on to find himself signed to Mind of a Genius within a few weeks. The chance encounter not only resulted in great things for KWAYE, but for us as well, as the unique genre-bending music present on KWAYE's debut EP Solar is transfixing from first listen.
Solar contains such a varied range of sonic influences that it is no surprise that KWAYE's musical influences are equally as varied. From growing up listening to Zimbabwean music, as well as icons such as D'Angelo and John Legend, to the neo-soul genre pusher Thundercat, and even unexpected artists such as Tracy Chapman and The Eagles, Solar's eclectic and nostalgic range of sound makes perfect sense. Infusing elements of pop and classic house into his own flowing neo-soul and funk, one may think such seemingly disparate sounds would clash, but the final product is a cohesive EP that leverages the most of these eclectic elements.
Throughout Solar, the blend of '80s funk nostalgia and modern flair is clear. Opening on "Cool Kids," KWAYE presents his own take on the neo-soul genre before infusing it with a mesmerizing house beat on "Little Ones." Perhaps the most surprising track on the EP, "Sweetest Life" sees KWAYE drawing out the most from his pop and house influences. He share on the inspiration,
“The allure of love is that it is beautifully uncertain. ‘Sweetest Life’ captures the excitement and spontaneity of love in its purest form. The song symbolizes an outward expression of those good vibrations that are made great when shared.”
Solar is KWAYE doing what he does best, bringing together the best from then and now. Listen to the EP below.