Last month we had the pleasure of sharing two amazing records with you from a new artist who goes by the name of Khai. Octal Sound is releasing his If You EP, which both previous records are taken from, this Friday October 16th. As an instrumentalist and singer, Khai takes charge on the project that takes from several styles of music, resulting in intriguing sounds that are sure to mesmerize. We had a little chat with the Austin resident, who got to introducing himself, along with his upcoming solo EP, If You, which includes a collaboration with the Chicago singer CYN that we, and the Hypem charting Justin Abokhai, are super excited for. So, without further adieu, here is the exceptional musical talent we call Khai.
TMN: How did you originally get into music?
Khai: I’ve been listening to and playing music since I was a little kid. I started out playing the piano, moved onto the guitar, and eventually started singing as well. I didn’t start producing music until I moved to Austin. I was living with my brother, and a producer friend of mine and I was using an old PC to produce these simple melodic beats in Fl studio. Eventually that evolved into me meeting a few Austin electronic producers and getting more involved in the scene.
TMN: What artists did you grow up listening to?
I actually grew up listening to a lot of English Rock. I used to teach myself a lot of older music on guitar. Bands like: Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Who, The Clash, etc. Towards High School I started listening to more electronic music and a lot of Hip Hop. I was influenced by music like Kid Cudi, Kanye West, Coldplay, and The Gorillaz.
TMN: What artists are on your radar right now? Any people you’d want to collaborate with?
Khai: I’m watching a lot of music right now. Way too many to list, but I really love BAILE’s project. His EP was really amazing. Lucian has been consistently putting out fire tracks. I love Manila Killa’s sound, his tracks are always so melodic and well executed. As far as people I’d like to collaborate with, I’d love to work with Flume, Porter Robinson, or Odesza.
TMN: When did you feel you really had something special, and wanted to break away with your solo project?
Khai: Very shortly after I decided to get more serious about production. It gave me the ability to create my own sound, which isn’t always easy when working with other artists.
TMN: How did you get connected up with the people at Octal Sound?
Khai: I was actually featured on a Bronze Whale track “Love To Feel”, that they released. I sent my EP to Dexter Palmer (one of the partners at Octal) and he really liked it, so we started talking about the future. My manager has a pretty great relationship with them as well, so it made a lot of sense for us to work together.
TMN: What can we expect from your upcoming If You EP?
Expect to hear a lot of different sounds. It’s an eclectic EP that showcases minimal production. Personally, I’m really excited to release my collaboration with CYN. It was amazing to work with her. Most importantly expect a stepping stone. These are my first steps as a creative.
TMN: How was performing at SXSW for the first time this year?
Khai: I did a session with Samuel Proffitt for Daytrotter, which was fun. SXSW is a fantastic opportunity to network. Especially for new artists. At a time when the internet is such a fundamental part of our lives, as an artist you tend to build these relationships with people via web. It’s amazing to meet groups of those people in one place. I love SXSW.
TMN: Has living in Austin shaped your sound at all?
Khai: Living in Austin definitely made a lot of impressions on me. I have some amazing friends there, and it’s where I first experienced music on that scale. Austin has so much live music and culture. It’s truly an amazing place.
TMN: What are some of your goals for next year?
Khai: I really want to start releasing visuals. Hopefully we can deliver some music videos next year. I hope to also give a much broader picture to listeners of who I am.