“My goal is to make timeless music”- Kaylow

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Image: Leander Joseph
Image: Leander Joseph

Where does your love of music come from?

I was raised by a musical family; my mom and my aunt always sang and played a lot of music – Patti LaBelle, Nina Simone and the likes. So, I was raised in a soulful family. I never really wanted to be a singer but, it just happened quicker than all the other things I had planned.

When did music become your focus?

Until I moved to Pretoria in 2006 to study after my mom passed away, I found myself mingling with producers in the area. I started recording in 2009, I remember I did a few songs and there was one song Difference, I did with Darque that was big in London and not here in South Africa. That was when I decided to try this music thing, and then I met Tim White and joined the House Africa brand.

How did your debut album come about?

Tim signed me with Sony and it was a dream come true, because when I was younger I had said if I’d do music I’d want to be part of Sony or House Africa and I got both. I got beats from people and Soul Café came about and it wasn’t supposed to be a big hit. It was just another good song to me. I released the song in 2013. It became my first single from my album Reach Out. I put a lot into Reach Out and I attached myself in every song. It was a very personal album for me. It went gold and it’s still selling.

What’s your goal?

My goal is to be like the people I grew up listening to. I want my music to live forever. Luther Vandross is no longer with us, but his music still lives on and we still listen to him. I want my music to run along those lines, like Ringo Madlingozi I don’t want to make seasonal music.

How would you describe your music?

Some people describe me as a soul singer. But I’m just a singer. I don’t feel comfortable being called a soul singer. I don’t like being bracketed. My new single from my current album, Isgubhu speaks about how I just love making music and it’s all about the beat. I have music in me and for now I’m making house music; maybe in my next album I might take a whole new different direction.”

How do you feel about winning best male artist at the first ever Dance Music Awards?

That was really dope. It feels good to be appreciated without you trying to be noticed. With other awards you must apply and with these awards you don’t apply, nor did I know any of the people who chose me or voted. It was really special, it gave me that drive that I shouldn’t stop what I’m doing and should do more.

Tell us more about your new single Isgubhu?

It’s a feel good song; I think it’s definitely a morning jam, the kind of get up and go. You can’t be standing still when it plays – it’s a true dance hit. I think people will love it, the few times I’ve performed it, so far, I’ve had a great response from the crowd.

Who would you still like to work with?

I’d love to work with all the great male vocalists we have like Zyon and J’ Something – I really love their work. But in terms of producers I think I’ve done it, I’ve worked with Louie Vega and he is like the pinnacle.

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