For those that know me, will know I am a lover of all things Kaytranada (that’s pronounced Kay-TRUH-Na-DUH) and with the release of his debut album, 99.9%, last Friday, it only felt right to write a review.
Originally known under the alias, Kaytradamus, the Haitian born-Canadian producer and DJ has produced an entire album with some incredible features from artists such as Vic Mensa, Anderson. Paak and AlunaGeorge. A quirky, abstract and feel-good vibe encompasses the whole album from start to finish. Whilst many know him for his electric, soulful remixes and boiler room sets, 99.9% is a new dawn for the artist.
The first track, ‘Track Uno’, is a groovy, deep synth instrumental – undoubtedly one of my favourites, and will be the soundtrack to my summer. ‘Bus Ride’ featuring Karriem Riggins and River Tiber and ‘Got It Good’ with the UK’s homegrown talent Craig David, provides a mellow and chilled vibe to the album. Whilst not the funky, electric sounds that Kaytranada’s lovers will be used to, the tracks prove Kaytranada’s versatility as an artist.
No stranger to Kaytranada’s beats, Goldlink features on the track ‘Together’ with AlunaGeorge creating an upbeat vibe. ‘Drive Me Crazy’ with Vic Mensa, which was actually released as a single in January, combines Kaytranada’s unorthodox sound with a trap/hip-hop influenced beat – topped off with some of Mensa’s unique rap style.
Collaboration with Anderson. Paak on ‘Glowed Up’ is another summer anthem that will make your head bop and smooth vocals that will make you want to mime ‘I’m glowed upppppp’. The ultimate jam with another R&B vocalist, Phonte, on ‘One Too Many’ is also a feel-good tune that will have the music bumping off your soul.
Album artwork by Ricardo Cavolo provides a trippy, colourful and exuberant feeling to the 15 track-album. Each track comes with its own illustration and Kaytranada revealing the choice of 99.9% as the album title because of his uncertainty on anything being 100%.
Whilst many may be skeptical of the album as he moves into a new sphere and also further into the limelight; I think Kaytranada is challenging and shifting the sound of hip-hop. Recently coming out as gay in an interview, a new album and a worldwide tour, I can’t help but feel Kaytranada is that much closer to that 0.1% than he thinks.