His 2017 single ‘iSpy’ alongside Lil Yatchy saw both cracking a joke or two about their ‘nutsack’, but their jocular verses are so undeniably infectious, that, in a short period of time amassed an exorbitant amount of loops worldwide, beaming KYLE to the top of the Billboard Charts for the first time.
Swerving away from the impersonal character a debut album might have at times, Light of Mine is a bubbling declaration of realness that boasts KYLE’s appreciation for things that happened in real life. The self-aware and sincere approach to his songwriting strives to make a connection between him and whoever’s listening, making you feel comfortable with your own damn self.
There’s a rich list of collaborators – Kehlani, Lil Yatchy, Alessia Cara and Khalid to name drop a few – infused in a vivid conglomeration of genres, ranging from R&B, Hip-hop, pop. The album also includes a contribution of critically acclaimed Accapella group Take 6, establishing the perfect past-present-future continuum on ‘Coming and Going’, followed by a bilingual moment on Nipponic-fuelled on ‘Ikyo’ alongside 2Chains and Sophia Black.
“A lot of the songs are dedicated to me getting some really heavy shit out of my chest.“ – KYLE comments on his writing process for Light of Mine – “To [be able to] make music that helped me, and in turn, helps others, it’s literally a gift from God. Thank you. It doesn’t always happen like that. This shit could have gone copper. Within the first month, it went gold, it was like fire: a very, very, very dope feeling.” – KYLE comments on the project, almost a year after its release.
How his music affects its listeners is something that KYLE experienced first hand throughout the past year. 72 live dates in 52 weeks, ranked him as the 8th ‘hardest touring hip hop artist’ of 2018 according to NME.
His pre-Christmas show at the Electric Ballroom in London sold-out, and there was a long line of fans patiently waiting at the venue’s entry hours before it all began. The set list accounted with a mixture of his most recent release and hits from previous releases, such as ‘Don’t’ wanna fall in Love’, and ‘Fruit Snacks ’.
“Travelling gives you the opportunity to learn that there is a world so much bigger than the one that you’re used to.” – he proceeds – “There are other places that have existed for thousands of years with or without you. It opened my mind a lot. I feel like there is so much that I haven’t even begun to discover. It teaches you to want to continue to learn about everything else.” – KYLE comments on his globetrotting experience.
Broadening his perspective of the world, less than a month ago and to his own surprise, Kyle performed for a mere 17 thousand in attendance at a New Zealand festival. From New Zealand to South Korea, where he would perform the third released remix of Playwitme, this time with the verse in Korean, by rapper Jay Park.
“Music is the universal language. I feel that as musicians we have the power to take somebody who knows nothing about a certain type of people or a certain type of culture and make them fall in love with it. You can’t stop people or deny people of their enjoyment and love for somebody else’s music. “
Granted that not everyone has access or the means to travel the globe, for the past couple of years, music has been a catalyst to bring a better understanding of different cultures that we haven’t been exposed to yet.
“Think of K-pop and the success that they are having over here. You have a whole legion of young kids who know so much about Korean culture now because their favourite musicians are Korean. They are not going to have to grow up not knowing about Korean or Asian culture, it teaches you so much. Music is huge in that respect.”
This cultural interchange might not be as widespread in the traditional platforms such as radio, but subgenres such as Latin Trap and K-pop dominate digital mediums such as Youtube and Soundcloud. And it is a symbiotic exchange. The dot.com generation making beats from their bedroom has the freedom to upload their latest mixes online, sharing it instantly with the rest of the world. KYLE’s own songs have been covered by other languages countless times online. iSpy accounts with covers in Spanish, Portuguese, Korean and Japanese, each with millions of streams.
Having just wrapped up the last leg of his ‘Lightspeed’ tour, KYLE is going to keep on pushing his momentum – “Hopefully I’m gonna get my Cudi and my Will Smith on, all in one year.” – he wittingly replies to what’s installed for 2019.
His lead role debut on Ian Edelman film for Netflix ‘The After Party’, opened doors for KYLE to express himself in different mediums aside music. This year, Kyle has already been confirmed as one of the newly appointed co-executive producers for an adult-centered comedy Sugar and Toys. As per getting his Cudi on, I think all we have to do is wait.