KAE SUN: When the Pot


WE FIRST MET KAE SUN in November 2010. We had heard from a mutual friend that dude was taking Toronto by storm. Definitely, not Canada dry. Kae Sun was back in Accra for the first time in a decade to perform at the High Vibes Festival. Tall, bright-eyed and open, he was amped to be home reconnecting with family, friends and the city. Naturally, Kae Sun was a bit anxious about presenting his intimate acoustics to hometown folks. It was clear then that the singer/songwriter was still minting his sound, finding his voice through the strings of a guitar.

Back in Toronto, Kae Sun uses the road as his tool shed. A busy tour schedule across Canada provides a sonic lab to experiment with different rhythms, textures and experiences. And he’s been in the basement working on a followup to 2011’s Outside the Barcode. Kae Sun has teamed up with producer friends Josh and Mark to create a sound that is both futuristic and organic. He’s catching on, too – if proof is in the pudding, his upcoming June show with K’Naan in Toronto is butterscotch.

A bold blend of opposite angles – Ghana and Canada, folk + funked-up soul, futuristic and organic – that congeal in just the right way. Kae Sun’s sound is altogether here and nowhere  – he is fully present in the moment yet time traveling between the before and the after. His sound is now grown up and full-bodied – his melodies thick, strong, coffee brown alert. He sings of terrific and terrible things, strumming out each whisper and thunder through strings that compel you, the listener, to respond in some way.

A cheer, a moan, a hum, a teeth suck, a shake of the head, a handclap, a bang-your-back-out boogie. Some response must meet this call.

We can dig it. That’s why we were excited to help produce Kae Sun’s first headliner show in Ghana this May. It was a lovely time with more than 200 folks squeezed into a bluesy joint called Taverna Tropicana. We all came to witness Kae Sun BLAST IT along with Ofie Kodjoe, Tauri Deveaux, Tapcuma and PaaKwesi Davis.

To see Kae Sun in action, check out video from our interview above and an exclusive performance of “When the Pot” below: