May 2022 – somewhere in between the energy of Afrobeats and the melodic elements of Dancehall, there lies a distinctive sonic formula that stands out as the backbone of Kado Kadra’s sound. Born Alex Kaunda, the artist is only 22, but he has already developed an incredibly diverse and accomplished sound. This talented artist is all about creating innovative and fun soundscapes, which set the bar higher in terms of trying different ideas and blending various influences, to create music that feels utterly personal and dynamic.
Currently based in the UK, the artist has not forgotten his Malawian roots (He is originally from Lilongwe, Malawi), which are vital to his unique approach to combining Afrobeats with Afro-pop and even Amapiano, along with other styles. He already managed to achieve quite a lot, including being featured on the sought-after ‘BBC introducing’ program!
Recently, Kado Kadra wrapped up a new project named Melanin. This release is the perfect calling card for the artist, and it is a great display of passion, focus and quality at the core of his sound and vision. This track is truly special. Besides allowing two different sonic cultures and genres to collide in a beautiful way, it features a lot of interesting sound design elements that act as nuances to make the sound feel more detailed and rich. In some ways, this really reminds me of impressionistic painters. It’s like a dreamier version of reality, something that evokes more feelings and emotion, but it still very concrete and discernible, instead of being overly “out there” or too experimental.
In other words, this production feels like the perfect combination of catchy and experimental, falling somewhere in between the two while creating something amazing in the process. Kado Kadra has teamed up with Akayah (also known as Akaya Barnett) on this special new release. This Jamaican touch provided an excellent twist, and there is a really distinct contrast created by the spectacular and perfect clash of these two different cultures, colliding into something that’s quite amazing. African and Caribbean sounds are a match made in heaven, and this release is a definite proof of that!
Melanin is highly recommended to fans of artists as diverse as Davido, Burna Boy, Wizkid, Rema and 1da Banton, only to mention a few. Much like these mentioned icons, Kado Kadra’s foray into the Afrobeats genre is all about bringing personality to his vision and giving the audience a taste of something real and different, while still staying true to what makes this kind of music so special and unique.
In addition to that, Kado Kadra offers the “added bonus” of being an artist who is ready for new creative challenges, always exploring with ways to make his songs more unique and create music that truly stands out. With Melanin, he shows that he is always willing to bring new ideas to his music and expand his sonic boundaries, while still providing sounds that are inherently catchy and easy to relate to for his audience. In addition to the personable and edgy performance value, this release is also quite distinctive because of the sheer quality of the production.
The mix is balanced and very detail-oriented, making for a lively, edgy and stark sonic approach. In other words, there are many subtle nuances in this release, which really add to the richness of the track when summed up together. The frequency spectrum of the mix is also very balanced, with a tight, yet deep low end working wonders along with a smooth top end, which adds a sense of clarity to the music. The immersive and thought-provoking listening experience has something special to offer, and this song is loaded with appeal and quality.
Kado Kadra is never too self-indulgent when it comes to creativity, meaning that he is not the kind of artist who is going to get lost in overly complicated musicale experiments and elaborate tones. He knows that spontaneity is the key to great songwriting, and his ability to create music that’s fun, edgy, and direct really speaks for itself. Having said that, this doesn’t mean that his sound lacks nuances.
On the contrary, Melanin is a perfect example of a beautiful and direct piece of music with a very signature tone, which is perfect to introduce new listeners to Kado Kadra’s world of music and creativity. If this release is any indication, this talented artist has a lot to look forward to in the near future.