Behind the Track

Behind the Track: Kai Khan

28th August 2019

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Was there anything that inspired you when writing ‘(Can’t) Be Mine’?

My producer for this track, Ryan Maynard and I were listening to a lot of Kelela at the time and got really inspired by her sound. Ryan also had Small Talk by Ekkah on repeat, which has a lot of 80s/90s influence and we thought it would be cool to incorporate that into this track, so we added on an 80s synth bass into the choruses to give it that retro vibe.

How did you approach the songwriting process?

It was originally a completely different song which I wrote on my own. We were a little unsatisfied with how the original track was sounding. So, we picked out the parts that could’ve been written and produced better, and re-wrote it together. I think that collaborating played a key part in pushing this track to its fullest potential.

Do you have a favourite line/section of the track?

I love the middle 8 section and the build-up afterwards; especially when it drops down afterwards and the beat comes back in. In that build up, my vocals are actually pitched down and it sounds so sick – I’m always bopping to that!

Can you describe your sound in three words?

Eclectic, retrospective & amorous.

How do you feel your sound has developed since studying at BIMM?

My sound has definitely been redefined since finishing BIMM. I feel a lot of it comes from having to evaluate my current journey in life, and figuring out what I wanted to do next; so really thinking hard about what kind of music I feel happiest making. I’m trying to break more into the R&B scene – slowly but surely!

Do you have a stand out moment from your time at BIMM?

I did backing vocals for Khadija Jajue with a couple of friends at an End of Term gig at Concorde 2. We played Purple Rain by Prince, and we were headlining. Bear in mind this was only a week or so after news came out that Prince had passed away. The crowd was packed, everyone was singing along to it with their hands in the air and tears in their eyes. Watching all that happen from the stage was definitely something to remember!

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Author

Sarah-Louise Burns

After studying Ba(Hons) Photography, Sarah has worked in Social Media Marketing since 2013 - she's now part of the BIMM Social Media Team, and is photographer for the Who, What, Why series.