KAYTRANADA aka Kaytradamus aka Louis Kevin Celestin aka 1/2 of The Celestics, is the Haitian Prince hailing from Montreal Canada. He is a producer and DJ who started getting attention online after releasing a number of outstanding remixes on Soundcloud. His reworks of Janet Jackson’s 'If' and Missy Elliott’s 'Sock It To Me' are particularly noteworthy as they garnered major plays on blogs, various Youtube channels and in college dorms all over the world. It's crazy to think that it's been almost 4 years since. I’ve been following him closely since I first heard 'If' and I’ve watched him grow and blossom as an artist. I’ve seen him live, read some amazing interviews and seen him evolve from a Soundcloud phenom to a world class producer. I feel like I’ve been on this journey with him and as a fellow Canadian, I'm so proud to see him release his first official album.
99.9% is everything you would expect from a Kaytra album and then some. For him to establish his own sound early on his career was everything. Without even knowing he was the artist, you could hear a song and go, “yeah, that’s a Kaytra tune.” His bass is loud, his synths are airy and his drums slap harder than your mother after you get caught stealing from her purse. Kaytra is as unique as they come. DJ Premier has a distinct sound that only he has, same with 9th Wonder and same with J Dilla. KAYTRANADA is one of the few producers out there today with a sound he made, and everyone tries to emulate. 99.9% is a testament to that sound and why he is the best at creating it.
If you look at the album tracklist, you notice a lot of collaborations, however this does not take away from Kaytra’s skilled production. In fact, it only adds to it by pairing his style with vocal layers that ooze emotion, lyrics and texture one can only get from a distinct voice.
Some of the standout tracks for me are 'BUS RIDE' with Karreim Riggins and River Tiber, 'GOT IT GOOD' with Craig David, 'GLOWED UP' with Anderson .Paak, 'ONE TOO MANY' with Phonte and 'YOU’RE THE ONE' with Syd. Kaytra is somehow able to fuse hip-hop, jazz, funk, house and soul all together, effortlessly. The groove lasts the entire album and has an uplifting spirit that makes you want to smile and dance. It’s music in its purist form, simple. It’s easy to get lost between the kick drums, and before you know it, the album is over. That being said, the album does have a tendency to sound similar, witch makes Kaytra’s biggest strength also his weakness (if you can even call it that). His beats start to sound repetitive, but after a few listens, you’ll grow to appreciate each individual track. After all, it is one person making the music. Once you start to get comfortable, he switches styles on you and keeps you on your toes.
Overall, for a debut album, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would listen to this on repeat if I’m getting ready to go out or if I’m cleaning my house. It’s a fun record to bump for any occasion and I’m excited to see what young Kaytra does next. If I had to give it a number out of ten it would be a 7/10, and that's being conservative.
Matthew Im also recently reviewed Drake's new album. Get his honest opinion here.