You’re in a chill loft with a red cup in your hands and you hear a track so familiar, you just have to jam to it. You know you’ve heard it somewhere, you’re trying to recognize it – and you know who it is.
That’s Kaytranada for you. Super cool, unique and instantly recognizable with his signature sound, this Montreal artist is known as Louis Kevin Celestin when he isn’t recording. Having moved from Haiti to Montreal as a kid, in 1993, he dropped out of school and began to support his family. He began touring from the age of 14. After his success with Boiler Room and his stunning album 99.9%, Kaytranada’s sound became one of the funkiest ones around. From Janet Jackson and Armand Van Helden to Disclosure and Flume, the artists takes his own spin to these commercial sounds, bringing old disco alive with modern tech.
The artist isn’t shy about his journey. In a recent interview, Kaytranada opened up about his struggles with depression and coming to terms with his sexuality. Now bolder, empowered and more boss than ever, Kaytranada’s 99.9% features vocalists like Anderson Paak and good ol’ Craig David and won him the Polaris Music Prize! He’s even played in New York, Paris and London in front of some pretty cool visuals.
From choppy, amateur hip-hop beats at 15 to becoming an acclaimed DJ, Kaytranada’s come a long way. His penchant for flipping music from the early 2000’s and vinyls from the 1980’s have made him a legit favorite – in fact, Madonna’s even asked him to open up for her. Way to go, big man.
My first taste of Boiler Room was – you guessed it! – Kaytranada’s set in Montreal. In a chill blue jacket and matching headphones, the shy artists beat bops as he plays for a pretty eccentric crowd, mixing up old tunes from InDeep and even Bell Biv DeVoe with his own fresh remixes.
His sets are primed to get you moving and vibing with the undulating BPMs. A Kaytranada set is a story unfolding – a story of excitement, downers, funk and soul.
In other words, Kaytranada’s definitely becoming one of the classics of this era— an artist we’ll be playing decades from now. For someone who’s come a long way in life and has heaps of talent, I’m all up for Kat’s take on music.