Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
In this evening’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on a promising independent hip hop artist, King Saylee. Saylee describes himself as an “infinite artist,” meaning he isn’t constrained by labels or limits. He started work as a producer for several independent endeavors last year, and now in 2016, he’s going hard with his own solo work. He’s the vocalist, the songwriter, and the producer. So, let’s talk about a selection of his new tunes.
The first track we’re going to take a peek at is ‘Keep Going.’ It establishes Saylee’s style well - sharp production, sly lyricism and vocal delivery, and thick beats. For a guy who’s only been on the map for the last year or so, he’s one hell of a good producer. I thoroughly enjoy how he handles his vocal mix. He plays with autotune in a creative capacity, reminiscent of musings Kanye West pioneered back in 2008. He does this to great success, and I love the places his vocals ascend to on ‘Keep Going.’
‘No Regrets’ is a far superior track to ‘Keep Going,’ I think, showcasing King Saylee’s ability as a wordsmith and rapper. His fast-paced delivery elegantly dances with his R&B vocal stylings. The lyricism is surprisingly excellent despite covering rather stereotypical territory. (The whole ‘you only live once’ shtick is old hat, but King Saylee’s take on it is so fresh that’s fantastic.)
In some ways, the three tracks we’re covering of Saylee’s act as an artistic journey of sorts. The final track, ‘Groove Baby,’ fully executes a hip hop vocal delivery style that’s dabbled in on the previous two tracks. I love this for several reasons - ‘Keep Going’ introduces Saylee as a powerfully soulful vocalist that toys with autotune to great effect. ‘No Regrets’ hints at his ability to shine in several other facets of hip hop. Then, when you hit ‘Groove Baby,’ he bombards you with that talent.
The way King Saylee plays with his vocals and autotune, is again, very similar to Kanye West. ‘Groove Baby’ sounds like it could be a track off of ‘Life of Pablo,’ and I consider that a compliment despite how frustrating the release of that record has been. King Saylee is a natural and a wonderful talent. I’ll be first in line to hear a full record.