Respected, charismatic Canberra rapper Citizen Kay has gone and dropped a surprise new single and video. Titled ‘These Kicks’, the beat-riddled track features the smart’n’smooth rhymes we’ve grown to expect from the young rapper, matched with tranquil guest vocals from up-and-comer, Canberra gal, Georgia B.
Along with the surprise single, Citizen Kay has announced his signing to ONETWO, an artist-run label spearheaded by Illy. Alasdair Murray (Illy) commented, “The whole team is delighted to have Citizen Kay join us at ONETWO.
He’s a great musician and a great person, and we’re all very excited about what he’s been working on.” ONETWO is a joint venture with Unified, and has had two huge wins already with highly-acclaimed albums from Allday. Speculation is that we can expect a new Citizen Kay album in the not too distant future.
If you aren’t already versed with the posterboy of new-wave hip hop, let’s bring you up to speed: Citizen Kay’s debut EP Demokracy (2014) gained an ARIA nomination for Best Urban Album, quickly followed by a second nomination in the same category for full-length With The People (2015). He’s shared stages with some of the best: Ice Cube and Public Enemy, Run The Jewels, Danny Brown, Wiz Khalifa, Earl Sweatshirt, plus locals Tkay Maizda, Seth Sentry and more.
His unique mashup of Kanye West, Mark Ronson & The Commodores is still talked about as one of the best-executed triple j Like A Versions of all time. Rapper, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist, Citizen Kay migrated from Ghana to Australia at six-years-old, and has made it his life’s mission to make music that blends traditional hip-hop with the soothing sounds of soul, jazz, blues and rock.
‘These Kicks’ sees Citizen Kay soaking up and re-projecting his vast musical landscape, evaluating his peers, and asking the world some pretty deep questions. It’s undeniably his most infectious and passionate output to date – not an easy feat given he rode a long-lasting wave of praise from radio singles like ‘Life Gives You Lemons’, ‘Yes!’ and ‘Raise A Glass’. Lyrically, the new jam displays a new maturity for the poet, who’s been experimenting, pushing boundaries and fine-tuning his formidable skillset.
Shot in Sydney and stylishly directed by Elder, the feel-good video tells a tale of a wildly positive homeless man, personifying Citizen Kay’s boundless sense of liberty. Citizen Kay said, “These Kicks stemmed from the saying ‘fake it till you make it’. I’ve been beginning to see others (and myself) trying ridiculously hard to force things to happen, to give a false perception of self, making it look as if you’re doing better than you are through means of material possessions. And through that, coming to the realization of how simple everything can become when you start becoming aware of how true another saying is, ‘the best things in life are free’.”
As for striking guest vocalist Georgia B, Citizen Kay said, “I first heard Georgia’s voice in a grainy video of her singing along to an Anderson Paak song. I knew I wanted to work with her”.
Citizen Kay features on the bill for for Queensland’s Big Pineapple Festival happening tomorrow. He plays an intimate rooftop show at Perth’s Aviary on June 4, and a hometown show at Canberra’s ANU Bar for the venue’s closing party on June 17. Get around, and become a part of Citizen Kay’s world. It’s a bright and beautiful place.
Saturday 27 May
Big Pineapple Festival
With Birds of Tokyo, Northland, Peking Duk, Cloud Control & more [SOLD OUT]
Sunday 4 June
Aviary Rooftop Sessions
Saturday 17 June
ANU Bar Finale
With Casual Projects, Liquid, Tonk, Super Best Friends & more.