10 Jul 2020
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Kevin Posey - Album Review: Breathe

19 Jun 2020 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo

US-born producer, rapper, and singer-songwriter Kevin Posey has just released his latest album Breathe. Posey is an international artist who has recently been thriving in the Aotearoa music scene. Posey has been working with music for some time, and, having also graduated from a degree in music production, he has been busy and blossoming ever since he started releasing music. In time for this stellar album’s creation, Posey released Your Shine, a touching track with a moving music video available to view here.

Posey’s lyricism and style of music really takes you back, but also pulls you forward. His sound is current and creative, reminding us of music’s roots; culture, colour and a true understanding of people, and their place in the world. Each song in the album tells a story, and introduces us to new sounds with important concepts, often also political. Posey advocates for change in his musical themes, specifically on themes of racial justice and black empowerment. Posey collaborates with many, such as Nigerian-Kiwi hip-hop artist Mazbou Q. Posey transforms multi-genre melodic pop sounds into a modern mix of harmonious tracks that resonate, remind and reinvent music of the future. Ranging in scores of genres like hip-hop, soul, rap, Latin and jazz; Posey does it all and creates sound for the awakened mind. Many of his lyrical themes are expressive and enlivening, drawing purpose and energy to each tune.

Living and sharing his recent musical journey in Auckland, New Zealand; Kevin Posey has become a recognised personality in music here. Posey co-hosts local live jam night ‘The Loft’, with Mazbou Q at his side; both bringing local artists together, creating a space to feel and experience music organically. As an artist, his music brings growth and understanding, as well as focusing on many opportunities to collaborate and uplift other musicians which you can hear featured beautifully in Breathe.

The production of Breathe is well-crafted and sonically rich in each tune. Each track is multi-layered and lush, featuring many very talented musicians (see below for credits). Track one, Enrgy, is a real “get up and go” track; bass full of fire and adrenaline levels high. This song is bold and dynamic; you can hear remnants of iconic hip-hop influences including Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West. The song is written by both Kevin Posey and Hugh Ozumba, featuring local DJ/Producer Scizzorhands, guitarist Jarni Blair and turntables by Elton James. Track two, Show Out, is an absolute club marvel. You want this one turned right up on your loudest speaker. This bass heavy banger is a ‘full of fire’, quarantine-inspired quake of a beat with clean and catchy rap vocals. Track three, Your Shine, featuring delicate vocals by Kirsten and rap by Mazbou Q, is another golden track which glorifies melanin skin; you can read in full about it here.

Track four, Sunset Glow/Run Through the Fire, is a sensual, soulful number for the lovers. Posey and Lily Jackson team up on vocals, Stallone D’Souza soothing the tune with sweet synth. The song has a playful, chill beat and blends into a different melody towards its end, creating two tracks in one cleverly. Esta Noche dances into track five, alive, in its Latin fever and flavour. Manuela A., local singer-songwriter, features in this tune with a stunning voice. Posey's impressive shift in linguistics is admirable to Spanish speakers, especially within the growing music community in New Zealand. So Electric, another ode to falling in love, features Kedu and RoBotZ; vocals both bubbling and pitch perfect.

Track seven, Momma’s Joint, is a super groove. Lily Jackson features again with vocals closely resembling that of singer Erykah Badu. Posey’s rap flow is old school, slightly reminiscent of Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest. You Get Me, with Latafale, is a track about meeting your better half, showcasing some sweet keys and electric guitar. Breathe is a calming number with a head-boppin’ beat and dark bass. The synth is spacey and extra, and the vocals of Jasmine Li with Leea Lamatoa compliment the song perfectly.

Number ten, World From Inside, is a real stomper which brings back the tasty voice of Lily Jackson; we hear some great production moments in this one, while the theme of lockdown is sifted through the lyrics. Calm of the Wind is a slower number with a darker story, and a strong word on faith. The saxophone by Matt Bizzle and guitar by Jarni Blair really help bring this song’s jazz alive. The final track Blind Spot is a sharp and fun jazzy track with a signature saxophone melody by Angus Ramsey.

The whole album has a superabundance of groove and true musicianship. It’s vibrant and keeps you guessing. Posey has hit us with a generous helping of catchy tunes that will be lingering in your head once you give this album a full listen. Breathe is available now on all major streaming platforms!

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About Kevin Posey

Kevin Posey, an Oklahoma native born November 8th, 1987. Growing up, he would listen to music in the backseat of his mum's car and realise he had the ability to separate each piece and mentally re-create the sounds in a new way. This curiosity of sound and composing developed into a deeper passion leading to an associates degree in music production from the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma.

Posey today continues to use his knack for deconstructing music to mix and master records and produce songs not only for himself, but other upcoming artists. Posey’s musical style deeply reflects being influenced by multiple genres. Now making music that traverses planes between hip-hop and melodic pop, he infuses Spanish in his lyrics which he learned as a kid growing up on the southwest side of Oklahoma City.

 

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Kevin Posey

Releases

Breathe
Year: 2020
Type: Album

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