Kaytranada Isn't 'Intimidated' When Pushing the Boundaries of His Sound

BY Antoine-Samuel Mauffette AlavoPublished Nov 24, 2021

Kaytranada's career arc has been characterized by a constant evolution in sound and scope that somehow continues to solidify his core signature style. If the lengthy break between breakout debut 99.9% and its Grammy-winning follow-up Bubba was certainly worth the wait, eager fans could always get some sonic satisfaction from random Soundcloud drops. Kaytra's new EP, Intimidated, will help to tide fans over, and although it contains only three tracks, the variety of moods and strength of its features edge it to the same level of excellence as its aforementioned predecessors.

After a sublime collaboration on this year's "Bloody Waters," groove master Thundercat and vocalist H.E.R. each reunite with Kaytranada and are afforded individual space to freely express their creativity.

H.E.R. appears on title track "Intimidated," which features some familiar claps overtop of a derivative piano loop that is brought together by the singer's soaring yet soothing voice. Continuing in this contrasting fashion is the Thundercat-featuring "Be Careful," where Kaytra provides a melodic background that is closest to what his fans have come to know him for. However, Thundercat's approach to attacking the song is quite surprising, as his playful lyrics and falsetto tone replace what would have been a famous R&B singer's role in one of Kaytranada's early career defining remixes. Even within the confines of such a short project, Kaytra is exploring new ground.

Those who knew him as Kaytradamus remember a more hip-hop focused producer who often blessed local rappers of Haitian descent with remixes and production. "$payforhaiti." the unexpected collaboration with Mach-Hommy, is a return to Kaytra's roots in more ways than one. The fast paced rhythmic structure is matched by a controlled rapid-fire delivery in Kreyol from the usually mellow Hommy. This refreshing effort allows both artists to come together in harmonious and hard-hitting fashion.

Intimidated finds Kaytra continuing to push the boundaries of his sound while never losing the essence of it. As an artist known for his singular processes and hand-picked collaborators, this EP surprisingly contains the highest profile guests of Kaytra's career. The project will not only satiate fans until the next album, but will also raise curiosity about where he might take his sound next.

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