Album Review | 99.9% - KAYTRANADA

“I’ve been sad my whole life, but fuck that. I know I have good things ahead. I don’t know honestly if I’m fully, 100 percent happy, but I’m starting to get there.”




Album: 99.9% (2016)

In an exclusive interview with Alex Frank of Fader Magazine last month, Kay pretty much explains the inspiration and reason for KAYTRANADA's May 2016 release, 99.9%: 

“I’ve been sad my whole life, but fuck that. I know I have good things ahead. I don’t know honestly if I’m fully, 100 percent happy, but I’m starting to get there.”

I felt those words deep in my soul, because the statement, as well as his personal story, is something I could closely relate to. After reading his interview regarding the new album, I could see how this album plays as an outstanding expression of one's journey to finding and keeping true happiness.  It made me wish I knew him on an individual basis, which could possibly happen one day and his music brings me that much closer.

Haitian-Canadian musician, Louis Kevin Celestin, better know as Kaytranada, is the epitome of what it means to be a revolutionary artist. At such a young age, he's developed this very special and unique niche in the music industry that really sets him apart from most-if not, all-contemporary producers and DJ's. Although his signature sound could be tossed right into a box with house and EDM, there are also a lot of apparent hip-hop, R&B, funk, and island influences in his music, therefore, he really creates a rather compelling realm of creativity that can't be easily categorized. In better description, I envision the sound as this euphoric garden of intricately crafted beats, planted somewhere in a faraway musical paradise.  It almost reminds me of Pharrell Williams', yet still thriving in a league of its own.

Collaboratively and unfortunately, this album may not gain the recognition it deserves, due to the omission of "bigger named", mainstream artist making a wave currently, but this man pulled none other than Craig David from out the wood-works!!! If you are a music-head born and raised in the 90's, it may have crossed your mind about where he's been in x amount of years...and obviously, he's been in the studio with Kay. On the record, we also have Syd from The Internet, Vic Mensa, Little Dragon, and Anderson Paak, There's more, but I don't want to give away more spoilers than I already have. Just know that this album is packed with "underground famous" gems, every artist exhibiting a fresh layer of undeniable talent.

Favorite tracks:

  • You're the One" ft. Syd
  • Bullets ft. Little Dragon 
  • Despite the Weather...and pretty soon

Glowed Up ft. Anderson Paak will be included on a list of my personal anthems, a play list that could very well be the resurrection of Soundtrack Saturdays Series. Overall, 99.9% has been deemed my favorite album released so far this year. It belongs on the shelf with all my essential albums, which is something I could tell on the first listen. It's a fun, vibrant, and oddly introspective compilation, and considering he hasn't quite reached the prime of his career yet, this album is executed in such a way that could really easily make this a breakthrough album for Kaytranada. If anything else, this album sets a promising tone for projects to follow. A universe of untapped potential lies in his gift and as a huge fan and supporter, I'm so excited to hear what's in store for the future of his music.

If Mr. Celestin himself ever decides to stumble across this blog, I'll just say: job well done and best of luck to you. Sending my love with a million waves of positive vibrations, cheers to art in music!