It's fair to say that Kyan has had a strong year.
Releasing some stunning material, the songwriter's wide open creativity resulted in his COLORS session going viral, and Nile Rodgers adding to the praise around him.
New single 'Lonely River' finishes the year in impressive style, a soulful, future-facing burner that explodes notions of identity.
Kyan explains that "from the moment we are born we are each given a label. Girl. Boy. Pink. Blue. With these labels comes a set of preconceptions and rules. My earliest memories are filled with experimentation and expression; wearing my new wellies in bed, dressing up in sparkly clothes and make up, going to school dressed as a superhero. I did whatever made me happy and felt right, as most kids do."
"But with time things began to change," he reflects. "From age six I was constantly called a girl because I had long hair, then I got a little older and that changed to 'coconut' (black on the outside, white on the inside) because I was academic and that wasn’t considered a trait associated with a black boy."
It's a subject that is being discussed more and more, with these preconceived notions of identity resulting in vastly different cultural and societal experiences.
Kyan explains: "We live in a world where the label ‘girl’ means that 132 million girls receive little or no education. A world where the word ‘terrorist’ has become synonymous with the word ‘Muslim’. A world where the label ‘gay’ makes you a criminal in over 70 countries."
'Lonely River' is an attempt to pick this apart, with the visuals separating out the various facets of Kyan's own identity.
He adds: "With this video I wanted to mash together different labels, and overlap, contradict and juxtapose stereotypes that I’ve encountered in my own life."
Tune in now.
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