From his early days of listening to Michael Jackson and imitating his moves to spitting rhymes down the mic in darkened rooms, Kestine has lived through music. The experience of dance and beats with melody and words has become a foundation-stone to how Kestine sees himself. When he was a boy, he learned to sing through a gospel choir which helped him find vocal confidence and training to focus his talent. Kestine has always viewed himself as an outsider in the world, whether it's being black, talented, intelligent, or any number of defining features, it's been a difficult journey. A talented singer and keen pianist, Kestine has pulled out all the stops on the Wurlitzer to create a monumental EP. Reflection looks back at his career in music, pays homage to the fans around the world, and takes a good hard look at his heritage.
The intro begins with some vocal samples and public sounds. It's a brief moment of time that asks what our purpose is. Next is U.N.I.T.Y. The music opens with smooth and swaggering keyboards framed by swelling saxophone. Vocals loop and echo across themselves, creating a bubble of human sound. Kestine begins to rap. His words are raw and personal, he says things I'd never say, and that's his prerogative. A smooth and laid back feeling sweeps across the harsh and explanatory poetry. Kestine plays the role of the protagonist, the adjutant to his own reflection.
A sweet laugh flows out, violins sway in windy messages, and a voice asks us where God is. Harmonising voices and a trip-hop element of composition opens out into bass-driven thundering rhythms. Slow and grinding tempo makes a quicker rap feel super-charged as more aggressive and passionate verbals craft emotive passages across the music. A sense of protectionism and an introspective groove, the track looks into the soul of a Preacher's Son.
Next is Melanie. It begins with sirens and saxophone. An atmosphere of inner-city living that I know all too well. A gun-shot rings out, then drums and bass begin to reverberate along to a vocal—line. Duetting voices make notes and rhymes on a flow that's framed by laid-back drums. Rap begins, a Fun Lovin Criminals style delivery brings a soulful jazz to the hip-hop vibe. Then comes an interlude. We get to hear some traditional singing. It sounds African. It's a shame they didn't make the track longer, but that's okay.
The final number starts with a moody piano. Some sleek vibes spill out as the vocal begins a slow-paced rap. Drums match the tempo and a whirl of notes begin to frolic around the tree-trunk of voice. Smoother and calmer projection tone down the emotion while building a richer and more inclusive drama. As we listen, imagery from religion and home work together with common concepts like freedom and love. Dear Diary is an honest chat with the self.
You can follow Kestine on Twitter
Alternative Fruit is written and edited by Rowan Blair Colver
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