Mad About… Kairo Keyz!

Hollie May

By Hollie May

Hollie May

23 Sep 2022

South London Rapper Kairo Keyz after having received a crazy turnout during his performance with Tweeko, on our very own Mixtape Madness stage at the Size? Festival last month.

With a fanbase spreading across the UK, Canada and down under, he is known for his beat selection, relatable lyrics and influential character. Let’s take a dive into how this upcoming player in the rap game has developed over the years. Not forgetting to mention his recent single ‘Mileage’ is out now on all Platforms!

Kairo, let’s take a look at your growth over the past two years, from ‘So Long’ in 2020 to your recent release this year ‘Keyz Style’. How do you think your sound and character has developed?

I have developed a lot. I am finding myself more and more every day. It’s clear in my videos and songs. The type of beat’s I jump on allow me to express my style, I’ve most definitely found myself.

At the start of your musical career, we can hear a more melodic sound as opposed to your new street rap come drill approach. Why did you make this change?

It wasn’t intentional at all. I always thought I was going to progress with auto-tune and melodic sounds. Yet I noticed when I was performing at festivals and shows – I am a lively person, the melodic sound clashed with my personality, I felt I couldn’t be myself. I started to struggle to hop on the melodic beats, I checked out a beat I was sent and from there I created ‘Only fans’ which was completely random, from there I saw the love for the single and decided to carry on with this new sound.

Rap influence is all around the UK at present, specifically in London. What influenced you to attempt the industry, when did you discover your talent?

The people I surrounded myself with influenced me, specifically in school. My best friend at the time was getting into rapping, I was always around, helping him with videos and other things. I gave it a go in the studio and back then everyone loved it, when I put it out on the internet it had a good reception so I carried on from there.

The scene in the UK is hot right now. How do you plan to steal the spotlight?

I do have a plan, and you’re definitely going to see it but I don’t want to talk about it yet. I don’t want to give anything away just yet. I’d rather let my actions speak!

The second of September saw the release of your latest single ‘Mileage’. Is this a taster of a future breakthrough project?

I was testing the waters really. There is going to be more consistency from me. Now I feel like I found myself and my sound, there will be a lot more to come.

What was the inspiration for ‘Mileage’?

I was working closely with the producer Michelin on a song I teased on my Instagram that gained high views, this was the first time I had worked with him. Mileage has a similar sound, when it was time to create the single we decided to go with the beat and worked closely together to create my new release. It was a quick process. I wrote up the lyrics in 30 minutes

It’s been said that you are hands-on with your music from start to finish, from the creation of the beat to the visuals. Which is nonetheless expected in your upcoming releases. Is producing and directing something you are interested in taking more seriously?

I will most likely stay in the rap game as I am. I don’t think producing and directing is something I want to take seriously, but you never know what the future holds. I enjoy being handson with everything I put myself into.

I can see that you had an early love for music, would you say your parents are responsible for this?

Yes. My mum when I was young would play a lot of RnB and rap, I have many memories of listening to the songs in the car in the morning on the way to school, I was tuned in from an early age. Both my parents were artists back when they were my age, my mum was a singer and my dad was a rapper. This influenced me a lot.

From a strong fanbase in Canada to monthly Spotify listeners in Australia and the Netherlands, does this call for a potential international collab?

Most certainly. My dad is from Canada, I go there every year. So I have built up a lot of friends and connections and I have performed there many times. I know a few potential artists over there that maybe in the future I would work with.

Is it surprising to you that you have fans in many different countries?

The fans in Canada speaks for itself, down to my connection with the country. But Australia which is the second country on my list of listeners, I never expected that … all the way over the other side of the world. It’s Crazy.

Instagram is a heavily influential platform! Your freestyle has caught over 140k views. Was this a turning point in your career? or would you give credit to another single?

I wouldn’t say that was the turning point in my career as it was just views on Instagram, likewise with TikTok. I would say the turning point for me was the drop of my single ‘Only Fans’ at the start, then ‘Air Jordan’ created more awareness to my name and ‘Foot Patrol’ kind of solidified me as an artist. I feel that every release has a different impact on my name, from new fans to established fans and then industry support.

It’s clear you love your fashion, seen in many of your likeable posts on Instagram. What are your go-to brands?

Nike mostly is my go-to. I love how it looks, I wear it so much because you can wear it anywhere. Big up the underground brands such as Mob Nation and Graft3r. Then of course Trapstar.

How I look and how I am perceived by fans plays a big part in my growth as an artist. Fans enjoy tapping into you as an individual as well as the music you release, maybe even more than the music. It works hand in hand.

Let’s take it back to last month’s Size? festival. You received a great reception on the MM stage. What is your favourite song to perform live?

It was great. I’d have to say my personal favourite is ‘Foot Patrol’ but ‘Air Jordan’ is the fan’s favourite. It gets the crowd going.

Let’s take a step away from music. Tell me what keeps you motivated and happy?

My friends and family and seeing how far I have come. Its hard to feel content all the time in where you’re at, but you have to remember how far you’ve come. That always keeps me going. I have to stay grounded and remember where I am at.

Music makes me happy although the best times I have is with my friends and family.

It’s been great getting to know you Kairo! Now to finish off, here is an interesting one. If it wasn’t for your upcoming success in the rap game what would be your dream career?

If I am honest I have never had another dream career. I started rapping before I had even left school and was yet to even decide what I wanted to do with my life. I gave it a thought and had already invested myself in music. Thanks, Hollie and Mixtape Madness!

Check out his latest single ‘Mileage‘ released early this month!