December sees South London’s revered First Word records welcoming LA beatmaker, 14KT to their roster, someone long in the game who has been quietly delving between hip hop and jazz-influenced production; picking tracks apart and redefining them via soulful piano chords and drum lines ever so slightly rough around the edges.
His first effort for First Word sees the producer experimenting with the experimental, in a collaboration with label mate, Eric Lau and fellow beatmaker Stro Elliot who lends himself to guitar duties. He also enlists the artistry of vocal powerhouse Muhsinah, and the unmistakeable James Poyser of The Roots on keys and synth.
Neo-soul synths open the track, and Muhsinah’s vocal narrative winds through gentle guitar riffs and 14KT’s signature drum lines, connecting the dots of his personal expression by laying her core message bare. ‘Hang out here, let me lay out wit’cha’ is gently laid over spirals of synth and bass; flowing into the bridge where Poyser goes off on a tangent before winding slowly into a breakdown where modern soul harmonies akin to Glasper break through the surface.
Though much of his output holds melancholic undertones, the message in this almost sounds gospel – a gesture perhaps to the song’s spiritual roots and its initial foundation being built upon a Bible plan aptly named, ‘Power of Same’; a book about the power of consistency in our lives. Muhsinah’s vocal delivery is both endearing as it is powerful, and layered intricately over complex rhythm patterns make for a sound that awoke an enlightened way of thinking for 14KT, as he referred to ‘the spirit of God’s work’, during the production process.
‘Power of Same’ is a template soaked in emotion; and a sonic testament to the power of the voice and collaboration in unison. Though it may be a slightly different framework for 14KT, it listens almost like a reclamation of the self; and is the perfect introduction to his debut offering to the label due for release in 2019.
You can download ‘The Power of Same’ exclusively via bandcamp here.
Words by @rhimarilou