If you want to get into a good mood, put on Kyle’s new album, It’s Not So Bad, and turn up the volume. The Californian singer and songwriter has been chasing a fresh and dance floor-centred sound in these eleven tracks. From his first big hit iSpy in collaboration with Lil Yachty, which has now surpassed 809 million streams on Spotify, a lot has changed. He’s worked with artists like Khalid, 2 Chainz, Alessia Cara and Tyga. He has become much more intentional with his music and is now looking for new ways to bring something different to his releases. We talk with Kyle about exploring new territories in the studio, his ongoing I Miss U US tour, his newest record and he also confirms there’s a second album to come this year.
I’m sure most of those reading have heard at least a song of yours, but for those who may not know you that well, how would you introduce yourself?
I’m Kyle, you can call me Super Duper Kyle if you’re feeling awesome. And I’m here to help the people of planet Earth feel a bit better about their day.
Your first big hit was iSpy with Lil Yachty, which now has more than 809 million streams on Spotify. You’ve come a long way since that single from the end of 2016, but in what ways do you feel your perspective on music has evolved since then?
My perspective on music has evolved since then because I’m adventurous when it comes to the creation of my art – I’m always trying to do something new, find something new. Since that song has dropped, it’s given me the opportunity to take care of myself financially and give me the opportunity to explore different avenues of music because I find them interesting, not because I think they will work
Did you feel a lot of pressure to make sure you didn’t become a one-hit-wonder after all that success?
Yeah, I did in the beginning. And then I realised that success is not up and down, success is more of a linear thing. My success and my music will be determined by how many people I impacted overall when my life is over. So, quickly that pressure of not becoming a one-hit-wonder sort of dissipated, because I know there are other songs of mine that have affected people deeply and that’s what I’m here to make music for.
In your new album, It’s Not So Bad, you prove you’re not just a rapper. You show your versatility as an R&B and Pop singer songwriter. What moved you to sing in these genres?
What moved me to sing in R&B and Pop is showing people that there are no rules to being an artist. Whether they label you a rapper or label you a singer or whatever, you are free to move into any space at any time. And I need to stay excited about music. At the time, singing was what was most exciting to me – speaking about love is something that I’m well versed in actually, and I wanted to give my best attempt at making a love album.
You’ve said that It’s Not So Bad is the statement you currently live by. What does it mean to you and why use it as the title of the album?
It’s not so bad is reminding yourself to be grateful. I think it’s easy when everything is going right, to say life is awesome, life is great, but when things aren’t exactly what you imagine them to be, the title It’s Not So Bad gives me a lot of comfort in realising I need to be grateful for everything that I have. No matter what circumstance or phase of my life I am in, I need to remember to be grateful. Gratitude is the quickest door to joy.
Perfect has to be one of my favourite songs on the record. I love the disco sound to it and the energy and positive vibes it gives. When I listen to songs like this, I always ask myself if when you were in the studio you pictured how it would sound live and how you’d perform it. Tell us what was on your mind while making this track and the creative process behind it.
What was on my mind during the creation of the track Perfect, was wanting to escape trap drums and wanting to escape that sound. I told the producer: we are making house music today. I wanted to try something different, and I’m fearless in the studio – never afraid to make any kind of song.
There’s no doubt that love is one of the most recurring topics when it comes to your art. How do you manage not to fall into clichés and find a different perspective on it every time?
I manage to find a different perspective on love every time because my knowledge of love is extensive. I’ve been in love and I was in a relationship for well over a decade, so I know the ups and downs, the ins and outs, the good the bad and the ugly that comes with being in love. So my ammunition of things to talk about when singing about that subject is pretty endless. That’s why it stays fresh.
In another interview, you said that you are now being more intentional with your music. What do you mean by that?
I want to make sure that my music is serving more of a poignant purpose, meaning I’m speaking on one specific subject at a time per project. It’s sort of my new look at music.
You’ve worked with many big artists such as Kehlani, Chance The Rapper, Khalid or Tyga, to name a few, but what artists are still on your bucket list as future collaborations?
Bucket list collaborations for myself are Kid Kudi, Pharell, and Pink Pantheress.
You’ve talked about how frustrating it was for you to release your previous album See You When I am Famous!!!!!!!!!!!! during the pandemic and not having people react to it the way you expected. Now, you’re going on the I Miss U tour in the United States. How do you feel about finally seeing your fans’ faces and receiving all the warmth from the public?
I feel ecstatic about finally receiving that warmth from the public and the people I know exist out there that love my music. Sometimes when you’re sitting behind the phone, it’s easy to disconnect from the fact that some kid out there lives and breathes every word of what you’re saying in these songs. I’m over the moon to be able to see that in person, and I think it’ll do a lot for the battery in my back to continue sharing my art with the world.
You’ve just recently released this album and you’ve already announced that there will be a second one coming out this year. What can you tell us about that? Will it follow the same line or are you trying to experiment with new sounds?
My second album of this year will be a top-secret – I can’t tell you! Definitely know that I’ll be experimenting with brand new sounds. If there’s one thing you can ever guarantee from a Kyle album, it’s going to sound different.
And, finally, what’s the next goal you want to achieve? Do you have any special project on your mind?
The next goal I want to achieve is really finding a pace and control with being an independent artist. And owning the intellectual property of everything I do moving forward from this point.
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