Näel Kaced's debut EP, Last Words, released on June 7th, is an exploration of love, faith, and mortality. The EP was a collaboration with producer nu_tone and mixes soul, R&B, pop, and hip-hop, resulting in a genre-blending soundscape. Kaced is haunted by questions about what happens at the end of life and endings in general, which he says was “the only inspiration [he] needed to write these songs.”
He describes the album as “the last words I needed to say, the ones I have the urge to share.” Inspired by religious texts and Greek mythology, Kaced weaves these elements into his already captivating narratives. Lines like “I can’t help if it’s my nature / I still hope that you won’t judge a sinner” in Witch's Prayer (Oh My God), “I wanna believe Heaven’s doors don’t rattle in the wind” in Better Ways, and “I’ve been waiting days here praying” in Still Here exemplify the spiritual language scattered through many of the tracks.
The design of his album covers is ethereal and laden with feelings of myth and legend—of a grand narrative being played out in dynamic, polychromatic images. He plays the charming hero with soft curls and a strong face, and in a significant way, he is the hero of his story. Kaced is deaf and uses a hearing aid, but he has also honed the skills of staying on pitch and rhythm through years of experience. With a passion for singing but never considering it could be more than just a personal pastime, everything changed when he was invited onstage at a music jam night in Paris. A new trajectory opened up for him, and all doubts about pursuing music were cleared.
Last Words is a marker of Kaced's resilience and artistic vision. The focus track, I'm Still Here, epitomises the EP's blend of raw emotion and polished production, making it standout. This debut not only showcases his vocal prowess but also his ability to convey complex emotional textures through sound, establishing him as a compelling new voice in the alt-pop/R&B landscape. Of the EP and its purpose for him as a whole, he says, “With these songs, I finally expressed the message I desperately needed to give to people, to God, and to myself.