keshi talks making music for himself, diversifying his sound, and the global rise of Asian artists

keshi talks making music for himself, diversifying his sound, and the global rise of Asian artists

Recognised for his lo-fi beats and calming melodies, keshi's usually the go-to artist when you're in the mood for some broody tunes. But he's more than just the music you play at 1 am when you're reminiscing about what could have been or one of the artists you find on those chill lo-fi playlists you have on when you're cramming for an essay.

Paving a new musical direction, the Vietnamese-American musician – whose real name is Casey Luong – is exploring new sonic realms in his upcoming album, one that's more aligned with who he intended 'keshi' to be all those years ago. 

"Along the way of having keshi grow more and more, I kind of lost sight of the point of music for me which is to make music that’s enjoyable to listen to – not everything has to be in that moody, broody atmosphere. I’m more than that genre and that’s what I’m trying to prove in this record," said keshi, addressing regional media.


"I have a very diverse range that I just haven’t put on showcase because I felt that fans were really enjoying that type of music but with this album, I really want to make music that I want to make at this point in time and I’m very excited for everyone to hear it."

keshi has always written music for himself but his forthcoming album takes it to new heights, reverting back to many of his old musical habits.

"The process of making this album is similar to the process I had when I was making music on SoundCloud. Back then, I didn’t care so much about making a song that would cater to any specific audience but more to me," he said. 

"I wanted to diversify my range of the music I make and put out, and bring it back to what I wanted keshi to be when I first started. I feel like I’m really nailing it and that people will enjoy it."

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As a sneak-peek into the upcoming album, the 'beside you' hitmaker recently dropped 'SOMEBODY'. Described as "one of the more sweeter tracks" off the record, this is our first glimpse into keshi's new musical direction.

Working with executive producer Elie Rizk, the musician described how the album also tracks his growth as an artist and collaborator. 

"As an artist, I feel like Elie Rizk really brought out my full potential. Collaboration is actually very essential and important because there’s so much that you don’t know, he shared. 

"[Elie] unlocked the collaborator in me which was amazing; once we got through the first month of rocky spots, we really hit a groove and I felt like I never made better music. It’s allowed me to let go of the reins in certain things and still not lose my touch on all the tracks."

The album is said to be in its final steps and ready for release soon.

Wanting to branch out in more ways than one, 'SOMEBODY' also dropped alongside a music video that ventures into edgier territories.

"With ‘SOMEBODY’ and the upcoming album as a whole, I felt like it was time to shift the tone to something more well rounded. It all exudes a newfound confidence that I think fans will be refreshed to hear and see in all the new videos," said keshi.

'SOMEBODY' comes at the heels of keshi's highly anticipated return to the live stage, where's he's been touring around the US and performed at 88rising's Head In The Clouds music festival. 

"I was immensely proud to be able to perform at the festival. So much of that crowd is there for a lot of different artists but it’s mind-boggling to know there were 25,000 people in that crowd and they’re listening to me perform music that I wrote in my house. It really is a dream come true and I hope to play many more in the future," said keshi.

Joining Korean music icons like MFBTY, DPR LIVE and DPR IANand CL and up-and-coming acts from the region like Ylona Garcia, Seoriand Warren Hue, keshi shared how he's honoured to be have been part of a momentous event for Asian music and artists all across the world.

"I feel like what 88rising has done is create this space to showcase Asian artists, not just from America but from all over the world to a worldwide audience. I think that’s such an amazing thing and I’m so proud to be a part of that," he said.

In the last couple of years, the world has seen a new wave of artists from Asia. From global icons like BTS to rap superstars like Rich Brian, the international music scene is slowly recognising some of the region's budding talents and everyone – including keshi – can't wait. 

"I feel like there’s a surge of Asian artists in the international sphere, that’s beyond the world of K-pop and that’s very exciting to me – especially music from people who are Asian-American," said keshi. 

"I was talking about this with NIKI actually, we were talking about how excited we were discovering Asian-American artists from avenues that we’ve never heard of before. They're coming out of everywhere and I think that’s the future of our culture being represented in mainstream media, it can’t all come from one place, it has to be spread out."

Listen to keshi's 'SOMEBODY' here. 

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