Caturday with Kasai

Katie Rawsthorne

This week we caught up with UK-based artist and all-around 90’s and 00’s vibes girl, Elise Kasai (or simply Kasai) to talk about her recent official debut, her personal style and the future to come.

So your official debut single Pretty Boys is definitely something special, really fresh and quite playful, and of course featuring Joey Bada$$. Can you tell us a bit about what it was like working on that? Where did it all start for that song?
Thank you! I appreciate that and I’m glad you like it. Pretty Boys was made when I had first come into the industry, in November time last year, and had started doing sessions with producers away from making music in my bedroom. I had the Pretty Boys story already written and had not yet put it into a song but when I met John Calvert for the first time, he was into the idea which was great. We had to keep our first session short because he had to go to a birthday party so we decided to just have fun and see what happens. All the melodies, as the lyrics that were already written came out like a freestyle, it’s the quickest song I’ve ever made, but what really excited me about it was that I don’t think I had heard anything that sounded like Pretty Boys. In terms of working with Joey, him and I have been cool for a minute and I’m also a fan of his music. When I used Pretty Boys as a snippet in the Nike campaign wearing the Nike 270, Joey immediately messaged me about the song saying how much he loved it and how proud of me he was. I guess it’s because he’s seen me grow from my Soundcloud song and little casual vibes that I use to send him. He was quite amazed and said it was a hit, so I asked him to be on it and we moved onto doing the vid for it. 
That yellow boiler suit in the music video for Pretty Boys is definitely a look. Can you tell us a little about your personal style, who or what inspires you in terms of what you choose to wear?
Thanks! I loved the yellow look too. I do get this question quite a lot but no one specifically really inspires me, I just like to dress how I always have since I was little, which was always stealing my brother’s clothes, plus dressed and ready in the morning in no longer then 10 minutes! I do rate rappers like Asap Rocky‘s style though… they’re sick. I think I have characters when I dress, depending on the occasion and day. The ‘day-to-day me’ likes to be simple and comfortable, maybe with a hint of sexy when I feel like accentuating my femininity. Maybe another day I feel quite daring and want to wear something I wouldn’t usually, which I think people are still yet to see. 
Do you have a favourite era, be it for music or fashion or art, would you leave 2018 and move there?
Yes! Take me to the 90s, when will they be inventing a time capsule in order for me to do this. A few names – Lauryn Hill, Aaliyah, Michael Jackson, Tupac… Spice girls. The fashion was pretty strong within music too but Kate Moss is an icon.


For you, is there any particular process when it comes to writing your music?
I always start with what mood I’m in for the day because that normally plays a lot in my melodies, whether it being sad, happy, angry etc. Sometimes I’ll sit at the piano and try to start with a chord progression, but if a fire beat is already made or the producer is able to cook something up in the room pretty fast, I’ll start singing out some melodies alongside to what they’re doing. I normally ask for the freestyle mic when I walk into the studio because what comes out first will be the most natural and normally what sticks. 
When you aren’t making music, what would we usually find you up to? What is a typical day like for Kasai? 
I can’t lie, I’m a workaholic and I enjoy what I do, so when I’m not making music, I’m listening to it, but more as a tool. I’m known to be a thinker so I’ll spend my days writing down the million of thoughts that run through my mind, lyrics or poetry. I love spending time with my friends that are away from the industry because it’s really refreshing and takes me to a different world. We’ll go to art exhibitions, parks if the weather is nice. Anything adventurous is good for me. I’ve recently been trying to spend more time with my family too, I got quite the shock when one of my brothers turned 13 and told me he wants to be a grime artist, he’s growing up! 
It must have been amazing for you, growing up and having parents that really pushed you towards achieving your goals, are there any particular words from them that you hold close today? Any really good advice? 
Yes! I’m so thankful for having parents that pushed me because I went to a high school that didn’t encourage me to do that and found a music career very unrealistic so I had some positivity at home to keep me going, with my brothers doing music too we were all on the same page which made us close. Like, who cares what our teachers and school friends think?  Sometimes, being the only girl would be challenging as my dad would be protective for my own good when music opportunities first started appearing, it’s taught me to be cautious. They both give me so much good advice but I think the two that are sticking at the moment are, as my dad says, “The first 30 seconds is the most important part of your song’ and my mum says, “You’re never as good as they say you are and you’re never as bad as they say you are, so be humble”.
And finally, what can we expect to see from you in the near future? Any hints?
Definitely a lot more music, live shows and a lot more of me, I’m excited for people to get to know me through the songs I’m set to release!



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Kasai’s Caturday