Two days ago, I didn’t know who this man was. Now I’m sure I won’t forget. And now I’m here to introduce you to more vibes you didn’t know you needed for your playlists. So, let me get this right – “box brackets and spaces” (it’ll make sense to you all soon) [ K S R ] (his government name initials) is a 19 year old Manchester born soul / R&B singer, who started off singing aged 8. Casually singing up until the age of 15 where he then joined the Manchester United Foundation Choir.
It was during this time he really began to explore and discover the kind of genres he wanted to experiment with and the type of artist he wanted to be. 17 is when he seriously began to embrace writing and recording his own material. He has quickly gained interest and support across the board, performing at events such as BBC Introducing Manchester, featuring on Reprezent, Unity Radio and BBC 1Xtra as well as being able to tour with and support other artists such as Children of Zeus, The Mouse Outfit and Etta Bond. Inspired by the greats such as Erykah and D’Angelo, [ K S R ] effortlessly infused classic neo-soul vibes with more contemporary and eclectic feels reminiscent of Tom Misch grooves… After quitting university and signing to Polarface Records – his debut EP “Unfiltered” is now here.
Lucky me got an exclusive listen and if this is what he has created in just 2 years of his journey then WOW he is going to be dangerous! “Unfiltered” is a 6 track EP full of soulful harmonies, punchy rap flows from the featured rappers, sweet falsetto ad libs, sexy mellow grooves and relatable lyrics concerning the topics of love, vulnerability, intimacy, growth and acceptance. “’Unfiltered’ is a little insight of what I’ve been experiencing in the past 6 months, from tackling life situations to dealing with love” – [ K S R ]. Listen, it delivered in a BIG way! I almost dashed my phone! I swear, I’m forever always ready to fling this phone ya’know *eye roll* like I don’t need it to write these reviews! Chaaa! Anyway, so my views on this sauce. Let’s GOOOOO!
What an intro! The skippy snare with subtle hi-hat claps, the smooth bass guitar and wavy keyboard chords… ugh yesss! The lyrics – a mixture of questions and seeking answers, “What’s on your mind? Are you feelin’ fine? Is it just the weather that makes you feel out of touch? … Or is it you?” It lures you in gently and instantly takes your mind some place else.
HEADLOSS ft. Time Elijah
This track will be the next single released from the EP on the 15th March, so be sure to look out for it. This is the longest track on the EP and has the first rap feature (from Time Elijah). Personally, I liked the fact that you can catch his Mancunian accent throughout this. He speaks on feeling the pressure of the expectations to be successful and despite feeling unsure and trapped at times, remaining hopeful and holding onto his faith. Something I’m sure most of us, if not all, can relate to. The end of this track features a candid radio interview from 2018 that explains his name and the way it is displayed.
Did this not make me wanna dash weh my phone?! Maaate! Makes sense why this is the title for the EP… it is all types of BUFFFFF! This has a Musiq Soulchild feel. The harmony that comes in at 34 seconds is what made me somersault across my bed… no, really. Visualise it because I’m not joking! I pulled up the choon, took it all in again and then almost threw my phone. Why? It ended too quick! WHY IS IT THE SHORTEST TRACK ON THE EP?! It doesn’t say interlude! How dare you play with my emotions this way! ARGH!
MS MARY JANE
I might be wrong… but I took this track in in two different ways. The first breakdown I likened to being zoned – high enough to drift back through memories and thoughts with the hope of seeing things from different perspectives. The second viewpoint – maybe Mary Jane can be described as an actual woman that can help [ K S R ] look at the more meaningful things in life? Things that are not attached to or centred around the materialistic things in life… I’m gonna need you to clear this up for me Sir lol this track easily has the most 90s Neo-Soul / R&B feel of the whole EP.
QUEEN (ft. Remi)
If I cry now… I mean, I love “Unfiltered” but then I heard this! The first single released from the EP. Good choice! It is beautiful… effortlessly stunning. A track dedicated to the admiration of a woman’s beauty and soul whilst encouraging her to be strong, “By the grace of the Lord, you gotta be great for me… Can you say that for me? Yeah… Queen (woman)” then BOOM – in comes Remi with a Kendrick flow, “Weight on your shoulders (woman). Bag-baggage full of dreams of being noticed”. Such a well matched collab. They compliment each others style perfectly. The outro of this track really highlights the harmonies that run throughout the song in the background. They are so moving and haunting that I almost threw my phone again. This one really touched my soul, like I felt emotional by the end of it. I’m a big woman ya’know! Smh…
Outro. This has an acoustic, live band feel. Imagine a dimly lit, cosy spoken word environment… keyboard, bass guitar, box drum, couple backing singers… and [ K S R ]. You see it? Good. The lyrics – probably the most vulnerable of the whole EP. A short, simple yet emotive reflection to a time where he seems to be dealing with a break-up. It’s a bittersweet way to round off the EP but in turn, it is fitting as Unfiltered as a whole shares different aspects and experiences of life and of course, life itself is full of bittersweet moments.
Following the release of his debut EP, make sure to catch [ K S R ] on his 6 date UK tour. He will be kicking off in his hometown of Manchester at YES on the 2nd April. With the other locations and dates being; Leicester (3rd), London (5th), Bath (6th), Bristol (7th), Brighton (8th) and finishing up in Nottingham (9th). I’m kicking myself that I won’t be able to reach any of these shows *insert the sound of my heart cracking* BUT I will be following his journey and will no doubt see him perform very soon! Overall, a feel-good mellow wave of an EP and I’m SO glad he came across my radar!
“Unfiltered” – [ K S R ] Out 22.03.19. Trust me, he is just getting started.