Downtown Kayoto has had a constant spot on my playlists with each of his releases. His soothing combination of hip hop, alternative, and indie, likens to the wind through your hair on a drive down a beach in an old droptop. Kayoto takes a journey throughout the project exploring his profound moments alongside his clear focus on the future. The EP is the ideal accomplice to navigating loneliness or heartbreak, something many can relate to how the past two years have gone.
A track with a name like “Proud” might strike someone as an enthusiastic celebration of one’s accomplishments. Still, Kayoto uses the project’s opening track as an opportunity to present his prior self-conscious mindset and ask, ‘did I make you proud of me.’ The beautifully sung hook is open to interpretation, and the track as a whole is a significant indicator to me of Kayoto’s writing prowess.
After a couple of heartbreak tracks, the mood switches on “PFL,” where the energy seems less doubtful lyrically while Kayoto has more hope in his voice. I love how Kayoto stretches the capacity of his voice here to evoke his emotions in a novel way next to the other pieces on the project.
All in all, Downtown Kayoto is sure to come back around with more great music, and I’d love to hear him accentuate his voice as he did on the second half of the project. “NAVIG8” is a well-executed project where the subject matter has continuity. At the same time, the artist can explore different ways to present his art, leaning into different styles and sounds, all of which Downtown Kayoto executed upon.