Keyys is proving himself to be one of the most exciting and promising acts to come out of New York. Coupling elements of R&B and hip-hop, Keyys creates the perfect backdrop for his impressive songwriting. The final product is refined, to say the least.
Following a string of singles this year, his latest project, Stories To Tell, sees the rapper highlighting what may be a defining staple of his sound, trading diverse verses with himself. From the moment the album begins, the tone is firmly set. It is with this unwavering confidence that Keyys then lyrically deconstructs his doubters over heavy production on the album’s second track, “Inner Thoughts.” His throttling cadence and natural ability as a rapper highlight a lethal edge of his repertoire. Any self-doubt has been replaced with steadfast conviction, confidence, and work ethic, a theme carried through the project’s proceeding records.
Unrestrained by any calculated creative intentions, what you hear on the project is unfiltered and raw – a true reflection of Keyys’ life at that distinct moment in time. In his own words,
“I feel like growing as an artist and going through my experiences is what helped put this tape together. From the wins to the losses and from the success to the setbacks, this project is able to give people a front-row seat into my musical journey and where I’m from being Rockland County.”
A treat for the ear, Stories To Tell hosts a myriad of complex rhythmic lines, rich melodic flows, and a healthy combination of natural and produced sonorities. A one-time listen-through isn’t enough to grasp Keyys’ production in its entirety, and even nearing countless listens in, new sounds seem to emerge. “I have always been mixing, mastering, and engineering my own music, which I’ve done for this project, so being able to do that has helped me create music how I want to portray it and put it out to the people,” shared Keyys.
The project concludes as personally as it began. Speaking directly to the listener on the second to last track, “Took Too Long,” Keyys reiterates his hardships while chasing his dream. Acknowledging self-doubt, skepticism, and lack of support, he displays an uncommon vulnerability from an artist’s debut. As for where he plans to take his sound, Keyys shared, “This project is only showing the people that I’m an artist that’s here to stay and giving a fresh sound in my own way that people are looking for.”