Monday 3 March 2014

MTV IGGY: Kaleem Taylor: Brit-R&B’s New Vocal Acrobatic Don

By Joseph 'JP' Patterson

Name: Kaleem Taylor

Where He’s From: London via Hertfordshire

When He Started: 2011

Genre: R&B-soul/House

For Fans Of: Azekel, Shakka, Javeon

If you’re a fan of underground house—deep house, especially—then chances are you know the sounds of Tchami’s Promesses pretty well. The Parisian producer’s kicking jam, his debut on Fool’s Gold Records, was released last year summer, but, that hasn’t stopped it from turning up (literally!) in clubs and mixes well into 2014. Promesses comes with all the necessities for the dance: a sparse, slamming bassline, and killer drop. But, in all honesty, without the heartfelt, vulnerable lyrics and vocal acrobatic skills of Brit-R&B’s Kaleem Taylor, this number wouldn’t be half the gem that it is.

Born in London and raised in the English countryside of Hertfordshire, Taylor had been working the UK’s R&B circuit—gigging aplenty (he supported Miguel on tour, too) and releasing two EPs in 2011′s Smooth and 2012′s Alone—way before this opportunity presented itself. However, it’s the most ears the D’Angelo-influenced crooner has captured to date, and he is "grateful for the boost."

Speaking on how the magic happened, Kaleem Taylor tells MTV IGGY: "I hooked up with Tchami through my manager, who knows his management. The acapella, which was originally from a track I made for my Smooth EP called Interlude, it was sent to Tchami and he totally reworked it. I loved the outcome, and the feedback I’ve had from people so far has been amazing! The tune’s still getting a lot of love in the clubs, too, which is great. It’s all just been really humbling."

He isn’t finished dabbling with dance just yet, though. "I’ve been writing with a few house and electro producers, and also a lot with Tchami," he adds, "but, in addition to that, I’ve been working on my own stuff and recently released two new tracks, Love Me Back and 90s, which were part of a Valentine’s Day package I put out."

While it’d be easy for Taylor to turn his back on his musical roots following the success of Promesses, jumping on bandwagons has never been his steeze. The 23-year-old may be fairly new to the game, but he knows the rules. "My main focus will always be R&B music," he says, earnestly. "I do like experimenting with other genres, but R&B’s in my heart and that’s where it’s gonna stay…"

This also appeared over at MTV IGGY: H E R E