Living Like KESH

Sitting at the intersection of both within and without is KESH, a creative powerhouse whose universe finds abstract strength within vulnerability.

A multi-hyphenate artist, to say the least, KESH wears a multitude of creative hats as she continues to craft her idiosyncratic yet welcoming sonic and visual universe that is entirely KESH.

 

An acclaimed visual artist, designer and DJ, KESH’s music is merely an extension of who she is as an artist and as a person. Her latest track, ‘not gaan out’, is an ode to the introverts who find safety at home – a place to recharge and to heal. The soundscape of ‘not gaan out’ weavers and flows throughout the sprawling seven-minute track.

 

With an industrial DNA embedded throughout the track, ‘not gaan out’ transports the listener to the darker side of the night, and is otherworldly in its entirety. A stunning debut from KESH, we can’t wait to hear the creations she cooks up next as the core of a KESH track seems rooted in the sense of power within vulnerability.

 

Photographer Will Beach captures KESH in a world where you don’t need the artist right in front of a camera, which is pretty on-brand for KESH as you never know what creative output she is going to release next.

 

We caught up with the artist in this tranquil and abstract editorial below.

What is your favourite subject to write about currently?
It’s not my favourite subject but it’s my current subject. Death and loss. My next release is about losing a friend of mine, the memories of our evolving friendship and the feelings associated with losing a loved one. I’ve been writing about loss a lot lately and I imagine it’s because of the tumultuous environment we’re living in and the effects it’s having on my psyche. A lot’s falling apart right now and a lot of people are hurting. The paradigm shifts but we don’t know if it will be for better or worse.
Has your creative process changed at all?
I’m way more chill now. I used to be manically working on projects all the time. But I’ve slowed it down a lot more. Before I was trying to kick down doors and change the game. But with time I came to realise that the system wasn’t really built for the black creative to thrive so I made a conscious decision to fall back and relax. I mean I still work on my arts 5 days a week and create copious amounts of visual works and music, but the intensity is gone. I realised I was wasting my life trying to operate in an industry where I was overlooked and undervalued and when I could see it clearly I decided to spread my energy instead of committing my whole being to creating.
What is the main message you wanted to get across within your music?
There’s a variation of messages that translate through the music but I think the one that I would really like to translate is that sadness is ok. That being messed up is ok. And that there is a way out of the darkness. I personally make music as a form of healing and for a long time, I kept it to myself. Now I share it in hopes of being an example of someone who was once broken but found ways to piece myself back together.  Music really helped me get through some heavy moments and I don’t know maybe mine could do the same for someone else.
What is something you want to tell your younger self?
Be more vulnerable with others. Let people know that you’re not ok and that you’re hurting. Don’t close your heart to the world. You are loved.
If you’re an introvert and you’re depressed it’s almost impossible to speak to anyone about your issues. I found that I lost many years to silence. I feel I could’ve healed a lot quicker if I was just able to open up. Instead, I chose isolation and kept everyone at an arm’s length. In that time I created bodies of work that I’m proud of but simultaneously I was dying inside. Now I find that having the courage and taking the time to speak to others frees me of many burdens of the mind and what’s beautiful about it is that I can do the same for them. A lot of people are going through it in their own ways and when you’re able to be there for each other it’s an incredible thing.
What is your star sign? Do you think you’re like your star sign?
I’m Scorpio. And yes i’m just like my sign. There’s pros and cons.
What are you most looking forward to right now?
I’m really looking forward to releasing track 2 ‘i thought i ran out of tears’ I feel like it’s a very honest song and it’s close to my heart.

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