Toronto-based musician and songwriter Kevin A released his experimental EP, Tropic, earlier this month.This eight-track project explores different genres including R&B, electronic, ambient, and dancehall, highlighting the interconnectivity between them. The artist tells us that the EP is “a musical manifestation of the exploration of my identity in response to various real life experiences with my culture, upbringing, and relationship to my identity as a second generation Canadian born to a father from Trinidad and a mother from India.”
The EP starts out strong with “Nine Pieces,” an experimental, dreamy track focused on exploring and connecting different melodies underneath repetitive lyrics that tell the subject to “take my hand, my heart, my everything.”
While “Make Me Move” has been out for two months already, it deserves more attention. The downtempo, sultry track is full of energy, a quintessential R&B song through and through. The jazzy guitar and percussion in the background create this feeling of deep inhales and exhales throughout the song; the deepest of which occurring around the 3 minute mark with a dramatic crescendo, highlighting the range of Kevin A’s impressive vocals.
The only problem I have with this EP is the length of “Fall In,” which is criminally too short. It starts out so promising with funky vocals and synths, incorporating a syncopated snare here and there. As soon as you find yourself getting into the groove of it all, the track fades to end, leaving you awkwardly still dancing in silence because you want more.
Tropic is the perfect soundtrack for a chill summer evening, with its uninhibited exploration through multiple genres and poetic lyricism. This project serves as an introduction to Kevin A’s musical journey, and it’s clear that it is just starting.