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Emerging R&B, rap and pop artist Downtown Kayoto is back with new single Lite, a teaser to his exciting new EP Learning in Public, out on July 6th. Juggling his biomedicine studies with his experimental musical creations, Kayoto has been shaping the United Kingdom music scene track after track, following the footsteps of American rappers such as GoldLink and Kaytranada. In his new single, Lite, he opens up about the fear of missing out that comes with retreating in his house to make music: “This song was birthed from this frustration as well as greed,” he explains. “I still have so much going for me but in this song I allowed myself to vent.”

is a grime-inspired, bouncy earworm that will keep playing in your head after a first listen. In the music video, the Zimbabwe-born artist rocks a bleached buzz cut à la Frank Ocean, with Lite spray-painted on his left profile. Mirroring his concern with FOMO and being stuck in the house, half of the video is set in an enclosed urban tunnel, and the other half in a sunlit, golden hour basketball playground where Kayoto messes around with his crew. The track opens with a catchy, steady chorus, exploding into a breakneck rap verse a few seconds later. As the verse starts, the camera zooms in and out of Kayoto's intense, anger-filled expression, creating an estranging mood.

Discussing Lite, he says: “I thought when I put school on pause the music would just naturally flourish and things would just work with all of the effort I had put in prior…but that wasn’t what happened, there was more work to be done.” With its fast-paced rap, his single seems to echo the oppressive, intrusive nature of the thoughts that made him doubt himself and second-guess his own capabilities throughout his creative process. Yet, the success he has been enjoying since his 2019 first single, Colours, is a testimony of Kayoto's ability to bounce back. His new single Lite is just as promising – with his new EP Learning in Public, he is on the precipice of something special.

Elisabetta Comin
Joe Howat

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