Los Angeles-based musician Kelady isn’t afraid to go hard.
Despite only releasing two songs under her name so far, the American-Filipina’s music scorches–bringing a stifling heat to the dance floor. On her 2018 debut single “Hayop”, Kelady’s swaggering Tagalog lyrics came out with a rush of confidence that allowed her to hit the ground running. The track also has musical producer Danyo to thank for its audacity, providing the gritty beats that made “Hayop” such an explosive debut.
But on her latest release “Papaya”, Kelady eases off the heat just a little bit–offering up a volatile, tempo-switching hip-hop inspired track instead. A song about “papaya skin-whitening soap and loving being brown,” “Papaya” comes complete with a hard-hitting, fiery rap. Kelady outdoes herself: that confidence that she first expressed on “Hayop” is overwhelming here. Instead of being drowned out by the tumultuous rhythms, Kelady hits back–spitting bars that hit twice as hard. We feel the self-love through Kelady’s delivery (i’m a brown babe / tell me who’s to blame / she low grade / beatin me to shame”), and it’s electrifying.
Between Danyo’s sharp beats, Kelady’s powerful cadence, and irresistibly alliterative chorus (“‘Paya Papaya / Skin on fire f-fire / ‘Paya Papaya / Ima start up a riot”), “Papaya” makes quite the lasting impression.
Li-Wei Chu is a recent graduate from UC Davis who majored in Cinema and Digital Media who also briefly studied film at Queen Mary, University of London. Li-Wei is obsessed with horror films (especially the ones that give him nightmares), films from East Asia, and really, any film that makes you stop and think.
He loves talking about film and indie music with others. He’s also a record collector and cross-stitches when he has free time. In the future, he hopes to be able to write about film and wants to find a job in the film industry that can support his record buying habits. Maybe one day he’ll also be able to play the guitar.