Kelady – “Papaya”
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 the chief editor of From the Intercom. When he’s not editing drafts and searching for new artists to cover for the website, he loves watching cult films, cooking, and listening to his ever-growing collection of vinyl records. You can follow him on LetterBoxd and make fun of his taste in movies here!