“Faith, life, love and experience. I write what I feel, what I know and what is revealed to me by the spirit of God. I believe in the world unseen. I’m also a believer in God’s unconditional love and redemption. Love is the highest principle, so I try to look at life through those lenses…of course that makes life incredibly frustrating, but it inspires some good art.
One could assume that these are the words spoken from the lips of a world-renowned philosopher or a wise soul who has graced all walks of life. In reality, these words are a simple representation of the inspiration, perspective and creativity that rapper/singer Kae Sun has to share with the world. His debut album, Lion On A Leash, is the epitome of his artistic purpose. Through the harmonious and gentle sounds of his self-expression, the album shines much-needed light on the plethora of social issues that plague our Earth and aims at bringing unification to listeners on the massive global scale. With Sun’s irresistible sincerity and groundbreaking talent, Lion is one of the year’s finest moments in music.
Upon the first listen of his debut, Sun made two instant fans out of the Moon Men. With much gratitude, Sound On Mars had the privilege to speak with Kae Sun and become more familiar with the multi-talented musician, tackling a multitude of topics that ranged from his Ghanaian origins, the general music industry and his hopes for the future. After the interview was finished, it was clear that Sun’s gift to the world is much bigger than music; it could bring the world one step closer to healing the world.
Before we begin, the first place we should begin is an introduction to our readers. Who is Kae Sun? Tell us a little about yourself.
Well, I’m a singer, a musician and a dreamer. Born in Accra, the capital of Ghana—one of the most vibrant places on planet earth. I moved to Canada in my teens.
When did you realize that music was a passion? Have you always wanted to make music?
Music was an unescapable part of my upbringing. My whole community was about creation and participation, so the passion for art has always been there for me. I grew up in the church community in Ghana and was surrounded by multiple instruments as well as records, tapes and the music on the radio. So to a certain degree , I’ve always made music.
Who are some of your musical influences? And why did they have an impact on your creativity?
My parents are a big influence. Also, Bob Marley, Nas and The Fugees. I think the music of those artists impacted me greatly. Their style and message was relevant to me and the state of the environment I grew up in. I also discovered Bob Dylan and Neil Young later and I dig their approach to songwriting.
What inspires the themes that are found in your music?
Faith, life, love and experience. I write what I feel, what I know and what is revealed to me by the spirit of God. I believe in the world unseen. I’m also a believer in God’s unconditional love and redemption. Love is the highest principle so I try to look at life through those lenses, of course that makes life incredibly frustrating sometimes, but it inspires some good art.
How would you define the genre and style of your music?
I wouldn’t dare define it. That’ll only restrict me.
So let’s talk a little about your debut album, Lion On A Leash. Could you describe the inspiration for the title and the album’s content in general?
The line “Can’t hold a lion on a leash”came to me once while I was doing something mundane. It was crystal clear with the melody and everything so that was the genesis of the song and then the title stuck as the title of the record because it captured the essence of what this album represents to me. I think the title or the metaphor will mean different things to different people. For me, its a symbol of defiance. Defying restriction and that tension between freedom and captivity.
How does Lion On A Leash differ from your EP, Ghost Town Prophecy?
The ideas on Lion are better executed. You can hear the growth between the two records. I’m more of a mature songwriter, better guitar player and got a better ear for production.
What are some of your personal favorites from Lion On A Leash?
I like them all. I really do. I think of the album as a complete experience, so it represents something totally different to me than it would to a listener.
Switching gears a bit, what is your critique and perception of the current music industry? Did you think it would be difficult to break into the mainstream due to the more serious nature of your work?
Here’s the thing. I don’t believe in “industry”; especially when it comes to art. I know it exists and I know how to interact with it to a certain degree, but I think music always deals with people and with communities. I don’t think my music is serious in nature. It just deals with humanity and matters of the heart so in the end, it will appeal to people on a universal level and I would be stupid to complain about that.
What would you like to see for the future of the music industry?
As far as music goes, I wish a global music community would replace the music industry.
In your music, world social issues seem to be a prominent theme. What would you like to see for the future of the world as well?
For the world, I’d like to see an end to war and as much as possible, more unity within our diverse cultures and beliefs.
Let’s imagine life in 10 years. Where do you see for yourself?
Lord willing, more albums. To be a better musician and songwriter, to have a wider audience, and to be on more tours.
In the future, what goals do you want to have accomplished with your music?
Universality. Relevance. To be honest, if God is pleased with my work, I’m happy. That’s really the level I wanna be at. Still working at it though.
Simply refreshing….thank you, again KAE SUN!