KAI Transforms into a Dreamy Celestial in ‘Peaches’
The South Korean singer, dancer and EXO member returns with his sophomore solo EP
South Korean singer, dancer and EXO member KAI made his solo comeback today with his sophomore EP, Peaches. The record serves as the follow-up to the superstar’s highly successful self-titled debut record Kai, which dropped exactly one year ago today. The release is accompanied by a music video for it’s lead single of the same name.
In an online press conference earlier this morning, KAI detailed each track from the album and expressed his desire to show a different artistic side of himself. “So far, I’ve mainly shown a heavy and strong concept, but this time, I’d say you’ll be able to see a more sweet, friendly and cute side of me,” he explained. “It’s so romantic, I tried to show my soft side. Set, color and everything are like old tales. I integrated Western gods and gods from the East.”
The lead single “Peaches,” written by lyricist Anna Kim, is a dreamy R&B number and the ideal introduction to this new, softer side of KAI. While his debut single “Mmmh” was sensual and playful with its trap-R&B blend, “Peaches” aims for the hazy sweetness of falling in love. According to KAI, the track compares the sweet moments spent with a loved one to a sweet peach. “I selected this song as the title track because I felt like I could express the keyword ‘peaches’ in various ways through the track, choreography, and concept too,” he stated at today’s conference. “When I heard this track, it helped me imagine the dreamy intro, and the overall atmosphere of the song is very my style, so it’s a track I cherished and am now getting to show everyone.”
The music video for “Peaches” blends traditional and modern elements from various cultures, Eastern and Western, to paint KAI as a celestial immortal from folktales, wandering an Eden-like paradise and plucking peaches from the trees around him. There’s generous use of soft pastel colors with backgrounds of sunsets to highlight the dream-like nature of the visuals and the song itself. The choreography is smooth and graceful, but peppered with bursts of power to showcase KAI’s skills as a dancer. “Like the title, we added some choreography that relates to peaches,” the vocalist elaborated. “For example, the dancers and I express a large peach tree. There’s also some movements that look as if I’m picking peaches. Picking peaches, putting them in, picking, putting, it’s repetitive. The song has a calm and soft flow to it, but the choreography includes a lot of powerful movements. I think you’ll be able to feel the two charms through it simultaneously.”
The six-track EP sees KAI experiment with various genres, including indie-pop, R&B pop, lo-fi and hip-hop. He picks the falsetto-laden indie-pop number “Vanilla” as his favorite, explaining it’s the reason he decided to give audiences a glimpse of it via the “Prologue Film” video for Peaches released on November 25th. “[It’s a] track that describes the feeling of falling deeply in love to a soft vanilla taste,” he said. “The mood to the track is a bit different from the songs I’ve released before, so it may feel a bit new. As soon as I listened to the track, I immediately thought it was good. It seems to express that feeling of having butterflies when you’re in love. A bit difficult to explain with words, but the subtle vibe makes it sound all the more charming.”
In addition to “Peaches” and “Vanilla,” the EP includes “Domino,” ‘Come In,” “To Be Honest” and “Blue.” Like its predecessor, there are no features on this record, and KAI expressed he was involved in every single detail of the album’s creative process. “I thought about all the details and I came up with every single idea,” he said. “I was being really careful. I learned a lot while preparing for this album. Color and ideas, I come up with lots of plans. I took care of every single little thing.”
In addition to promotions around his album’s release, KAI is slated to hold his first solo online concert titled ‘Beyond Live #Cinema – Kai- Kloor’ on December 12th. Regarding the upcoming show, the singer stated, “It’s not a face-to-face concert. So I thought about how to communicate with fans just like in person. So I tried to make it like a movie. I’ve tried to make them feel they are with me.” KAI explained that while it was a thrilling experience to create the show, it was also challenging to do it alone without the rest of EXO. “Preparing the concert by myself was really hard. Me being alone was the hardest thing without EXO members. There’s this break time during the concert, I [usually] share lots of things with members but this time I had to show just me, only me. I just want to show the real me and I want this concert to be the beginning of showing me.” Tickets for the show will go on sale on December 1st.
Stream KAI’s sophomore EP ‘Peaches’ below: