An Artist to Soothe Your Soul: Keshi


Photo By: Anna Maitland

Marjorie Blum

With starting your first year of college comes change, stress, and confusion. In attempt to try and juggle everything, I turned to music to help calm myself down. This is when I came across one of my new favorite artists. Casey Luong, professionally known in the music world as keshi, is a 24-year-old hip hop/alternative/indie/R&B, low-fi artist. First emerging in the music scene in 2017 with his song, “over you”, keshi is slowly beginning to take the music industry by storm with over one million Spotify monthly listeners.

There is something incredibly special about artists with absolutely seamless and magical discographies. I often find myself going days just listening to his songs on repeat without any need to mix it up because every listen feels like the first all over again.

Through some struggle, I was able to narrow down my favorite keshi songs down to five songs. With every listen, these songs continue to become better and better. These five songs are the foundation to my relaxation, and the first songs I will turn on when I just want to zone out after a stressful day.

like i need u This was the first keshi song that I ever came across thanks to RM of BTS who tweeted about the song. Naturally, I felt compelled to listen to it, and after the first listen I knew there was no looking back. The lyrics deal with a struggling and unrequited love romanticizing a relationship solely fueled by lust. Along a calming beat of soothing percussion and soft guitar, the instrumentals meet the emotional level of the lyrics. Brilliantly, the song concludes with a melancholic reference to his song “just friends”, which was released in 2017, where he ends “like i need u” with the first verse of “just friends”.

just friends This is another one of my favorite keshi songs. The two minute song encapsulates being caught up with whether your feelings are truly love or just lust. With the minimalistic instruments combined with his soothing voice, he is able to produce a song full of sorrow whether or not the listener has actually experienced what he is talking about in the song.

atlas- One of his newer songs, “atlas” was released in his most recent album, “skeletons”, in July of 2019. From the verse, to the chorus, and the bridge this song seamlessly and effortlessly flows through the story he is trying to tell. Even when he is singing this song live where he is only accompanied by a guitar the listener is able to truly connect with his words and his emotions.

i swear i’ll never leave again- Coming off of the same EP as “like i need u”, “i swear i’ll never leave again” was released off of the EP “the reaper” in 2018. One – out of the many – things keshi does very well is he has the ability to truly convey the feelings and emotions of his songs through just his voice. The repetitive lines in the song serve to show the hurt and realness experienced over and over again, and to repeatedly enforce the promise of “never leaving again”. The simplicity of the background instruments, as aforementioned, truly help to add a rhythmic emotion to the song. As most of his songs are, the relaxed instrumentals provide a perfect avenue to portray his feelings and emotions to the listener while also giving the listener a way to connect back to the song.

 onoffonoff- Beginning with just a simple guitar, this song is truly able to transport the listener into the scene of the song. The one part of this song that keeps me coming back to continuously play it on repeat is the verse starting at the one minute and twenty six second marker beginning with “Careful, slowly, darling what’s the hurry…”. This is one of those moments where there are absolutely no words to explain how that entire verse is able to mold my heart into an entirely new creation. I find myself replaying that thirty-five second verse over and over again, and to me, that is the sole part that makes the song absolutely untouchable. It takes away from the regular acoustic melodrama of the rest of the song, changing the tempo, and truly making for a breathtaking masterpiece, that keeps me wishing that part was not only thirty-five seconds long.

Overall, keshi is an absolutely phenomenal artist. I am so grateful for his music and I cannot wait to see how he continues to impact the music industry. I wish him nothing but success and hopefully one day I will be able to see him live in concert.