Kamal. Lays His Soul Bare in "people don’t change (demo)"


Photo: Alistair Mcveigh

Gen Z pop artist Kamal. recently released the hauntingly superb "people don’t change (demo)." Atop an instrumental that sounds like you’re voyaging through the most gorgeous landscape via train, it’s Kamal.’s’ consistent refrain, musing that despite how much we journey episodically as travelers, all sentient beings have habits that are hard to break.

I hopped aboard the Kamal. train since the sucess of the pandemic-era "blue," and watching his growth has truly been a joy. With each record, you can hear the attention to detail not just with the songwriting but mixing, instrumentation, and more. It’s tantamount to growing in tandem with your favorite athlete. The many twists and turns revealing a winding path towards stardom. 

Kamal.’s biggest strength is his vulnerability. "people don’t change (demo)" is quite possibly one of the most beautiful songs I’ve heard in recent memory. Similar to Outkast’s "Hey Ya," if you weren’t listening to the lyrics intently, you might easily fall victim to thinking it’s simplistically blissful. However, as the British artist lays himself bare, line by line, you begin to share one soul and mind, discovering that it’s, in fact, a dirge. A lament for one who is consumed by substances and seems doomed. "People don’t change, she’s doing cocaine, off the silicone case of my phone," he orates before completing the next line, "people don't change, I'm cynical, staying alone." 

It’s okay not to be okay. "people don’t change (demo)" is medicine for everyone that needs an audio-induced hug. Since I’ve been writing for Ones To Watch, I’ve noticed a common macroscopic theme within songs that fall on the spectrum of unrequited love and sadness. I can’t help but think out loud how much the pandemic, as well as our inevitable, involuntary integration with technology, is widening the gap between equanimity and neurosis. Nonetheless, this zen reminder comes at a much-needed time in the world. Kamal. is definitely one to watch. 

Listen to "people don't change (demo)" below:



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