keshi Grapples With the Cost of Fame on Stirring Debut Album 'GABRIEL'

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Photo: Vince Aung

The road to keshi's long-awaited debut album GABRIEL has been one full of windings twists and turns. From leaving behind his job as an oncology nurse to finding stans in the likes of BTS, the Houston-bred artist's sudden emergence from underground fan-favorite to inevitable international star has retained one constant; it's an intoxicating cocktail of lo-fi sentiments and otherworldly pop-R&B garnished with impassioned, striking songwriting.  

This notion plays out through the course of keshi's 12-track debut, whether that be fueling the opening heater "GET IT" or serving as the emotional undercurrent for the pained "HELL/HEAVEN." It's a unique penchant for flowing effortlessly between moments of heart-stirring vulnerability and euphoric bouts of radio-ready, cathartic release - often in the same breath, such as on the gentle strumming of "ANGOSTURA" that momentarily surges forward with reckless abandon.

"GABRIEL is a record that turned out much more personal than I intended from the beginning," keshi confesses. "It ended up being a means for me to process the experience of having transitioned from a much less public life to another I'm having a little more trouble navigating recently. I thought about success, purpose, family, pressure, and failure; how time is my only commodity and how sex is just skin; how little I care for what people have to say and how important it is at the same time. I was reminded how fun making music is supposed to feel, and that it's just as much listened to as its lyrics are heard. It's an album that I hope is candid, varied, and one you can come back to again and again."

An album defined by moments of change, GABRIEL is a soundtrack that charts a series of lows, highs, and self-realizations. And in doing so, keshi emerges not just as a star of the moment but as one still charting his own continued evolution. keshi is not just the moment; he is creating the moment one stirring release at a time.  

Listen to GABRIEL below:


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