The most captivating quality of up and coming artist Kae Sun is not the ease with which he switches from singing to rapping or the fact that his records are influenced by a variety of musical styles. But rather, it is his distinctively heart felt vocal delivery coupled with his ability to communicate passionately through poetic lyrics.
Born Kwaku Darko-Mensah Jr in Accra, Ghana Kae's childhood was steeped in culture and community. His earliest musical inspiration came from diverse sources: the church choir, his dad's soul records, the roots reggae blaring on the streets of Accra, traditional Ghanaian folk chants and the hip-life music on the radio. These elements fused to form the foundation of Kae Sun's unique and powerful musical style that continues to change and grow.
Kae grew up in an environment where performance was a way of life. Kae spent most of his childhood without a television so music, books and story telling heavily influenced him. Whether it was song or story, emotionally powerful performance was a constant part of daily life. Kae found his own passion for performance while attending the prestigious Achimota School noted for educating some of Africa's most influential leaders.
At weekly talent shows, Kae and his peers began performing covers of popular American rap records. He also began to write original lyrics and poetry while learning to play guitar and piano. In 2001, Kae entered a new chapter of his life when he left his family and moved to Hamilton, Ontario to complete high school and attend university. Kae continued to perform and write music, while jumping into the local hip-hop scene by performing at open mics and freestyle battles around town. He also became a part of a short-lived hip-hop group that opened for Damian Marley.
With a renewed faith, Kae Sun decided to pursue a full-fledged musical career. He quickly became more interested in a greater variety of modes of self-expression. He began to take a more sincere approach towards music while introducing live instruments and singing to his repertoire. He became more interested in diverse styles of music using the likes of Neil Young and Bob Dylan to help broaden his creative palette.
Kae Sun began studying the production notes and performances of these classic musicians in order to understand what made them so effective. Armed with these new tools, Kae Sun recorded his first full-length demo record. It generated a buzz that earned him a 2006 Hamilton Music Award. Fueled by the success of his demo, Kae released his debut EP Ghost Town Prophecy and went on a successful tour performing with Canadian musical giants Shad K, KOS and Bedouin Soundclash, as well as at festivals such as Hillside Music Festival, the Toronto Jazz Festival and Pop Montreal.
Kae Sun is now based in Toronto and continues to perform. He maintains his diverse style performing solo acoustic or with a band and will release his debut full length album "Lion on a Leash" on Toronto-based label URBNET Recordings on October 6th, 2009. The album is a product of Kae Sun's experience and what he has learned on his musical journey. In addition to producing many of the tracks on this record himself, Kae was able work with an array of his favourite musicians such as Mr. Something Something, Vanderpark, Miles Jones and Voices of Savannah.