Hertfordshire R&B talent Kaleem Taylor is truly a phenomenal artist. Through features and his undisputable songwriting ability, his crisp vocals are globally recognized via work with artists like Snakeships and Tchami. In 2019, Kaleem Taylor shared his critically-praised EP, Surface, which amassed over 1.4 million streams to date. Since then, he’s shared stages with the likes of Miguel, Boyz II Men, and several others. You cannot that Kaleem Taylor has been putting in work for close to a decade now.
Towards the latter of 2020, Kaleem Taylor shared his 7-track project She Knows. Featuring highly-praised singles like “Feel” and “Questions,” Kaleem showcases his flawless vocal abilities and fuses his soulful vocals with laidback electronic and trap beats. Months removed from the project’s release and the rising R&B phenomenon is still moving strong. 2021 is, by far, looking to be another monumental year for Kaleem Taylor as he continues to develop his sound and grow his audience.
In our latest interview, we got the opportunity to chat with Kaleem Taylor in regards to his story, thoughts on R&B today, and the direction he wants to go musically. Read the full interview below.
How did you initially gravitate towards becoming an artist?
Thankfully I had some good friends that would always encourage me to sing. I would mess around and sing songs with other artists, and they convinced me that I sound better than what I thought. From then, we just got in a room together and started making music. Getting a bit of recognition from those first songs inspired me to keep making more.
Who are some of your R&B influences?
My early influences are definitely people like D’Angelo and Lauryn Hill. I love Jazmine Sullivan, there’s a long list of people. I listen to a lot, there are so many names from some of the 90s music to today. It’s quite a wide range of people, even reggae artists like Dennis Brown for example.
Towards the tail-end of 2020, you dropped She Knows, what was the meaning behind that project?
I just wanted to talk about individual, personal experiences that I’ve had with different women throughout the years. I wanted to talk about the impact they’ve had on me and vice versa. Some of the music is their perspective and what they’ve told me how they feel. Not saying that each song is about a separate woman, but the concepts are more or so to do with experiences that I’ve had.
There’s a lot of romantic push and pull in your music, which makes me wonder, how do you define love?
I would say it’s flowing, natural, compassion. I’d say it’s understanding, communicating, accepting. There’s a lot of meaning to it but I know what I think I’ve felt and when I did feel it, it was a mutual thing. it’s something that you can’t feel or touch, but you’re well aware of the power.
Do you feel like there’s anything missing in regards to R&B today?
I feel like it’s in a beautiful place right now. There are so many people I can listen to and they can bring out so many emotions in it. It’s got a nostalgic feel, we’ve got new vibes, we’ve got a bit of everything. I feel like what we need to do as a community is keep pushing to keep evolving and coming up with these new sounds and approached. i think it’s a really good time to be making R&B right now.
Do you have any dream collaborations in mind?
For sure! Sometimes just to be in a room with a person would be cool, not even on some music. Just to see how people create or their process. If it had to be a collaboration I would say someone like Lucky Daye, H.E.R, Jazmine Sullivan. There’s so many names that I love and that are not household names. I just want to work with anyone that makes good music.
As far as music goes, where direction do you see your music going in?
For me, the plan is always to progress in whatever way and however long that may take. I think it’s important to always provide something for supporters of your music. I think it’s good to keep evolving for them as well. As much as I want to get more personal and talking about different things, I think it’s important to keep giving my people some more music and something quality. The plan is to take my time and get things right.
Elsewhere in music news, check out our interview with Rileyy Lanez.