Back in 2020 when Kyle (formerly known as SuperDuperKyle and KiD but born Kyle Thomas Harvey) released his See You When I’m Famous album, it felt like a self-fulfilling prophecy. A little cocky in all the right ways. Two years on, and things are going pretty much to plan for the platinum-selling artist. He’s just released the “Perfect” single, and his new album, It’s Not So Bad, drops on January 28. You only have to look at those titles to see that positivity reigns with Kyle right now.
The Ventura artist says that the sound on the new album has evolved hugely from that last one, mainly because he only knows how to create based on what he’s currently interested in.
“I’m like a kid where my interests will change from one genre to the next, from one tone of voice to the next,” he told us by phone. “On See You When I’m Famous I was speaking on Ventura, my hometown, and it was very surf rock influenced. But on It’s Not So Bad, I kinda got really into R&B and house music, and UK garage started influencing me. So the sound has really just gotten more mature. It feels more sexy and relationship-focussed. I realized I want to speak on things that I’m educated on, and I happen to have been in love for a really long time so I know about those topics, rather than reaching till I rap about stuff that I have no clue on.”
The ongoing lockdown naturally had an impact on the recording and release of this forthcoming album. Initially, Kyle says that the entire story came from him being locked up in the house and having nothing but negative things to focus on. At first, he says, he was going to make a lo-fi album that was very sad. But then his mindset changed.
“I have a bunch of songs like that,” he says. “Longing to connect with people in a real way and having that stripped from me confronted me with a bunch of work I need to do on myself to come to the conclusion that life is not so bad and there’s a bunch of things to be grateful for and happy for. I was depressed when I was trying to connect with people over the phone, and my phone doesn’t really love me at all. It’s not real. All Instagram and social media does is give you this false sense of dopamine, but it’s not real life. When I lost that connection with my fans, I had to discover again for myself why life is not so bad, what is there to be happy about, and how to deal with things when I’m by myself. That’s what a lot of the album speaks on. So yes, the pandemic fully helped it along. Through working on these sad songs, I had to go to Miami for a little bit and realize that I want to dance and make uptempo music. It’s like one long therapy session. Every album is with me.”
On that theme, the new single is “Perfect,” a song that Kyle describes as self-help music.
“I’m trying to say nice things to myself and I’m doing it over this house music,” he says. “The studio session when I made ‘Perfect’ was inspired by trying to come up with a phrase that people could say either to themselves or to other people that made them feel better about themselves. I feel like so much music nowadays, even if you repeat the hook, is some pretty messed up, negative shit. I wanted to come up with a phrase that simply adds some positivity into somebody’s ethos when they say it. ‘Perfect’ turned out to be that record. It’s like an awesome, body-positive, self-help club song. People in the club don’t know that secretly we’re doing therapy with them.”
As we’re writing, we’re still coming to terms with the death of Drakeo the Ruler. Kyle was a fan.
“It’s just really sad,” Kyle says. “I feel sorry that a life was cut so short so young, with so much promise ahead of his career. Not just for him but for his family and people depending on him. I feel like festivals and venues, when you’re hosting artists that are maybe dealing with things, you should take extra precautions to make sure everybody is safe.”
Looking ahead, 2022 should be another great year for Kyle. He’s getting ahead of the tech game too, releasing the new album as an S-NFT.
“Essentially, in simple human terms, my fans or anybody else have an opportunity to participate in ownership of this music with me,” Kyle says. “So I’m selling 50 percent of the ownership of this album to the open market. You have the ability to buy a share of the album. If the album blows up and becomes a platinum-selling album and has all this success, your investment is now earning you money. It’s just like being able to put your money into somebody you believe in. You’re putting the ball into their court. They’re the people who buy the music, and now they can promote the music for you because they’re invested in it. We’re doing this together. Why don’t I split the royalties with people who love me and see what we can do together? I really think it’s the future of the music industry.”
Beyond It’s Not So Bad, Kyle has much more planned for next year.
“I have multiple albums planned,” he says. “Now that I’m independent, I feel inspired to move at the pace I want to move and I want to give my fans as much music as possible. There’s a short film coming for It’s Not So Bad that I’m excited about. So expect more films, albums, and an entire tour. I’m also working on getting a six pack, so we will accomplish that as well.”
Good for you, sir.
The “Perfect” single is out now. The It’s Not So Bad album is out in January.