Azure Kai, The Mystery Artist on Campus

An anonymous student here at Monmouth recently produced and released music on various platforms under the pseudonym “Azure Kai.” He currently has three songs out, but it seems as though listeners can expect more soon.

“Something Special” came out on Dec. 7, 2022. The melodic lo-fi beat at the beginning reels listeners in, and the earworm vocals keep them nodding their heads until the end. This song portrays a monologue of the unrestrained nature of music, comparing it to the passion he feels for a girl. Kai thinks the world of her despite not thinking highly of himself, implying that she’s out of his league. He can’t find the courage to tell her how he feels so he writes a song instead. Due to the lo-fi nature of “Something Special,” it’s a good song to study to in my opinion.

“Tuesday” released on Dec. 31, 2022. Different from the first, the rap vocals are presented over chill jazz, seemingly forcing listeners to focus on the words rather than the music. In the song, we follow Kai throughout his day, from getting ready, to writing lyrics on the train, and then to the music studio where he cranks out four songs. Although this song could just be “another Tuesday” for Kai, we see his love for music and continuous drive to make the best music possible.

“Offguard,” Kai’s most recent single from Jan. 25, is the catchiest by far. It immediately starts with flashing camera sounds, then leads into a deep, funky guitar beat that runs through to the end. The song depicts Kai recalling when he tried to sneakily take pictures of a girl he likes in class (possibly the same girl from “Something Special”?), but the moment was ruined when his phone was taken away. This event likely happened in the past since Kai mentions recess but he is currently college aged. “Offguard” is my favorite of the three releases.

In order to get more insight on his music and future projects, I reached out to Kai through Instagram DMs.

Q: What made you want to start writing music?
A: “My desire to write songs sort of stemmed from listening to a lot of pop mainstream hits and recognizing patterns between each and every one of them. It wasn’t long before I realized that the majority of songs have similar chord progressions, instruments, content, and structure. Once I was able to pinpoint these patterns, I thought about new elements that I could add to enrich the listener’s experience and create some sort of personality within the composition. Envisioning those ideas led me to writing songs I can call my own.”

Q: What is your favorite song that you’ve released so far?
A: “Probably ‘Offguard’ since it’s the only song I’ve officially put out there. But I do have a couple of unreleased songs under my belt, and my favorite one of that must be ‘Gotta Get the Girl.’”

Q: Are you working towards an album?
A: “Yes—that’s a long-term goal of mine. My producer and I are currently making it a priority to release as many singles as I can before working towards an album.

Kai’s music is unique as it’s a hybrid of hip-hop, rap, lo-fi, and pop elements. Nowadays, I feel people heavily lean into one or two music genres and don’t break away from that, but Kai strays from the norm. If you like any of the genres I mentioned above, I highly suggest you listen to Kai’s songs and be on the lookout for new releases. You can find him on Instagram @azure.kai1 and on YouTube and Spotify as Azure Kai.