Keshi Shares His Most Raw Emotions on New EP Bandaids
The enigmatic nurse-turned-singer shares his artistic inspirations and his growth as an artist.
Melodramatic singer-songwriter Keshi exudes an aura of mystery as an artist, yet there’s something extremely comforting about each of his emotionally-inspired songs. After major success with his previous EP skeletons, a mature tracklist that literally leaves all of his skeletons out for the taking, Keshi just returned with a highly-anticipated follow-up EP bandaids. The 5-song collection showcases the artist’s elevated vocal techniques and his emotional journey navigating his atypical life.
After graduating high school, Keshi worked diligently as a nurse tending to patients suffering with cancer. In between his life-altering shifts, he shared an early track titled “if you’re not the one for me who is,” which gained much more recognition than he had initially expected. Inspired by the effects of his music, Keshi continued to share music, and ultimately changed his entire career path, leaving his scrubs behind to aid those in need with a new craft: music.
Now, having established a well-respected platform as a musician, Keshi is more in-tune with his artistic identity than ever before. VMAN spoke with the budding star about his fascinating career transition, musical inspirations, and his new EP bandaids.
Read what Keshi had to share below.
VMAN How did you first discover your passion for music?
Keshi This might sound a bit silly, but it really started for me when I watched a show called Drake and Josh as a kid. It’s a sitcom that aired on Nickelodeon that’s about these two step brothers who get into all sorts of shenanigans. Drake, the “cool guy” brother, was super suave with the ladies and played the electric guitar and sang in a band, and it had a really strong impression on me. I was able to get a hold of my grandpa’s old classical guitar, learned it on my own and the rest is history.
VMAN You were an oncology nurse just last year, and now you’re a full-blown recording artist. How did you make that drastic change?
K It wasn’t an easy decision to make. The keshi project was gaining a lot of traction, and it came to a point where a lot of my contemporaries were stunned when I told them that I hadn’t left nursing yet. It’s not like I didn’t want to, I was just genuinely too scared to take the leap. I had just gotten back to Houston from a trip of meetings in New York (Imagine having the dream dangling front of you and then going back to your real life). I had a particularly awful day at work that ended up being the straw that broke the camel’s back, and the next day I turned in my resignation letter, just like that. I thought, “I have to try, if I fail that’s fine but I have to try”. The next week I signed with Island Records, and here we are.
VMAN Where did you seek inspiration for your new EP bandaids?
K It all just comes from real life, whether they’re my own experiences or the experiences of others. That’s where the source material comes from. Sonically, I get inspired by the artists I admire. I sort of just tinker with Logic on my laptop and after a few hours I have something to show for it.. or sometimes I don’t. I guess it’s sort of like painting on a blank canvas; sometimes you hit and sometimes you miss.
VMAN How would you describe yourself?
K If I had to put it in one word I think I’d say obsessive. I have a really short attention span if I’m not doing something I 100% want to be doing. And when I’m doing something I do 100% want to be doing, I’ll lose track of time and will ignore everything else, like eating, drinking and sleeping haha. I get really engrossed in things when I’m excited, and it’s a bad habit of mine. Sometimes it’ll be 4PM and I’ll have pains because I hadn’t eaten or drank anything because the first thing I did was go into the studio.
VMAN When you think about describing yourself, do you think that description translates into your music? In other words, do you think your music reflects who you are as a person?
K I think, in a way, it does. I think the obsessiveness translates into keshi’s emotional sort of vulnerability, the way he’ll incessantly brood over things. It’s the most concentrated parts of me, just put to melody.
VMAN How would you compare bandaids to your previous EP skeletons?
K Bandaids definitely sounds fuller than skeletons; I feel like I’ve definitely grown as a producer and as a writer the past year, and I think it reflects here. The material is different, but the honesty is the same. I’m still learning new ways to express myself, but I’m still always me.
VMAN Through making music over the last year, how have you been able to grow as both a person and an artist?
K There were a lot of changes for me the past year since I signed. I’ve had trips to LA for sessions, to New York for meetings, I went on my first headline tour in September; I had to transition to being a musician as my full time occupation. I think the new experiences and new encounters I’ve had all gave me new emotions to digest. New perspective is always good for a writer. It gives me new things to write about, and new ways to think about things.
VMAN Looking at your successes and everything that is yet to come for you as an artist, what do you want to be remembered for?
K As being someone who didn’t compromise in making the art he wanted to make. As long as my creative integrity is there, I’m happy.
Listen to Keshi’s EP bandaids, below.