In the music of West London based artist Khazali you can feel an incredible deepness. Lots of personal feelings, thoughts and human questions transformed into sounds that get under your skin.
Khazali’s new EP was born out of his use of songwriting and poetry as a form of therapy to deal with an anxiety disorder that was diagnosed in his second year of graphic design courses at university. “With these tracks, I use my songwriting as a way to better understand my anxieties about life, use dream journals as a device for lyrics.” he remarks.
I fell in love in the first second with “Comfort”. What is the song about?
Comfort was the last song I wrote for this volume of Going Home, and was heavily inspired by the beginning of the pandemic, and that feeling of hopelessness that I think we all felt. When I sing about ‘liquid borderlines to help us drown’ I thought about how what we were going through was washing away façades we’d built up, how we had to face our true selves and feelings.
You have been working on the debut EP “Going home” for about five years. When does something feel ready for you? And what does home mean for you?
It felt ready to me because I became more open to sharing my feelings – something I was quite guarded about as a teen. Now that I’m in my 20s and have lived through a tough time I know that not living as your true self isn’t a life worth living.
I haven’t ever really been able to call one particular place home, but I know that home is somewhere you can breathe out and be authentic.
Parisian label Kitsuné Musique has been one of my favorite labels for a long time. How did the collaboration come about?
I was discovered by my label when I released a single on my collective Slow Dance’s yearly compilation Slow Dance ’19 last year. The conversation just carried on very naturally, I released You’ll Be the One as a single, which is also on my EP. I like how nurturing and human everything feels, and I feel supported 100%.
“I haven’t ever really been able to call one particular place home, but I know that home is somewhere you can breathe out and be authentic.”
In one instagram post you talk about being sober for over 100 days already. What was the moment when you decided to stop?
I decided to stop simply because being intoxicated stopped being fun for me, it wasn’t bringing out my best sides and made me feel like a different person. So I decided to take a break. I’ll never say never, but so far it’s really helped me stay in a good state of mind. Also, I’m totally not militant or judgy about drinking and can’t wait to be with everyone at the pub, even if I’m not drinking.
If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be?
There’s an unspoken pressure to have a specific or defined sound, and that feels restrictive. Luckily, my label doesn’t think that way which is part of why we get along.
What’s the first thing you’ll do when the pandemic is over?
Go see my mum, and hug her. She lives in Paris and I haven’t had the chance to see her since last Spring.