Deeply personal and rich with soulful melody – I’ve been listening to Second Wind from Kadhja Bonet’s latest album Childqueen, which melds sweeping strings and her signature vocal stylings into a soundtrack that is full of both beauty and wonder.
It’s not often you come across an artist so fiercely independent their music entirely ignores current tastes altogether, instead existing in an alternative landscape that seems to span cultures as well as decades. Kadhja Bonet’s euphonic tales bring together elements of soul, baroque and psychedelia with essence of San Francisco during the summer of love – perhaps as a product of her West Coast upbringing after choosing not to follow the career as a classical violinist that her parents had so carefully curated.
Her originality is deeply personal and the tracks on second album Childqueen, released this summer, expose vulnerabilities that are difficult for her to come to terms with. Bonet openly admits to feeling defeated the stage of the release of the album, having given all she could to it. That said, the record is an uncanny wonderland of intriguing musicality that flows with creativity; entirely produced, performed and mixed by Bonet herself.
The penultimate track, Second Wind, is symphonically beautiful with sweeping strings and a singing bassline. The track is rich with soulful melody which slowly reveals a soundtrack that perfectly captures the sensitiveness and emotion of Kadhja’s music. Her voice teeters on the edge of fragility, yet the messaged delivered is one of wisdom: everybody’s got a second wind.
I only hope that one day she is able to listen to her music and experience some of the enjoyment she allows others. One such person being Anderson .Paak, who declared her first album “the real shit.” It’s not a surprise then that he sought Kadhja for the theatrical opening to his latest album Oxnard. The Chase is a track which melds .Paak’s funk with Bonet’s wonderfully atmospheric nostalgia, and is perhaps one of the strongest on the album.