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KAINA creates generational music that surpasses borders, a unified expression of her native Chicago, coupled with her Venezuelan and Guatemalan heritage. This cultural fusion is best illustrated on the lead single “Green” from her debut full-length album Next To The Sun (Sooper Records).
In the Jean Deaux-directed visual, we see people of all ages and backgrounds breaking bread with each other — a colorful, blended representation of what family means for the singer.
From her debut EP, 2016’s sweet asl. to 2018’s 4U, and her debut LP Next To The Sun, KAINA has continued to push this narrative through her brand of sweet-hearted optimism, which she uses as a means to connect with and lift her listener’s spirit. From collaborating with peers like Saba, The O’My’s, and Sen Morimoto, and through multidisciplinary work around the city with various organizations, she has found a sound for herself that is gentle, yet full of intent.
KAINA folds all of her fears and hopes about identity into Next To The Sun. Spanning nine songs, the album (produced by KAINA & Sen Morimoto) is indebted to Latin music while remaining bound to the soulfulness of Chicago. “Green” is a nod to salsa, while the bassline on the title track is an acknowledgment of Latin music’s sultry aesthetics; the Morimoto-supported “Could Be A Curse” — the album’s only feature — is akin to bolero. But on songs like “Ghost,” “What’s A Girl,” and “Waiting On A Day,” KAINA switches hats with ease, the album’s Latin-inspired sonics blending seamlessly with Chicago soul, R&B, and blues.