HomeVietnamese AmericanKeshi Doc Delights Fans With Intimate Perspective of Singer

Keshi Doc Delights Fans With Intimate Perspective of Singer

By Mimi Chen, Asian American Music Reporter

Thursday night, fans of the up and coming young singer/songwriter/producer/multiinstrumentalist Keshi were treated to an advance screening of the documentary about the musician by long time friend and videographer Kenji Chong.  The SRO screening, hosted by Amazon Music, was held at Valentine’s, one of the hip spots in DTLA (DownTown Los Angeles).

Keshi is best known for producing lo fi chill trap music that accompany his signature sweet soft tenor voice, often reaching unforgettable falsettos.

The film, which ran close to a half hour, provided insight into the creative process by the singer as he recorded his latest release Gabriel. But what it also revealed was the close collaboration between him and co-producer/co-songwriter Elie Rizk.  The crowd roared in appreciation watching the interaction between the two which included lots of dancing and singing.

Following the screening was a Q&A with both Keshi and Kenji where it was discovered the two have known each other since high school.  In terms of the documentary, Kenji admitted he was the “most fly-ist than a fly on the wall” with no direction in the project.  Kenji noted that even tho there was a ton of footage, he thought it fun and initially, shot footage just for documentation and his efforts were not initially geared for specifically making a documentary.

Working with Rizk, Keshi talked how the initial sessions were unfruitful and how he struggled with writing. But when he confessed his feelings to the producer, Rizk suggested that he write more about what he wanted to say as opposed to writing what he thought people wanted to hear.  

Keshi with Elie Rizk. Photo from Keshi

As the sessions continued, the two became closer and developed what he termed “trust.”  At one point in the recording, Rizk deleted a whole bunch of tracks in a song and started working on a new track with a guitalele (ukelele with an extra two strings).   Keshi talked about how he thought it sounded like a “f-cking sea shanty and not good” but at the end he changed his mind and decided to “trust and let the process happen.”  Said Keshi, “I needed to wait til the end to listen and let the whole process finish, it was then I decided to ‘let go of the wheel’ and trust the whole process.”

The musician and songwriter talked about the challenges of traveling between his hometown of Houston and Los Angeles, residing in various AirBnB’s because his manager that thought he would get inspiration from the different living situations. While one place resembled a Moroccan palace, Keshi finally hit a wall when the AirBnb didn’t have running water, telling his manager, “James I think I need a hotel.”

In terms of quelling self-doubts, Keshi stated,  “I think what helped me was acknowledging that there will always be someone that you have to convince or prove yourself to and if you just accept that you’re not gonna win the whole world, the more comfortable you will be with yourself.”

The milestone Keshi was most proud of was “selling out a world tour in a matter of minutes” referring to his upcoming world tour Heaven Hell, a tour that appears to be mostly in Australia and Asia with only one show in the United States.

His advice to young AsAm music creators, “Do what you love and do it relentlessly.”  He talked about how he was so discouraged at one point that he almost stopped but then he kept on going.  Kenji added, “always push towards what you want to be.” 

To view the Documentary:


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