To most of us, traveling the globe staying in the world’s finest hotels sounds like an amazing, glamourous lifestyle. But when being a frequent traveller is just another part of your daily job, is it really all that much fun?
This month we caught up with french rapper and producer – Kaysha, known for his unique Candyzouk or Afro-electro sound blending the rhythms of Africa & the Caribbean with electronic beats. We’ve been following Kaysha’s travels on Instagram and Twitter for a while, his love of photographing the hotels, resorts and rooms he stays in, is exactly the kind of thing were into. So we decided to to hit him up and find out how he copes with living out of hotel rooms for weeks on end when he’s away on tour.
RoomCritic: Hi Kaysha, since your first release ‘Bounce Baby ‘ back in 1998, you’ve consistently released a new album every couple of years and produced many more. Your sound is quite unique and this is even more clear on your new EP Funky Makaku. How easy has it been getting your music to the world?
Kaysha: Hey there… Longtime ago, I decided to take my conquest of the world thru music very differently from artists here in France. All the labels in Paris were telling me that they couldn’t do nothing for me because I was not singing in french and it was very frustrating. But one day I went to the US, in New York and understood by my own experience that it was not about where I was but how and what I was doing. That’s how I decided to take an international approch to things constantly. And I travel every week to different destination to conquer the galaxy holiday or not
RoomCritic: Being a frequent traveller is a huge part of your job as a performer, when you do get time off from work do you enjoy traveling for pleasure? Where is your favourite holiday destination to go and relax?
Kaysha: I gotta say that with all this travelling and all these beautiful places that I see, I’m usually just happy when I can stay in my home and compose, go to the movies and enjoy my family & friends. And you have to know that I live in one of the most romantic and beautiful cities in the world. Paris. But from time to time, I enjoy relaxing in my fav cities that are New York, Rio de Janeiro or Lisbon. I plan to go to Asia and relax there but I know I’ll try to perform. That’s in my DNA
RoomCritic: As a singer and musician your obviously write a lot, however we see you also have a strong visual side. Your website kaysha.com has a cool tumblr blog where you post pictures of all kinds of stuff, and you are also a big user of Instagram for showing your own photos. Is photography another one of your creative interests?
Kaysha: I’ve been a fan of photography since my first EOS back in the 90’s and yes, as you said, I’m a big fan of visual estetics. I’ve been designing all the covers from my first album to all my productions. I’ve always been good at drawing and digital artistry, but music takes me so much time that the rest can only be a hobby. But, I also direct my own smaller videos with my 5DmkII and my side hobby is designing t-shirts & iPhone cases that I sell on redbubble. The first time I used instagram, I was hooked. It is the perfect companion for visual people like us all. A way to share moments way better than words. I use it both to share personnal & artistic precious times. The fact that it share straight to my facebook page, flickr & twitter makes to a fantastic imersive experience to the life that I want to share. Combine that with my almost daily youtube videos of my travels and you’re all set to get into my world.
RoomCritic: Your instagram photos are great for your fans to follow what you are doing and see the places you go. You also have many great photos of the hotel rooms you’ve stayed in. Why did you start taking pictures of your hotel rooms? Is it like a personal diary to remember the places you have stayed?
Kaysha: Yes it is kind of a personnal diary to remember all my bedrooms since I stay in hotels almost 1/2 of the year. When I started my blog back in the wordpress days, I also started a hotel room galery in flickr because I loved some of these places. With instagram, it took another dimension but it is part of the same process. It’s all part of my digital diary.
RoomCritic: With so many great hotels to choose from, how do you choose a hotel and what are the main things your hotel room must have?
Kaysha: It all depends. Most of the time, I’m not paying for my travel and hotel expenses because it is part of the deal we when we’re hired for a performance. So we get to be in the most sexy rooms without ever paying, ain’t that fresh? When we find a hotel that we like in a country, we ask for this specific hotel. My manager always ask for modern designed, 4 stars hotels with television, WI-FI , and we check on the internet if it is of our taste. But sometimes, we get ugly surprises when we go to some far far province of poor countries, but it’s all part of the fun… When I take my own holidays, I want the sexiest rooms with flat screen, design, a gym & a pool…
RoomCritic: From your Instagram feed we’ve noticed you’ve stayed in the same room a few times (not stalking). You obviously have your favourite rooms in the places you stay. Of all the hotels and places you have stayed, what is your favourite and why?
Kaysha: I’ve been in too much hotels to have one in particular but I got my little favorite places in every country. The Westin in Montreal, the NH in Brussels, the NH in Madrid, the Alvalade in Angola, the Dream in New York City, the Murano resort in Paris, etc etc… All because of the same sense of aesthetics… I’m the Steve Jobs of hotels lol.
RoomCritic: Thanks so much for your time, we know you’ve been real busy. What projects can we expect to see next for you and your label Sushiraw?
Kaysha: I have a brand new best of coming in december and a new song coming out every week on itunes so that will be massive. I’m also finishing the albums for Vanda May, Aycee Jordan, Lynnsha & Soumia who are all part of my label Sushiraw.
Links to Kaysha
Links to featured hotels
All images © Kaysha 2011.