Kwaku Darko-Mensah Jr. (aka. Kae Sun) is a Ghanaian born singer, songwriter and poet. He is currently based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He has recieved a B.A. from McMaster University in Multimedia and Philosophy.
His single "Lion on a leash" will be released in may.
Five Questions with Kae Sun:
1. "Lion on a Leash" is the first song to have its lyrics highlighted on OGOV. How central is lyricism to the writing of your songs? Which came first in the song, the lyrics or the music?
I decided to keep this song acoustic because I find the lyrics pretty central to theme of the song and my record as whole, I didn't feel it needed much more. For this song, the lyrics and the melody came to me together in bits and pieces, it amazes me when that happens.
2. Do you write differently when you are writing lyrics and poems? If so, how?
Yeah I try to approach them differently, not always successfully. Song lyrics sometimes demand a certain flow and simplicity. I've been writing music longer than I've been writing poems so that tends to influence my approach to poetry.
3. When we spoke in the past about the impact of your two worlds, Ghana and Canada, on your poetry, you noted: "I think the Ghanaian influence is stronger in my work since it is the foundation of my personality and the values I hold dearly." Does this hold just as true for your music? If so, what elements of Ghanaian music do you think most strongly resonate in your work?
Absolutely, as I mentioned before I think the influence of my upbringing and my heritage on my art is less stylistic and more in the core of what I'm doing. I tend to gravitate toward substance, community, folksiness. Serenity and faith as well, those are very traditional Ghanaian values and I definitely credit my culture and the environment I grew up in for that. Ghanaians tend to appear very cool and peace loving but there's an intensity underneath all that and in a sense we tend to be afraid of our own intensity. I find that very fascinating.... it's in highlife, its in our symbolism, our folk stories, our politics. That's what I'm trying to capture with "Lion on a leash."
4. You have a new album coming out soon. How does this album compare to your last EP, "Ghost Town Prophecy"? In what ways have you changed or grown as a writer in the interval between the two releases?
On Ghost Town we were looking for a direction, I think since then I've grown as a singer and as a songwriter, I'm becoming more set in my ways, they say that happens as you grow older, so I think people will find this record more mature, more focused, more melodic.
5. When is the new album coming out, and where can interested readers go to get more info and purchase a copy?
The album is coming out on August 25th, 2009. You can get it on i-tunes and in stores here in Canada. In the meantime readers can check out www.myspace.com/kaesun or www.kaesunmusic.com to stay up on what I'm doing. I appreciate the support, truly.
Contact Kae Sun:
Websites: www.kaesunmusic.com, www.myspace.com/kaesun