Published Jul 25, 2019Hailing from Scarborough, Kevin A (real name Kevin Ramroop) is a product of his environment. Of Indian and Trinidadian descent, he was no doubt exposed to the multicultural mix of music that represents the city, and the country by extension. In his own words, he notes that this project represents "(a) musical manifestation of the exploration of my identity in response to various real-life experiences with my culture, upbringing, and relationship to my identity as a second generation Canadian…"
This is supported by the eight-track Tropic EP — a synthesis of indie rock, folk, soul and reggae sounds that mark him as an experimental R&B instrumentalist and songwriter. The moody, slow-burn R&B of "Make Me Move" reveals his vocal range and soulful sensibility. "Withdraw" operates in its electronica, altered vocals and ethereal vibes to full effect. "Myrtle Remix" feels authentic, but honestly doesn't stay with you, though "Kwame Brown" makes up for it as it rallies into a smoky dancehall mode. "Deepika" dives deep into welcoming R&B and pop waters, while the boom-bap of "Fall In" changes it up to dare us to bask in its murky afterglow.
Kevin A's production gives off an "intimate, yet distant" air, wrapped in a mysterious feel that beckons for understanding. Overall, Tropic leans into its diverse influences for a cohesive experience. (Independent)