Underground Flex: Somerville R&B Singer KAE Drops Self-Titled Debut

By Tahisha Charles @miixtapechiick for Boston Compass

April 5, 2020


There aren’t too many R&B acts in Boston that can give you a nostalgic 90s feel.

However, 20-year-old KAE is here to restore the feeling. Inspired by acts like Brandy, Jasmine Sullivan, Babyface, Janet Jackson and more, it’s a no-brainer that the Somerville native’s influences helped shape the sound and theme of vulnerability on her debut EP, KAE Alayah.

Discovering her singing voice at the age of four, KAE recalls writing her first couple of songs in 6th grade. “I had a yellow, big notebook, and I used to come running home from school and I used to just write in it,” she said. “I used to just write songs without a beat and then I would go and find something that matches it.”

Years later, KAE has since transformed her songwriting abilities as she now goes through numerous instrumentals until she finds the perfect one to write to. “Sometimes if I hear a beat, and it speaks to me immediately, I can have a whole song right there,” said KAE. “When I’m on the road or if I’m at home, real quick, I’ll just put some headphones in and I’ll get my notes out and just start writing to it, and if I finish it there, that means the beat was crazy.”

With the release of her debut project, KAE Alayah, KAE has not only given us a refreshing sound but shows us what it’s like to go through the different levels of love. As she described her music, KAE wants people to remember how to feel, again – whether it’d be sad or happy. “It’s just music that actually makes you want to feel something, makes you even wanna pick up a pen and write something,” she explained. “I just want you to feel what I’m feeling.”

With the city being primarily hip-hop and alternative rock based, KAE has created a lane of her own, yet the singer still feels like she has something to prove. “I knew I was capable of doing something, but I just wanted to prove to everybody that when I say give me a second with this song or give me a second with this video, I really promise you everything I’m doing is worth the wait,” said KAE. “I don’t rush anything. I feel like whatever is supposed to happen, is going to happen, regardless.”

Inspired by Aaliyah’s posthumously released self-titled album artwork, the eight-track effort features guest appearances by ETOF and Shimmy. Grateful for the feedback she’s received on the EP thus far, KAE wants everyone to know there is no plan B with her music career and she takes it very seriously. “I just feel like my music speaks for itself and my work ethic and how I perform,” she said. “It’s a part of me that I’m willing to share with everybody and I just hope that it’s relatable.”