With a new body of work on the horizon, “Hello World” finds Downtown Kayoto, the moniker of Chiko Chinyadza, inviting listeners into his new sonic world.
In the two years since his first single “Colours” in 2019, Downtown Kayoto’s versatility has drawn comparisons with R&B contemporaries like Frank Ocean and Daniel Caesar. Born in Zimbabwe but based in Hull, his catalogue envelops themes of identity and self-expression.
Taking a darker stance than previous releases, “Hello World” makes use of a sparse pre-chorus that is later challenged by powerful 808s and a surging post-chorus drop. Underpinned by Kayoto’s voice, his lower register has an intoxicating effect, capturing attention before the track transcends into a chaotic instrumental sequence.
Introversion defines Kayoto’s position throughout “Hello World” as he searches for life’s answers in his confessional lyricism. Pulled from the title, the namesake lyric “Hello world / I’ve been feeling kinda lonely and I won’t lie” finds Kayoto in a meditative space as he articulates his experience of emerging from a long pandemic-induced lockdown.
With an eagerness to challenge sonic barriers, “Hello World” deftly blends R&B, drum and bass, and soulful rap, and in turn, explores every facet of his talent. The accompanying visual further highlights Kayoto’s indispensable presence. Directed by Louis Lincoln-Bottcher, the video renders a dissociative image of Kayoto as he spins out, hallucinates, and levitates within a dimly lit apartment block.
""Hello World" is my introduction, a version of me that I seemed to display quite frequently over the past year balancing my work life and my music life,” Kayoto tells Best Fit. “The next few singles continue this idea, they’re versions of me that have all played a part in sculpting the person I am today, I’m still figuring shit out."
"It’s a phrase typed into a new computer program to initiate before more code is written. It symbolises me placing my flag down into the ground and marking a new starting point both from an artistic and a visual standpoint.”
Speaking on being scuppered by the pandemic he continues, “in the midst of it I found out that I was lonely and didn’t know how to articulate it, usually, I try and be vague about my feelings when making music, but I say it confidently in the pre-chorus of this song.”
“The song was inspired by smooth R&B talents such as The Weeknd and Daniel Ceasar, and their passionate songwriting. The D&B elements are inspired by Flume and Roy Blair. I wanted to contrast the two in a way that meant they could stand out but complement each other; portraying a state of hype and chaos similar to a storm of a plummeting elevator.”