Chris Keya AKA Christian Caruso has always known he had the drive and talent to become a solo music producer, and his love for electronic music and the 80s has naturally led him down the Synthwave path. Christian is an incredibly creative person who really loves to experiment and push himself in new directions. He’s an audio engineer and cinema school graduate with a real passion for music, film, television, arts, literature and history.
His first release Like The Wind in January 2018 was a vocal dance pop track featuring Damian Wild, soon followed up by his first foray into Synthwave with the Othemed LateNight EP in April 2018. As I’ve already mentioned, Christian loves to experiment with his music, so if you are a follower of his work then you should very much prepare to expect the unexpected. There’s a very distinctive dusky summer vibe running through all of his releases, so if you like to imagine yourself cruising along a Miami beach promenade at sunset, then Chris Keya’s tracks provide the perfect accompanying soundscape.
His latest EP Singita is a far more laid back record, moving away from Outrun towards a Deep House / Synthwave fusion. It’s an intriguing compound of 80s Jazz-Funk and early 2000s Chilled House / Cafe Del Mar atmospherics, interlaced with more recognisable Synthwave beats and melodies. Christian’s musical influences shine through very clearly, bathing his tracks in a crepuscular afterglow that imparts a blissful tranquility upon the listener. Despite the definitive styling of the album there is plenty of diversity. Nightbreed is a more traditional Synthwave style. Polaroid has more of an Outrun vibe. Midnight has a more pop feel. Out Of Time and Purple Martini have that Chilled Deep House vibe going on. There is a lot of diversity throughout the EP, including tracks featuring Driver 86 and Bunny X too.
When I listen to Singita I imagine myself sat on the shore watching the dawn break after a night of holiday romance with my lover; our arms wrapped around each other, staring out towards the horizon. You could just as easily be sat around a campfire on the beach, listening to music and exchanging old stories with old friends as the sun sets. This EP has a quality that transports the imagination to a place of serenity, away from the hustle and bustle and rigours of everyday life.
If you are have ever been partial to a bit of Deep House or Chilled Dance Music, then you will enjoy this release a great deal. It’s the perfect soundtrack for laid back summer nights, and Purple Martini is arguably the most well executed and thematically realised track on the EP.
Singita wholeheartedly represents Christian’s experimental nature, and I know he’ll continue to venture into the unknown with a ceaseless spirit of adventure. His next release will be more within the Cyberpunk realm, but you can be certain that he’ll look to weave in a complex web of sub genres once again. Chris Keya is an exciting up and coming artist to keep a watchful eye upon, and we wish him the very best as he continues to develop and grow his musical identity.
Article and review by Jonny Farmer, Steel City Collective / SYNTHAGEDDON.
Check out our interview with Christian to find out more about what inspires and drives his talent, as well as his preferences for 80s nostalgia.