Producer Kenny Beats announces his debut solo album, LOUIE, due August 31st via XL Recordings.
LOUIE was never meant for the world’s ears.
While quarantined in Bath, England, thousands of miles from home, Kenny Beats received cataclysmic news. With bleak energy looming in the air due to the sorrow of a breakup compounded by the isolation of COVID, a UK trip to produce for IDLES offered an escape: the opportunity to produce for his favorite rock band and find respite in art and unfamiliar surroundings. Then came the call that his father had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
The relationship between Kenneth Blume II and his son and namesake – best known to the world as Kenny Beats – had long been loving but fraught. However, his solace, much like his sons, was always music. While his broadcasting dreams never came to fruition, Kenneth made mixtapes for friends and family, offering DJ-style interludes between the eclectic curation: Sade melting into Willie Nelson gliding into Dr. Dre. When news of his father’s illness hit Kenny, he found himself constantly returning to these tapes to process his grief and feel familial connectivity in a remote locale. The mixes didn’t merely offer reassuring anthems, they transported him back to times that felt simpler–before the turbulence of the last two decades took its toll.
The time spent with those mixes bore an idea. Kenny resolved to create a gift for his ailing father. The result is LOUIE, an almost entirely instrumental album indicative of the unremitting love felt from child-to-parent – a heart-on-sleeve appreciation for his dad’s sacrifices and willingness to nurture his son’s talent, created over the course of the month of December 2020.
“I always said that I wouldn’t do a solo album because I didn’t have anything to say. Finally, I did,” Kenny says. “Something dark turned into something beautiful. This album encapsulated the feeling of that one month.”
Set for release on XL Recordings next week, the first solo album from Kenny Beats is a spontaneous burst of creativity spurred by an avalanche of despair and imagination. Only after sharing it with a few close friends – who mentioned the elegiac pathos it evoked – did Kenny become convinced to release it for public consumption. Just 17 songs and 33 minutes, LOUIE is a hypnotic odyssey of wounded, teardrop soul. To build anticipation, Kenny has been cryptically teasing the album over the last few weeks through a series of vignettes on social media.
LOUIE presents a side of Kenny, best known for producing seminal full-length albums for some of the world’s most exciting artists, that has not been seen by the world before. Charismatic, self-effacing and generous, the album reveals the duality of the artist – an enigmatic, introspective searcher who has experienced pain and duress, and alchemized it via looped samples and hypnotic drum patterns. LOUIE gives testament to our most personal thoughts, recollections and stories. It is an intimate and personal gift that achieves the rarest condition – a sense of the universal.
This September, Kenny Beats will be performing at New York City’s Summerstage in Central Park alongside friends slowthai, julie, and more special guests to be announced. Kenny will also be performing in Miami at III Points Festival this October and in Los Angeles at The Shrine this November.
Pre-order/save LOUIE above, see upcoming live dates and additional album information below and stay tuned for more from Kenny Beats very soon.
PRE-ORDER/SAVE LOUIE: https://kennybeats.ffm.to/louie
Upcoming Live Dates
- 9/16 – New York, NY @ Summerstage in Central Park
- 10/21 – Miami, FL @ III Points Festival
- 11/5 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Shrine
Kenny Beats LOUIE XL Recordings August 31, 2022
- Hold My Head
- So They Say
- Family Tree
- Get Around
- Last Words
- Drop 10
- The Perch
- Really Really
- That Third Thing
- Hot Hand