“Sometimes you can hear something in a song that in some magical way cuts through the core of your soul, and speaks to you like nothing else,” says Australian-born, Los Angeles based singer/songwriter Kai Brown. While on a road trip in Joshua Tree in 2013, Kai began to pen the lyrics to his upcoming atmospheric folk gem, “Princess Of The Desert.” The song tells the story of a character who grew up in the desert and wakes up one day knowing that a change in life is needed; they’re drawn to the ocean as a place of salvation and healing. For Kai Brown, “Princess Of The Desert” is a song about losing oneself and, with the help of nature, finding a sense of rebirth and true love from within.
“Princess of The Desert” is the first of six tracks to be released from Kai’s forthcoming fan-funded EP, Lala Vol. 2. The single and accompanying music video, starring Australian model Ashley Hart, will release in the U.S. on March 6th, 2014. “Ashley was my first choice for the role,” says Kai of his good friend. “She truly embodies the spirit of the song. Her energy and attitude on the set of the video was inspiring.” Kai adds, “We had such a wonderful team working on the video, including Director Adam Secore, Cinematographer Lucas Gath, and Editor Matt Briones. I’m so grateful to have amazingly talented friends who wanted to help me create the imagery for this song.”
In 2007 Kai Brown sold everything he owned and moved from his home in Australia to the U.S. to live out his musical dream. Since then he’s independently released three albums, played with Grammy-winning artists, performed at festivals and concerts throughout the U.S., Canada and Argentina, and written songs that have been licensed by Lionsgate Films and Patagonia. Presently he lives in Los Angeles, a city that has always brought inspiration to its creative inhabitants. In 2012 Kai released Lala Vol. 1, an EP about life in Los Angeles. The following year, one of the songs from the EP, “Take Me To Your Heart,” a duet featuring co-writer and surfing buddy, Costa Rican superstar Debi Nova, took on a life of its own.
“Take Me To Your Heart” was picked from obscurity via YouTube by one of Costa Rica’s largest radio stations, 94.7 La Lista. The reaction was instantly positive; the radio station’s phone rang off the hook and the song climbed the charts from #50 to #1 in just six weeks, knocking off countless world class names in the process. “Take Me To Your Heart,” stayed in the Top 10 for over 16 weeks. Kai and Debi completed a successful promotional tour, playing radio shows and being featured in some of Costa Rica’s largest publications. Kai says, “The whole experience reaffirmed my faith that if a song is good enough it will one day find its audience.”
Kai Brown is hopeful that Lala Vol 2. will find its audience as well. “On this EP, I wanted to focus on the beauty of the wilderness and nature, and how much salvation it can give us if we immerse ourselves in it,” he says. “Many people who visit L.A. think it’s just Hollywood, but after a 30-minute drive you can be at the ocean, in the desert, or among the canyons and feel like you’re in a totally different part of the country.” Lala Vol. 2 is truly one for a road trip, the beach or camping with friends.
To capture the natural vibe, Kai took a slightly defiant approach to the recording process. Instead of using a traditional recording studio he opted to record most of the album between an old church in the Santa Monica Mountains and his vintage Airstream trailer in Venice Beach. “I really wanted to capture the spirit of these songs in a way I was hearing them in my head,” he says. “I knew I wanted a very atmospheric sounding album, with lots of natural reverb and space.” The result is a collection of songs that feel like they’re performed outdoors in a massive landscape setting, rich yet raw and organic.
Lala Vol. 2 was self-produced and mixed by 4-time Grammy-winner Ryan Freeland (Ray LaMontagne, The Milk Carton Kids). Kai also collaborated with engineers Mark Corben and Andrew Bush, and was lucky enough to consult with Grammy-winning producer Ethan Johns, who offered Kai some valuable advice. Overall, Kai Brown beams with joy, noting that this EP was not only the most enjoyable recording experience of his career, but one that allowed him to truly find his voice. “I know these songs are just the beginning of the next chapter in this fantastic journey we call life.”