Keshi Talks About the Indulgence of Romance in His New Song 'TOUCH'

If you're not in love with Vietnamese-American singer-songwriter and producer Keshi yet, you're about to be.

Keshi perfectly skirts the lines between the genres of hip-hop, alt-pop, R&B and more with his smooth tracks, and he's garnered a lot of attention with his unique approach and stunning voice. He recently released a powerful new song called "TOUCH," which will be featured on his upcoming GABRIEL EP, and we got the chance to ask him all about the track and how it came to be.

Sweety High: What was the songwriting process for "TOUCH"? Is the song based on a real relationship?

Keshi: "TOUCH" was the first song that I'd begun writing in the album process. It's based on a real relationship, yes—not mine, but a friend had swung by the house to tell me about how he needed a break from someone he'd gotten involved with. After hearing him out, I'd gotten the sense that there weren't really wrong or right answers to their dilemma, and both were at fault. It's easy to get lost when things aren't explicit, and sometimes you withhold information on purpose.

 

SH: How do you feel that the song's sound captures that sense of falling hard for someone?

Keshi: The song isn't so much about love as it is about indulgence. It's not exactly romantic. I wanted it to feel tender and human. Sometimes it can feel cyclical, like an addiction. That's what I wanted to capture.

 

SH: What's your favorite lyric from the song? Why?

Keshi: "If it's only a touch, was it better than us to you?" It's the ethos of the song, making the trade of non-exclusivity for commitment.

 

SH: How is this different from what you've released in the past? Do you feel like your sound is headed in a new direction?

Keshi: I feel like this track still captures the traits of tracks I would release a long time ago on SoundCloud that I ended up taking off. It retains production elements like the rough-sounding drum samples and the organic elements of the acoustic piano. I think the main thing that's changed is that my writing's gotten a little more mature, and maybe more polished and intentional in melody and structure. The sound overall has definitely matured.


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SH: What were the biggest inspirations for the song's music video? Do you have a favorite moment from the shoot?

Keshi: The song is so specific in its feeling. I really wanted to make sure that we retained how raw and cyclical the song was. The edit is what really made it come to life. It tells the story so well. I also wanted it to feel like a Renaissance painting, akin to the cover art that inspired the video concept. My favorite moment from the video is definitely when our female lead falls into her hands at 2:47. She did such an amazing job of portraying the role.

 

SH: Is there anything you want fans to know about your upcoming debut album, GABRIEL?

Keshi: I've been listening to it for a year now and I'm still not sick of it. Can't wait for everyone to finally get their hands on it. Hope it can be a record you can put on and go back to for years to come.


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Love discovering great new music? Click HERE to read our interview with CloZee on how her collab with GRiZ, "Color of Your Soul," came to be.