A recent single release from Kao Wonder brings out a refreshing and slightly edgy but very colorful pop approach that blends together a vibrant and bright energy and soundscape, along with this sort of future pop undertone that all come together to create an atmosphere that you don't want to leave.
"Exit Strategy" is brimming with character and heart along with a bit of a cinematic feel to it and that energy is incredibly balanced but thriving at the same time.
This track has a bit of a storyline to it which is also amazing and you find yourself paying a lot of attention to the lyrics through the heavy-handed grooves that this track delivers.
One of the most impressive things about this track is the layers of production that went into it and how it all came through with this bursting an electric tonality that brings on a certain kind of Sonic presence which is able to really just pull you in and keep you right where it wants to.
I also absolutely love the hook of the track because it's so radio friendly and sticks with you so hard that it ends up bouncing around in your head for hours or even days after the song has ended and for me, that's just smart songwriting but I think it comes naturally to Kao.
Now, Kao collaborated with Emily Blacklock on this one and it was definitely a match made in heaven because they counterbalance each other so well and this all comes down to the actual storyline of the song also.
Lyrically and vocally these two are paired up to perfection and this is what gives the song so much life and vibrancy.
You can easily hear this track on any major pop station in any major city and it comes with such a wonderful persona that you end up getting attached to it very quickly.
I think that's something that speaks volumes for this track actually.
It has that massive character to it to the point where you feel like you almost watched a scene in a movie when the track is over because you were pulled into it so deeply and you got almost attached to those characters in the song.
This is something that you don't find very often these days so when you do it's incredibly refreshing as it was here.
The music is sort of flashy and has a great blend of vintage and new school pop elements to it which in the end, feels almost futuristic in a way.
I think that the vocals across the span of this song are matched so well with the music that the whole thing boasts its own vibe and you can tell that this is created by performers and artists that have a pure love for their craft.
A stunning track with a lot of attention to detail especially in the production, "Exit Strategy" is the kind of song that you listen to more than once so you can soak it all in again.
The track hits hard but does so with a perfectly subtle approach and a tasteful performance from all parts.
With the release of this excellent pop banger, we wanted to have a sit-down with Kao Wonder to find out where it came from and what might be coming up next for the artist.
Here's what went down.
Buzz Slayers: Okay, let's start with "Exit Strategy"! This track was edgy and bright pop with color and an amazing energy! How did this release come about?
This song was originally supposed to be a solo deal lol! Nah, but seriously when this song was first written, My team and I wanted something similar to ‘New Rules’ by Dua Lipa, but a unisexual approach. Like Dua, I LOVE the retro pop sound so I had to pay homage respectively. In searching for the right producer, we came across an extremely talented individual Giampaolo Pasquille (who lives in the UK btw) who loved the idea and like us, he also loved the POP sound so he digged right on in and produced such an amazing record. Later on, in the studio in ATL, It was actually my Vocal Producer TedyP who, as soon as he heard the demo looked to me and said “BRO!!! This should be a duet!” and, being that Emily was on the demo, why not have her on the actual record. It was a pretty solid idea, and we just ran with It! One year later on my mini summer tour, I decided to perform this song live with Emily, and it got so much applause I had to release it immediately after!! This was actually the first song I released without a visual, and it has been kicking butt ever since!!!
Buzz Slayers: How did this all start for you as an artist?
Aww man, I think we can say this started when I was a very young little cub listening to my Artistic heroes. Michael and Janet Jackson growing up. Loved everything they stood for, how they incorporated dancing and social /political issues aside from just singing about love. Love how they also never held back when it came to their visuals. If you add that with my Artistic Father PRINCE, sprinkle a little Aaliyah smoothness and Chris Browns high energy, you have Kao Wonder. These people (alongside the current Beyonce,) are the people who have legit saved my life from darkness with their light. Like them, I want to be able to save people with mines, one stage at a time
Buzz Slayers: What kind of things really inspire songs for you?
Life experiences. Either from myself or the people around me. I often say to myself in my head “hmm, how am I feeling? “when I’m in the songwriting process then write a bunch of words down, or, I can be out just living life and I will hear an interesting catch phrase and would say “that would make a great track title” and then it goes. Considering I have a very vivid imagination lol, it’s really easy for me ha-ha.
Buzz Slayers: This release has some great approaches to it! Can you give us some of your biggest influences musically?
Ha-ha I mentioned this earlier but it def worth repeating. Michael and Janet Jackson, Prince, Beyonce, Chris Brown, Aaliyah, Luther Vandross, Ciara, Madonna, and of course I love the edgy of Dua Lipa and Rihanna.
Buzz Slayers: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?
This is a very tricky question because my creative mind almost NEVER sleeps, so I’m ALWAYS working either physically or mentally lol. I guess when try to turn my brain off I’m either playing with my dog (Chocolate/ Standard Poodle) or I’m watching a Horror movie. I’m a HUGE Horror movie fan so I watch one (or even two) a night! Lol, I LOVE the suspense and drama!!!
Buzz Slayers: Who's in your headphones right now?
The song that is on repeat atm is ‘A Little Wicked’ by Valerie Broussard. My Creative Director/Assnt. Choreographer put me on this song, it was from the ‘Dark Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ show on Netflix. I LOVE the darkness of the record and the lyrics OMG def a wonderful record! It’s embodies New Orleans with a little Camelot but from the female reign. Such simple lyrics, powerful effects!! ‘No one calls you honey, when you’re sitting on the throne’ Whew!!!! WHATTT!! Perfection
Buzz Slayers: Are you all doing any live performances right now?
It’s the end of the year so I assuming everyone is on holiday mode, so unfortunately, it’s a little quiet in the KAO WONDER world. Which is cool, we are gearing our gears up for 2024. New Year, new festivals, new shows, new opportunities!
Buzz Slayers: Do you record these at a big studio or do you have a home studio set-up?
I record these in a big studio in Atlanta with my Brother (from another) and Producer TedyP Williams. We actually have such a great process. We don’t rush it, we sit back and we go into imagination world like we both watch a movie just with ideas and music, and the creative works just flow out so good. We laugh most times, I cry sometimes, and we love. It’s a work relationship I know I’m blessed to have because not many Artists have that one producer that they can just be 100% themselves with.
Buzz Slayers: What can your fans expect from you in the near future?
2024, I may be releasing another single in the beginning of the year! I may even be releasing a visual with it! Ha-ha, I only hope I will be performing at more events, that will lead me to more events, that will lead me to more Artists like me, which will lead to more collaborations and joint force on stage. I’m excited for all possibilities!
Buzz Slayers: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
Hi guys! Please feel free to reach out to me I’m available everyone via social media with the handle @Kao_Wonder (IG, FB, ‘X’, TT), and also for your wonderful viewing pleasure subscribe to my YouTube page! I also have a hub where I always upload first which is my website Kaothebrand.com, which I also send monthly newsletters which has updates to my journey, access to my merchandise (omg super comfy products!!! I’m such a fan), and I also give away freebies My job is making YOU feel good about YOURSELF, one song at a time, so please if I achieve this let me know! I LOVE talking with my fans, no matter where I am in this world if you check in, I will check in back with you! Until then, please love yourself first, don’t give up, and understand the power of your light!