Leven Kali is a twenty year old singer, songwriter and producer from Santa Monica, California. His sound blends genres including funk, R&B, hip-hop and jazz. 4102 is his highly anticipated debut project with singles including “CWYB (Chillin’ With Your B*tch)” and “Rather Be Alone (feat. Casey Veggies)”. This project also features artists including JoJo, Zack Sekoff and Topaz Jones. Outside of music, Kali is a Division 1 golfer at UC Riverside.
This project begins with “Bruce Lee” a soulful gospel – hip-hop infused introduction, something similar to Donnie Trumpet’s “Sunday Candy”. In”IBOK” Leven reassures himself that he will be okay with the feature of a piano solo. “Feeling” acts as an interlude that takes you back to early 2000’s R&B and Soul. Then he makes a funky, piano tune with a feel good, spring break – summer vibe in CWYB with the help of Thundercat and a few others. Zack Sekoff spits about taking your girl while JoJo’s vocals contributes to the chorus.
“The One” is another chill, blissful, groovy track about finding a soulmate. It is filled with bass and a bit of chopping and screwing. “23 Models” features R&B with light drums and guitar, as a woman runs through Leven’s thoughts. “September” counters “23 Models” with mellow neo-soul that takes a jazzy turn toward the end. Sydney Jay adds a female standpoint as both are reminiscent of a romantic pastime. This piece just reminds me of fall season as a song.
Leven wants you to relax and enjoy the ride in “The Wave”. Topaz Jones keeps it real as he attempts to leave a good impression on a woman. 4102 ends with “Rather Be Alone (feat. Casey Veggies); where Leven pleas that he is comfortable as a loner. Veggies’ verse uses honesty to add reasoning for Leven seeking loneliness. The synthesizers and drums provide a sense of darkness to the track.
Overall, I loved the project. It is a distinct mix of genres in every song. After listening to a few songs, I was curious about what the next song would sound like based on its title. He definitely showcased his songwriting abilities throughout the album. His collaboration choices enhanced every track in the right places. Leven Kali is the future of music.
Stream 4102 here.