Kajo: Cold Places Album Review

words by Casey Seagriff

Thank you to UMG, 1824, and Kajo for having us.

They can’t keep us from making history.

This is what it means to be human

it’s to be something special in somebody’s eyes

‘Ötzi’ – Kajo

Kajo is a genre-bending singer, songwriter, producer, and creative signed to Logic’s Bobby Boy Records. The history-loving, insightful yet chaotic soul has kept close to his roots even after moving from the Philippines to Los Angeles. He explained that, in very broad terms, his upbringing and his culture influences everything he does and creates. You can clearly hear this in his music.

Fangirls World Tour had the opportunity to sit down with Kajo before his newest release, Cold Places, his debut project.

Aside from being an incredibly respectful, grateful person, excited to hear everyone’s opinions on the project, Kajo offered so much insight into his music career. He talked about what exactly he was trying to convey through this new project, “Cold Places is about death, the weight of dispended animation.”

The project contains 18 tracks that represent youth, nostalgia, and controlled chaos. He described it as “a playlist to [his] younger self” a way to say that everything was going to work out and be okay. Kajo also expanded upon how his academics influenced the album. He had always been someone who had been fascinated by death and what people leave behind. When asked to expand he said “Artifacts tell the past, but there’s no way to know the truth. We derive from the things that are left to us… and it’s up to you to interpret and respond.”

Kajo via 1824

Growing up, Kajo lived in a high crime, high death rate neighborhood in California. After school and on weekends he and his friends would sit in his father’s garage and listen to records. “It was a way to keep us safe, but really there was a desire to see the world and experience things. And I got to do that through music,” he explained.

I’m no hero in my hometown,

the revolutions go down whenever I weild my axe

never even thought of pronouns,

listening to motown

“My Father’s Garage” – Kajo, Rebelle Perle

When asked about his biggest inspirations he listed off people all the way from Paul McCartney to My Bloody Valentine to early Jazz musicians. He takes everything he was loved and been inspired by and “they all get jumbled up and become something original.” His entire persona is embodied in his music. “Music is very self-indulgent. What music does, it mitigates the ills and pains of society… Music is healing.”

Kajo via 1824

Upon listening to the project, I have found myself in many of the songs despite our experiences being totally different. There is something incredibly raw and specific about the history Kajo is sharing through his music. Each one is completely unique and individual, yet cohesive in the grand scheme of things. He is a natural storyteller with a clear vision for himself and his career and someone who very obviously loves music for the sake of loving music. I couldn’t recommend Cold Places enough! There is absolutely something for everyone.

You can follow Kajo on all major streaming platforms as well as on YouTube and follow his Instagram here.

Cold Places is available now.

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