Atlanta raised and now Los Angeles-based, electronic artist and producer, Kenny Zhao, known professionally as Zhao, has a way with fusing sultry elements within his rendering of sounds. On his latest release, “Feeling Today,” the artist swoons beneath a fanciful production before sliding into a funk featured delight. Crafted from the want to distribute a sense of optimism to listeners, Zhao’s broad ideals stretch beyond the normal soundscape for a messaging of gratitude and inner bliss.
Arriving in waves of chilled modulations, the track gradually stirs beneath Zhao’s euphonic vocals. The track is wrapped in a futuristic space, lightly layered, giving it a momentarily feeling of seclusion, as Zhao almost checks in on his well being: “Darkness in my mind’s eye / Fresh from the satellite…/ how you feeling today?”
The rich transition melts from a electronic-pop build to a sensuous, eletrco-soul delivery backed by funk-filled basslines. Gracefully encapsulating and enchanting with each turn, noting the isolated break and ASMR finger snaps, the track is addictive to say the least.
Zhao continues to narrate his time in Los Angeles, the fear and the push, and bears a sense of hope. Lines such as “”I’m not gonna waste my time in a cage,” are interjected through the track’s life as a triumphant declaration, to only return once more to the main question we need to ask ourselves and others: “So, how you feeling today?”
“That’s the message – that kindness will set you free. That resentment and fear put you in a cage, and the solution is to forgive yourself, forgive others and move on. There’s also an element of reassuring myself that whatever happens, the best thing I can do is operate within what I can control – honing my craft, and checking in with people I care about”, explains the Zhao. “I’ve always viewed my songwriting process like a form of self-psychoanalysis…like finding out what I’ve really been thinking about”.
Ideals and sounds are melted gracefully as listeners are welcomed to a morsel of soul and relatabilty. The mellow sensibility of Zhao is reassuring on “Feeling Today” and welcomes the artist with another fruitful year.