Every artist is, to some extent, a product of their environment. For Kevin Holliday, it's clear to see the complex and diverse aura of Brooklyn truly personified in an artist that is so confident in his craft that you can't possibly predict what direction their next song will take you. Holliday's new EP OMNI is a thoroughly funky, danceable, and wide-ranging offering that features funk titans, alt-pop idols, and clever emcees that all go by the name Kevin Holliday.
OMNI is a fun project. From the indie-ish guitar chords of "Regrets" all the way to the waning synth drones of "Liar!", you can tell Holliday was having the time of his life making these songs. If the song titles are any indication, however, there is a bit more nuance to the tracks than initially meets the ear. "Nobody really knows what it's like to be an artist" Holliday confesses, "No one is there with you at 5 am on a weekday when you gotta wake up at 8 am and go to work and be a regular person. Then you listen to mixes all day long til you get home and work through the night again. OMNI is me. It's the result of countless hours of perfectionism." The Brooklyn native's perfectionism and deft attention to detail shine through in the project, a testament to independently forward-thinking music that absolutely seethes with creativity.
While Holliday's music is undoubtedly in its own lane, the project does highlight what is so special in the new generation of music: the ability to blend genres and influences like a chameleon. A track like "Regrets" lends itself a bit to a fellow Kevin, that being Kevin Abstract of Brockhampton with its tongue-in-cheek writing and acrobatic synth usage. There are also dashes of what makes fellow newcomer Terry Presume so engaging on boisterous alt-indie jams like "Tennis Courts" that make the last 10 years of indie music pale in comparison. Even heavily funk-based cuts like "Dynamite" call to mind an Anderson Paak-like penchant for precociously bouncy jams. "Runaround" is a trippy Jean Dawson-reminiscent ballad that isn't afraid to show some teeth. Closing track "Liar!" is a left-of-center anthem to fake love and insecurity that perfectly ties the project together.
The prefix "omni-" typically means "all" or "everywhere" when used in compound words. Therefore, it is a fitting title for Holliday's eclectic new EP as he travels through nearly every musical subgenre of funk, hip-hop, and R&B. Even more fitting, perhaps, when you consider that in the next several years you're bound to see the Brooklyn creative everywhere you look. While it's not hard to imagine Kevin Holliday reaching the next echelon of music stardom, whatever degree of relevancy that Holliday reaches, it will be distinctly on his own terms.