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Producer Kaytranada arrived during the early 2010s with ear-perking remixes and an array of sounds that veered from J Dilla-inspired hip-hop beats to distinctly woozy house grooves. Numerous commissioned works and short-form solo releases led to the Haitian-Canadian’s full-length debut, 99.9%, the winner of 2016’s Polaris Music Prize and 2017’s Juno Award for Electronic Album of the Year. Since signing to major-label RCA, he has released his second LP, Bubba.
Born Louis Kevin Celestin in Haiti, the Montreal, Quebec-raised Kaytranada, a voracious listener, got hooked on DJing and production during his early teen years. Early on, as Kaytradamus, he issued a series of digital EPs, albums, and remix compilations. Around 2013, he began to operate as Kaytranada with the EP Todo and three-track 10″ At All. In 2014, he remixed Disclosure’s “January,” produced “My Block” for personal heroes Mobb Deep, and made his XL label debut that August with “Leave Me Alone,” a collaboration with vocalist and fellow Montreal native Shay Lia.
During the next two years, Kaytranada’s profile steadily rose with additional XL material (“Drive Me Crazy,” featuring Vic Mensa) and outside productions highlighted by “Girl” (from The Internet’s Grammy-nominated Ego Death), “Lite Weight” (Anderson .Paak), “Love” (Rome Fortune), and “Honey” (Katy B). 99.9%, his proper debut album, was released in 2016 with guest appearances from Phonte, Little Dragon, and a few of his previous collaborators. It won that year’s Polaris Music Prize, and in 2017 won the Juno Award for Electronic Album of the Year. Various remixes, edits, and productions, including work for Gorillaz, Snoop Dogg, and Kendrick Lamar, followed through 2018, the year Kaytranada returned on major-label RCA with Nothin Like U/Chances, an EP co-starring Ty Dolla $ign and Shay Lia. Bubba, his second proper album, was released the following December with Teedra Moses, Kali Uchis, and Masego among the contributors. A stand-alone track, “Look Easy” featuring Lucky Daye, arrived in July 2020. ~ Andy Kellman, Rovi