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GTA FUNK is both a reaction to and a reflection of the 'Toronto' sound, conceived during KEI-LI’s move from the suburbs of Mississauga to the city of Toronto.
The vast multiculturalism of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) has given birth to a sonic diversity that goes far beyond the signature OVO sound associated with the city. With the world finally tuning in, this EP also enlists the help of fellow artists like Robotaki, Falcxne, Clairmont the 2nd and NAHTE, which allows him to showcase a funkier side to the city that the world hasn’t been acquainted with yet.
KEI-LI started producing at the age of 13, informed by his interest in beatboxing and funkstyles popping. After stumbling upon neo-soul, he immediately discovered his musical direction, with Musiq and D'Angelo as his inspirations. While these musical foundations shine brightly throughout GTA Funk, KEI-LI has managed to forge a sonic aesthetic that is entirely his own.
There is an evident struggle with finding an authentic place as an Asian artist within the continuum of funk, soul, and hip hop musical traditions. Hence, the visual branding behind GTA Funk is inspired by the intersection of these two cultures: Kung Fu and hip hop.