We’re at that late point in autumn when it’s basically gray enough and cold enough to feel like winter’s opening act, so there’s no better time than now for Ypsilanti-based a cappella singer/songwriter Ki5 to bring us an effervescently buoyant ballad with a melodic motif that evokes a sense of transcendence and provides a surge of endorphins.
It also helps that the new music video accompanying this song, directed/edited by Charles Steen, features jubilant dancers on verdant green grass in front of full trees in Riverside Park, backlist by a shimmering, low afternoon sun. The song, itself, is a breath of fresh air, (literally, considering the vocal techniques), and proves to be simultaneously meditative and adrenaline-boosting.
Kyler Wilkins, aka Ki5, began releasing music almost three years ago, blending the vibes of dream-pop, indie-folk and gospel, but “Fly” was in collaboration with two L.A.-based songwriters he met in a previous online workshop, husband and wife team Tom Valdez and Janet Cole Valdez.
“It was such a joy co-creating ‘Fly’ with Kyler over video calls from thousands of miles away,” said Janet. And while Steen’s visuals, and the dance choreography certainly capture a summery vibrancy, Tom, who also mixed/mastered the track, expanded the themes for ‘Fly’ to include a sense of hopefulness and resolve, to break through and ascend “the quarantine lockdown funk” and “for people to work together and create life anew.”
Listening back, Ki5 said that “every chorus still hits me and gives me hope… I hope this song makes people connect to the feeling of wanting to fly away together.”
Tom overlays Wilkins’ vocal rhythms and a substantial groove is established, allowing the subtly-exhilarating chorus, with its ascend into a soaring scale, which then intertwine and harmonize, dazzlingly, with rounding samples of Wilkins’ own voice. “Escape the ground. Get away. Fly…away.”