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“He’s wearing that jacket again,” was all I could think as I approached Kene Ekwunife at the marble-lined bar top. Coolly sipping a cocktail, a messenger bag slung across his shoulders, Kene, better known as SaveMoney artist KAMI, was impossible to miss in the half-full club. What the casual observer didn’t know is that he’d been rocking the thick-lined bomber since mid-summer. Far from the casual observer, I immediately recalled seeing him at East Room in July, myself sweating through a t-shirt as he stood draped in the neon-orange outerwear, seemingly unfazed as he explained the perseverance of style to me. While it may seem innocuous, that jacket operates as a perfect metaphor for KAMI as a person and an artist: unmistakable yet tempered, patient and consistent. In many ways, he’s evolved in the public eye without having to catch it’s full glare, not yet at least.

The theme surrounding the south side native’s upcoming full-length doesn’t come veiled in secrecy. Just Like The Movies, slated for a March release, has been teased in recent months with an undeniable penchant for the theatrical. Led by singles, “Scene Girl”, “Home Movies”, “Foundation” and “Right Now”, each of which arrived with an understanding of a larger story. In many ways, art once again finds itself mimicking life. For KAMI, who has watched and actively participated as one after another of his high school friends ascended the steps from local stages to national audiences, to say life is like a movie isn’t honestly all that far off. In much the same way, the 24-year-old crossover act has learned how to play his part. That part has expanded and contracted over the years and as he nears the release of his first solo project since 2012’s Light, he appears uniquely prepared to take centerstage.


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