Hayku Kyah Says 'F*uck the Algorithm, the Icon Era is Dead'
© Monica Larosa
Meet Hayku Kyah, the poetic rapper carving her own lane in music to beat the algorithms and stay true to her creativity.
I started releasing my music around the cycles of the moon. My releases are all rather different, from the choice of beats to the lyrical composition, but they have one common factor— being classified under the umbrella of what I call New Moon Music.
There’s a distinct power in making the decision to carve your own lane. And honestly, it was one of two choices. The first option was to take the symphony of “nos” as gospel, and the other was to do it myself. I’m a Leo - on the cusp on Cancer - so I decided to do it myself, but I did cry about it first (and many times throughout).
There have been so few times where I have walked into a room and thought “this is for me." I was born in Toronto, Canada and lived there until I was 11 years old. Since then I’ve grown up in Melbourne, Australia - the exact other end of the globe. As a result, I’ve developed an odd collection of customs and values from each, which makes for an interesting time in forging your own narrative, because people will decide for you. Odd and ill-fitting is my best descriptor when I am in either of the places I call home, and the vision I have of my life encompasses the very best of both.
Farfetched and abstract to the world around me.
But I can see my wildest dreams so vividly in my head that I think I’d be crazier not to chase them, regardless of who tells me “no” or what doors are closed in my face.
So here I am, carving my own lane.
© Monica Larosa
Nobody called me a rapper at the beginning of my career. I started in poetry, finding odd pockets and rhythms on stage with nothing but my voice. And the addition of music, like the first time I was ever on stage, was one of the few moments where I felt something was entirely for me. But no matter how many music sets I did, no one called me a rapper. A wild experience for someone with a Leo’s ego.
I released ‘Gunfyre’ in 2021, a song that spans six and a half minutes and includes some heavy-hitting bass and a clear declaration of my politics. The opening line is “death to the warlords” and it goes on to say “this is gunfyre." I themed the roll out with a concept that helped me forge my path forward - “fuck the algorithm, the icon era is dead."
In a world where everyone will tell you that you don’t fit in, you’re not enough, and on special occasions - that you’re just too much; I wanted to remind the people who found this song that appeasing an algorithm and feeding the beast at the cost of your authenticity was not only a f*cking travesty, but also redundant.
© Monica Larosa
Our access to music and the insights we have into artist’s lives have created a brand new world where, for better or worse, the icon era is dead. There is no pedestal that will withstand the effects of social media. To build a career as an artist no longer requires the cookie cutter approach. It’s a completely different landscape since the days of Limewire, and it’s constantly evolving.
I built ‘Gunfyre the *Digital Gallery’ around this concept. It included collaborations with creatives from all over the globe. I sent them the song, gave them a rundown of its essence and asked them to do what they do best - creating something that holds the essence of ‘Gunfyre’. The gallery is linked here in case you’d like to see the phenomenal work of some incredible artists and creatives. This was my declaration that I will be, in its entirety, the kind of artist I want to be - 6.5 minute songs and all.
Continuing to carve my own lane is how I turned a lot of “no's” into “yes, and how soon can we make this happen?”
A lot has happened in between, but enter my latest releases: ‘Earth Angel’ and ‘Swan Dive’. When I dropped ‘Earth Angel’, they still weren’t calling me a rapper. They would say: “This is Kyah, she’s a really talented poet." More blows to the ego, and a little more fuel to the fire. So, with ‘Swan Dive,' I dropped bar after bar, and the invitation was extended to shorten one of the verses so that it fits in a traditional song format. But it was my turn to say “no,” because I still have something to prove.
They call me a rapper now and I hope next time you clock a New Moon, you check my page to see if I have new music. Chances are that I just might. On November 13th 2023, it’s the New Moon in Scorpio - and I’m dropping my premiere EP titled ‘I Thought You Should Hear It From Me’. In its essence, it’s the closing of a chapter and a representation of me walking through a door that was once very much closed. A solid goodbye, and symphony of “hello's."
F*ck the algorithm, the icon era is dead.