When the clock struck twelve and the massive room of twenty thousand Bassnectar fans and I swiftly exited the previous decade, I didn’t expect that in a few short weeks I would be starting the next chapter of my life in south-central Florida. It’s funny how the universe works – but nevertheless, I was extremely proud to finally unpack my car and move the few belongings I brought with me into my little pink room in St. Petersburg.
To my parents, it felt like something out of the ordinary that shouldn’t be happening. But for me, it felt like one of the most righteous moves I’ve ever made in my life. While I’ve only been here for ten days, I’ve managed to see a lot and learn a lot about the area that I can now call home. One of my absolute favorite discoveries in the downtown St. Pete area happens to be this intimate and well-designed venue known as Morph.
While I was exploring the realm of EDM Train to see what kind of shenanigans I could get myself into, I read the name Chief Kaya nice and slowly. The name was sitting at the top of the lineup on this show that was recently announced by Leake Beats with support from the homies over at The Harmonic Connection. I had heard of Chief Kaya in the past – his name has been coming up more and more often among friends that I love and respect. So when I saw that he was performing in my new town for the latest edition of Turbo Thursdays, I got really excited for the opportunity.
Chief Kaya is the type of artist who can mesmerize a crowd and turn them into little floating aliens. While there weren’t too many people in the crowd that night, the supporters who made it out definitely made their presence known.
When I first entered the club I was greeted by a huge security guard who was also running the ticket sales.” On the other side of the ledge where the security guard was standing, parallel to the stage, was a group of vendors who were sporting all sorts of heady wares, from pendants, to wire wrap rings to Dubstep pins. I was glad to see a few people showing off their goods, it reminded me of my buddies from GB Unique Creations and Gypsy Trading Post who often make sure they’re set up nice and proper at the local bass functions back in Charlotte.
As I made my way through the venue, I was quickly stopped by Thomas McNary, otherwise known as the head honcho behind The Harmonic Connection. It was nice to see the man in this physical realm for the first time, especially since we recently decided to partner up on a wonky show at my home venue SERJ on May 29th.
After giving him some daps and a hug, it was finally time to go peep Chief Kaya.
I could feel the bass rumbling all the way from the front door, so you can imagine how it felt when I got up close and personal. Chief Kaya was swaying away behind the heightened stage, as an array of unique visuals shifted around in the massive LED projector behind him. It pretty much formed a big square that showed a variety of different geometrical shapes and figures – floating solutions of liquid covered the projector. As far as the sound system goes, it’s absolutely bumping. I had to sit down for a minute to think about how fortunate I was to be on a dance floor in south central Florida surrounded by a few dozen happy souls who were ecstatic to see Chief Kaya.
I asked myself, “Is this man really playing one of the smoothest Outkast ‘Spottieottiedopaliscious’ remixes of all time?” Damn, damn, damn, damn. That’s all I could come up with.
Chief Kaya proceeded to play some variation of Ghostown DJs “My Boo“, which I later found out was his bootleg, and then he brought in some filthy wompy tune to make a truly sexy and wonky combo for the crowd to enjoy. He then brought back the Outkast tune to create this really sensual and fulfilling triple that can only be experienced at a Chief Kaya set. At this moment I realized the Tennessee native was playing with 3 CDJs instead of two. It just goes to show what a master of any instrument or machine is really capable of.
My favorite moment had to be when Chief Kaya pulled out his blunt, but to his surprise, he couldn’t find his lighter. That’s when the dude wearing the 140 BPM shirt excitedly yelled out the word “lighter” and ran over with his friend to hook him up with one of the most appreciated services anyone could provide in this world. Many would say that a lit blunt is much better than an unlit blunt, amirite?
I really enjoyed watching this tall guy with dreads long enough to help rapunzel get down her tower, throwing down heavy with the rest of us. His presence was certainly appreciated. Then there was the guy with a New Orleans shirt who looked like 12th Planet’s younger brother. I found out his name was Visel. Good guy! It was really interesting getting funky with the locals. Another moment that thoroughly enjoyed was when Chief Kaya doubled some wubby Peruvian flute music with an awesome deep remix of A$AP Rocky’s “Long Live A$AP.” Apparently it was a really old Thelem tune from 2006. (But here’s some Thelem from this decade to make you all bounce!)
At the very end of the night, Chief Kaya decided to drop his VIP to one of his tunes titled the “Scale of Anubis.” As I hit play and listen to the smooth intro featuring a nice little harmonica number, I realized that I’ve heard the original version of tune played out in the past – it was either by Nashville’s SKEYEview or the Undergrowth’s very own Murkury. Nevertheless, the main reason Chief Kaya decided to play this tune was because of the lighter kid who yelled it out with the word “encore“. When I caught Chief Kaya outside, I asked him about the tune, and what he told me was that Anubis would weigh out your heart on scale to determine your whole after life situation. Overall, I’m going to give the Johnson City native eighteen million thumbs up!
Thank you all for making my first show at Morph so memorable! Tune in next weekend for our review on Bagsss, Levitation Jones and Rest In Pierce!