Live Review of Kanii in Los Angeles

Hollywood Palladium Los Angeles, CA

Contact: [email protected]

Web: instagram.com/kanii_o
Players: Kanii, vocals; Peter Sullivan, DJ

Material: Washington D.C. artist Kanii is having a moment. Towards the end of 2023, the 18-year-old’s single “I Know” was certified gold—no small feat in this current, unforgiving music industry climate. And now, he’s opening for English pop ’n’ soul star PinkPantheress on her current high-profile tour, including at the impressive Hollywood Palladium in L.A.

It’s no fluke; Kanii has developed a sound that masterfully blends contemporary electronic pop with classic R&B to create something that sounds absolutely fresh but also somehow reassuringly familiar. There are mild hyperpop elements to his vocal production, especially on record. But don’t mistake that for a compromise to the music’s authenticity in any way. Songs such as the aforementioned “I Know,” and “Marry Me” betray the old crooner soul in this young man.

Musicianship: It was just Kanii and his DJ up there, but that’s all that’s necessary. Musically, the set was flawless; Kanii arrived in a flurry to a crescendo of screams, his DJ, Sullivan, on stage-right dropped the needle (at least metaphorically, depending on the gear that he’s using), and the next 30 minutes or so passed by in a wave of sweet vocals and immaculate beats.

Performance: This is where Kanii really excelled. From the moment he hit the Palladium stage, Kanii never stopped moving. He moved side-to-side more times than a Newton’s cradle, occasionally pausing to really connect with some of the besotted fans at the front. Those moments were vital though—Kanii has already mastered the ability to make everyone in the crowd feel like he’s singing directly to them, which is half the battle. When the fans connect, when it feels personal, that’s when real art is born. When Kanii throws bouquets of flowers out to a few lucky recipients, you can only applaud the canny fellow.

Summary: When you look at how popular R&B is right now, when you really take a beat to feel what’s going on, then one has to conclude that Kanii has a real chance of expanding on his current success. He has the voice, the songs, the team behind him and the charisma (or “rizz,” kids) to sell a lot of records and, who knows, headline venues similar to this one in the future. For now, he just needs to focus on the music—keep those songs coming. Because as of right now, the signs are super-positive.