KaiL Baxley hails from the small backwater town of Willison-Elko – a town so small that most people in South Carolina don’t even know where it is, much less the rest of the world. It’s only claim to fame is soul legend James Brown, with whom Baxley shared an unlikely friendship as a child. Perhaps this was one of the leading influences in Baxley’s soul-drenched music… or perhaps it was the similar circumstances in which they were raised that fuels such deep emotion in an individual.
Abandoned by both his mother and father as a small child Baxley was raised by his grandfather Woody until age 12. When he passed away, KaiL bounced from one living situation to another, rarely living in one place for more than a year at a time. It was in this constant migration that he found escape in a pair of old RCA headphones.
KaiL’s debut effort, “Heatstroke/The Wind and the War,” was presented as a double EP which displayed the yin and yang of his musical range. A surprise nominee for NPR‘s Album Of The Year, it received critical acclaim, including a debut at SXSW, where Baxley was tapped as, “One of NPR’s top new artists” by All Songs Considered. “His voice falls somewhere between Joe Cocker and Bill Withers with a husky authority. The guy is a whiz-bang folkie-turned-soul-rocker and has a voice which can make you dance or which melts butter, depending upon the tune.”
Below is the premiere of the Mirrors of Paradise (alternate version) music video:
“This was such an interesting concept to me. One story happening in reverse as the other is happening in real time,” says KaiL. “I was approached by a group of film makers here in Los Angeles. The director Orlando Rashid said he’d had a vision while listening to my song and asked if he could make it into a video. I was so honored by the gesture and of course said yes. He and his team did a really nice job and I thought they put a great spin on the video. It’s wild how one thing can inspire another and something completely brand new and different is born. That’s the beauty of art.”
For more information, go to www.kailbaxley.com