- 03 Nov 23
Chris Kabs rattled through his extensive catalogue and revealed some exclusive news during a powerful perfomance for the Hot Press Y&E series - supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.
Coming to us live from his high-tech studio, Chris Kabs treated Hot Press viewers to one of the most extensive performances of the Y&E series so far – effortlessly rattling through his rich repertoire of material on Thursday evening.
A visionary who's gained cult status in Dublin and beyond, Chris Kabs has seen major success producing for artists - including JyellowL’s track 'Ozone,' which was featured on the FIFA 20 soundtrack and ‘Oh Lawd’ for RTÉ's adaptation of Sally Rooney's novel Normal People. With a distinctive vocal and production style, Kabs was last year's most-played black Irish male artist on national radio.
Fusing trap, afrobeat, soul and pop, his music oscillates between high-octane and poignantly melancholic, interrogating everything from heartbreak to police brutality. His live shows are no different; having showcased his musical prowess with headline shows at the Sound House and the Grand Social in the past.
Kicking off the show was a number written alongside longtime friend and fellow Dublin star JyellowL - a groovy, romantic and danceable track, Chris warmed up the audience with his buttery smooth vocals – poignantly detailing his bittersweet emotions arising from a frustrated relationship.
A perfectionist, Kabs asked the audience to reassure him that the audio levels were right. The sounds, naturally, were flawless throughout. In tune with Hot Press’ pole position at the forefront of Irish music news, Kabs also informed us that the EP he’d been working on his for two years will finally be coming out in 2024.
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He proceeded to get stuck into ‘No Show’, from his recent EP Why Not. The song, characterised by slick piano and booming bass, discussed his personal growth with the ethos- “I don’t hate, I create, that’s my vibe that’s my thing".
Before he was humoursuly interrupted by an eager friend via phone call, ‘Good and Bad’ would be Kabs’ next song of choice. A track inspired by his own life experiences – its dreamy chords and bouncy percussion provided an uplifting sonic bedrock to his lyrics on the highs and lows of love.
Kabs really got into this one - even sitting down, his dance moves were more than this reviewer could ever pull off on both feet.
Duly using his platform to inspire, Kabs shared his thoughts on the importance of “consistency” when it comes to chasing our dreams. His next track was audible proof of this philosophy, 'Nobody’, he informed, was the most played single on the radio upon its release in April.
Emotional with its beautiful chord progression, the tune was an unapologetic and heartfelt ode to the strength given to him by a significant other.
Dipping into his back catalogue with ‘Jealousy’ – Kabs encouraged the virtual crowd to clap along to the funky guitar riffage. This track had a great international flavour with its rhythm – culminating in an epic electro-trap outro.
It was then time for the much-anticiapted major announcement. Chris Kabs revealed that he will be embarking on a nationwide tour at the beginning of next year, confirming that he’ll be taking his show to Galway, Limerick, Cork, Mayo, Westmeath, Louth, Kildare, Dublin and more – all with the support of a full band.
If his Y&E performance was anything to go by, the upcoming string of gigs promises to be a must-see for music fans across Ireland.
Capitalising on the excitement created by the news, Kabs went straight into his latest single ‘Falling’, with stunning vocal harmonies setting the tone in the intro. Backed up by a funky bassline, Kabs emotionally delivered the heartbreaking lines “We had everything, but now its falling apart”.
The same couldn’t be said for the performance, as the producer graciously offered one more bonus track to close out the evening - ‘No Joke’, featuring JyellowL. An energetic finale, Kabs showed that he can rap as well as he can sing, allowing the recorded verses from his close collaborator to shine through.
Our hero proceeded to take in the emojified applause in the comments, capping off one of the most impressive shows in the Hot Press Y&E series thus far.
Don't miss out on the exciting lineup of upcoming shows on the Hot Press Y&E Series, live every night via our Instagram.
Coming up this week in the Y&E series...
Friday 3rd : Evie
An alt-folk artist with a twist, Evie's debut EP Since the Fire, showcases her distinclty delicate songwriting approach. At 22, she's happy to be the haunted house of the Irish music scene, drawing on dark textured influences such a Radiohead, Lisa Hannigan and Phoebe Bridgers. A more than capable live performer, Evie has sold out Dublin shows, performed at the lauded CCI Paris, played two historic Ruby Sessions, supported Last Apollo and appeared at the Sligo Arts Festival. Her sophomore EP Shiny Things takes centre stage this Spring.
Saturday 4th : Garron Noone
Garron Noone is a Ballina comedian and musician who’s earned himself a mammoth online following, with a reputation for his hilarious reviews of Irish culture - whether it be sharing his thoughts on Irish towns, or giving his expert step-by-step guide on dining on a spice bag. He’s earned plaudits for his comedy, featuring on the BBC’s Big Comic Energy, he also boasts over 480k followers on TikTok alone. His talents extend to the realm of music too – releasing his charectaristically humourous single ‘Ready For Go (Chicken Roll Song)’ in May earlier this year.
Sunday 5th : F3miii
A Dublin-based musician making waves for with melodic voice and vibrant guitar skills, F3miii has been involved in music ever since he got his start signing in a gospel choir. He has since collaborated with some lauded Irish acts, including Jafaris, Haresquead, Monjola and Moio. Finding solace in creating music on love and heartbreak, the young producer has an impressive string of live appeareances under his belt, including shows at Irish Music Week, Trinity Ball and Forbidden Fruit. F3miii has also featured on popular Spotify curated playlists such as Our Generation, Chilled Pop Hits and Alternative Ireland.
Monday 6th : Plantain Papi
Hailing from North Dublin, Plantain Papi is a multifaceted artist and producer, popular for creatively infusing rap, afrobeat and pop sounds. Since sharing his first single in late 2017, he has gone on to have garner radio play on stations across Ireland. A maverick behind the mixing desk, Plantain has produced for Tolu Makay, F3miii, Sophie Jane and MangoxMathman to name a few. Having sold out his first headline show at The Academy , Plantain Papi was chosen to perform at last year's Longitude Festival on the main stage, as well as at the 3Arena with international megastar Burna Boy.
Tuesday 7th : Chubby Cat
Possessing tracks that are creating waves in the UK & Ireland, and stamped with an unmistakable style of her own, Cork born BIMM graduate Chubby Cat is one of the country’s forerunning electro-pop artists. Her songs have earned spins on stations both at home and abroad, including BBC 6 and Radio 1, and a host of Irish stations. An enigmatic performer, she's supported the likes of Crawlers and Tourist at sold-out Dublin shows, and appeared at the ever-popular Indiependence Festival in her native Cork.
Wednesday 8th : TeleZura
Hailing From Derry, TeleZura have broken out this year, with their unique capacity to funnel teenage emotion into artfully crafted anthems evident in their acclaimed debut single 'Heartfelt Summer'. The track received rave reviews and radio play across the country- a hugely convincing introduction to the hotly tipped newcomers, with the summer banger showcasing a young band with sharply honed songwriting skills and serious potential for a major mainstream breakthrough.
Thursday 9th : Emileo
Having been raised in Germany, Spain and Morocco, Emileo won the inaugural Sinead O'Connor BA Commercial Modern Music Scholarship of BIMM Dublin in 2020, the city where she currently resides. Known as a fearless and accomplished musician who delivers a remarkable kaleidoscope of sounds and imagery soaring with individuality and heart. She has supported artists such as Mundy and Tolü Makay and performed in Dublin’s Olympia Theatre and Cork’s Opera House as special guest to Tori Amos. She’s no stranger to the festival stage either, appearing at All Together Now and Electric Picnic. Most recently she organised the charity event ‘Music for Morocco’ and was able to raise 1500€ of donations for the victims of the earthquake epicentre.
Friday 10th : Gary O'Neill
Emerging Kilkenny Songwriter Gary O’Neill has garnered great success with his EP To Those I’ve Missed, a body of work which explores the effects of the relationships with the ones that we love and admire. The first single from the project, ‘Petals’, caught the attention of Hot Press and various stations across the nation, including Tomorrow Radio, LMFM, FLIRT FM, Raidio Na Life and RTE 2XM. The singer has released multiple albums, since moving much of his material offline as he gears up to set out on a new musical journey.
Saturday 11th : Qbanaa
With a name springing from her Cuban heritage, Qbanaa is setting the Irish scene alight with her diverse gifts, made evident off-the-bat with her debut single 'Truth and Desire', which was nominated for 'Track of the Year' by Hot Press. Based in Dublin, she grew up travelling back and forth from Cuba where music and salsa dancing were integral parts of her childhood. Earning a reputation for incredible live performances, Qbanaa has founded the Soul Juice jazz/Soul open mic in Dashi Smithfield – with an ethos of building a community around the Jazz-fusion scene in Dublin.