Kaixen, otherwise known as Julian Munro, is a Miami producer and guitarist with a musical bloodline. With words flowing a mile a minute, he details the important moments of his musical timeline.
There was his first experience at a recording studio, an instance that made him uneasy and sparked his production career. "This producer wouldn't tell me what he was doing to my music. He would tell me: 'You won't get it.' Fuck that — if you can do it, I can do it."
There was the time he met dancehall and reggae royalty Damian Marley on a trip to Jamaica with his uncle.
There were all the school assignments — the ones that ask you what you want to do when you grow up — the ones he always answered the same way: "I want to sign a record deal."
There were those formative experiences with his dad, when he'd sit and listen to Curtis Mayfield and Luther Vandross for hours. He had those moments with his mom too, listening to her Beatles and Elvis Presley records until he could recite the lyrics.
Munro's story is one about the power of blending experiences and sound, combining the memories of his past with hopes for the future — one that's beginning to look very bright.
This past November 22, Munro released his EP LoveCrave, a three-song prelude to a full-length album set to drop early next year.
On it, he paints a pretty picture full of the sultry, colorful hues that cover the walls of the city he calls home. The project's final track, "Soul Searching," is its strongest, followed by the ambitious "Let Go" and the guitar-driven "Lost in Your Body."
"Soul Searching" is deliberate and pared-down at its onset, with thumping drums that speed up until they reach the song's crescendo. It's a nighttime anthem that features Kaixen's abilities as a guitarist without straying from the sense of longing that is the driving force behind the rest of the track. Add in a chopped-up sample, and "Soul Searching" fits right into the growing Miami beat scene without losing Kaixen's personal touch.
From playing in bands to thriving on the beat scene, Munro credits his evolution as an artist to the Miami producers and artists who pushed him to become better. "The band scene was very competitive, and everyone came from this mindset that you need to one-up each other." With friends such as Telescope Thieves, Twelve Tales, and Nick León — well-respected Miami artists in their own right — Munro felt encouraged to continue as a producer because of their support. By attending his shows, watching him grow, and critiquing his work, those friends helped fan the flames of his production career. Their support has helped him climb to where he is now, with a debut album on the way and a biweekly party at 1306, known as the Night Shift, where he tests out his new sounds and connects with the people who propel him.
In a music landscape that at times can feel like crabs stuck in a bucket, Miami's beat scene has welcomed Julian Munro with open arms.
"They changed my whole perspective on the scene," he says. "Even if they don't know it, they pushed me to want to be better."