Miami is the protagonist of local producer Kaixen's new music video for "Wasting Time." Alongside local alt-R&B singer Native Youth and Orlando soul newcomer Dvwez, Kaixen introduces his own vocals on the track, and the three sing about the anxiety that comes with almost-relationships.
The single off Kaixen's latest album, Pecado, was ranked by New Times as one of the best Miami songs of 2017. "Wasting Time" is Kaixen's biggest statement track, representative of the synth-jazz horns and slow beats that are his signature.
"It's been a while since I've had you off my mind/I feel like you and I don't got a lot of time," Native Youth sings in an empty parking garage in Brickell. "Too much history that I wish I could rewind/Do you feel the same, or am I wasting time?"
Many of the new wave of R&B tracks coming out of Miami are about time or a lack thereof. Native Youth speeds up her flow to match its content: "Philly rolled up/Everybody's drinking so they all po'd up/We don't have the time 'cause we all grown up."
Miami, too, is always running out of time — whether its the local obsession with the dying sunlight at the golden hour or disconcerting predictions about rapidly rising sea levels. We are fast settling into our chaotic future.
As the millennial forerunners of their scene, Kaixen, Native Youth, and Dvwez are making something beautiful of Miami's rush to entropy. So for three minutes, they stopped the city.
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The "Wasting Time" video is enigmatic in its wide shots of an unpopulated Brickell, save for these three artists. It draws the viewer to dwell on the sights of Miami that we never step out of the car to see: the open Brickell drawbridge, the Miami River at night, and the aging fluorescent lights of downtown.
Miami is a transient city, and for the indulgently nostalgic, it has its way of dressing even the smallest graze of a hand or drive home from work with longing. This makes it ripe for the sultry anxiety of alt-R&B. It's a city whose people often talk about leaving, and in some way, Kaixen at once addresses a lover, a growing yet challenging music scene, and the only city in the nation we've given an expiration date.
"So tell me, babe, am I wasting my time?/'Cause I need to move on/With the rest of my life," he sings over Dvwez's airy vocalizations.
For all of their reservations about wasting time in the wrong relationship or path, Kaixen, Native Youth, and Dvwez seem to want so badly to spend it.