Kevin Riady has an interesting back story. Born in Jakarta, Indonesia, he completed a degree in Human Factors Engineering and worked as a consultant before he finally decided to pursue his artistic aspirations. For many years, he considered himself a natural singer, however due to an unsupportive environment, he decided to hide his voice and instead picked up the flute in 2011. By 2013, Kevin was the flute principal of ITB Student Orchestra, then in 2015 he suffered from a chronic TMJ disorder and cervical spasm, which prevented him from pursuing a professional career as a flautist.
Kevin Riady stopped playing music for a while, until he joined an acapella group and competed in the UK Voice Fest 2017. A year later he began writing songs and learning how to play the piano, the guitar and produce music.
He then relocated to Melbourne, Australia, and this year decided to publish the song ‘Home’. Seeing as how we’re all exhausted by the craziness that’s been brought about in our lives by the pandemic, I’ll disperse with any suspense and unpredictability: ‘Home’, is nothing short of being poignantly beautiful and masterful.
‘Home’ is a plea of despair and isolation. A search for that connection which will ground and enhance his existence. “Been in and out of places that I used to call as home. But it doesn’t feel like the same home to me anymore. Would you lend me your hand help to build my own. Would you lend me your strength just to carry me along. Would you hear all my stories all night long. And I promise I’ll do the same,” sings Kevin Riady. Due to his excellence as a storyteller it’s easy for fans to feel intimately close with his feelings and struggles.
The surface-level serenity provided by the gorgeous guitar and Kevin Riady’s genteel yet emotional vocal delivery matches the pleading, searching lyrics. Kevin, just as many of history’s greatest songwriters, is able to elevate the personal into the universal.
After only a couple of spins, the story of ‘Home’, soon becomes the story of many as they empathize with the narrative. Singing in his high reaching voice, Kevin brings to the song his innermost sensibilities; building the track around imagery that allows the listener to fill in the details.
Beyond all its influences, and gorgeously warm organic sound, ‘Home’, is built on its powerful narrative, and Kevin Riady’s stunningly impactful voice. The song is also defined strong guitar work, as ‘Home’ strikes compelling notes in its quieter moments as well.
Kevin’s cautiously assured guitar playing fills in the nooks and crannies tastefully, while the well-orchestrated music and the vocal harmonies breathe life into the more subtle textures, achieved here with lushness and precision.
On ‘Home’ Kevin Riady takes the singer-songwriter format and charges it up with passion and perceptiveness. An admirable anomaly. The power and fine distinction of Kevin’s voice does the rest to lock the listener into his world. Moreover there’s a deeply confessional connection Kevin Riady makes with his listeners that is very hard to replicate with just any musical setting.