Lying somewhere between Usher and Justin Bieber with hushed elements of Boyz II Men, Kel Sykes drags old-school hip-hop and R&B to the modern pop music scene. A refreshing breath amidst a stagnating genre, Sykes uses hushed tones with flowing beats to bore into your brain and captivate your senses. Embracing music at a young age, Sykes began writing songs at age 10 and has built his passion for the craft ever since. The latest addition to his growing discography is the single ‘Ride (To The End)’.
Moving from the heavier hip-hop beats of ‘911’ and ‘I Bet’, Sykes showcases the more mellow side of his repertoire in ‘Ride (To The End)’. Retaining a strong synth-laden core, the singles appeal to commercial pop fans with a reminiscence to Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes and Charlie Puth. Well-placed rises and falls plunge you into a hazy ambience, however, there is a degree of clarity in the swirl of sound with the poignant lyricism acting as an anchor.
“Life is a journey and we all wish to find someone to ride along with on this journey forever. The song, ‘Ride (To The End)’ explores the beginning stages of falling in love – the butterflies, the late-night drives filled with escapism and, most importantly, hope. The hope that you will be together with that person ’til the end of time. The song is a double entendre of sorts because the verses were written while on a road trip in California a few years ago and I never wanted that trip to end. At the same time, it served as a metaphor for my blooming relationship at the time…a memory of something that I thought would last forever.” – Kel Sykes on ‘Ride (To The End)
While the melody is a whirlpool of noise, it is the incorporation of simplistic vocals that push the heartfelt concept behind ‘Ride (To The End)’. Using a personal narrative, Sykes touches on the emotional consequence of romantic relationships. It is as if reading a personal diary, ‘Ride (To The End)’ speaks those unspoken desires without abandon enhancing Sykes’s innocent vulnerability. Penned during a road trip in California and written about the “honeymoon stage” of a love affair, ‘Ride (To The End)’ is whimsically youthful but with a more sophisticated reflection.
Not a fan of this style of music, I am rarely taken in by hushed pop meets R&B sounds; however, Sykes’s infectious single has made me reconsider my stance. Elegantly executing his heartfelt message, ‘Ride (To The End)’ is filled with sentimentality, sincerity and brutally honest yearning. I would gladly ride to the end of the line with this amazing song.
Side note: Kel Sykes released a lyric video for ‘Ride (To The End)’ which can be viewed here.