Kaytranada won two awards – best dance recording and best dance/electronic album- at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards that took place on Sunday, March 14, 2021. With this, the music producer and DJ made history as the first Black producer to win in this field since its launch in 2004 and also the first openly gay producer to win in the category.
The Haitian-Canadian musician came to fame in 2010 after he released a series of music remixes, mixtapes, and some original works of his own which drew the attention of music lovers around America. Nearly eleven years later, he doesn’t seem to have slowed down in any. With multiple Grammy nominations to his name and two already under his belt, it is clear that Kaytranada is the biggest thing in the electronic dance music genre currently.
What Song Did Kaytranada Win a Grammy For?
Although Kaytranada has been in the music business almost since his teenage years, it wasn’t until 2021 that he got recognized by the most prestigious music award body in the world – The Grammys. He won Grammy’s Best Dance Recording Award for the song “10%”, which is the number one single on his 2019 album titled BUBBA. Kaytranada did “10%” in collaboration with the American-Colombian R&B singer Kali Uchis.
The hit song, which peaked at number 7 on the US Billboard chart, was released on December 9, 2019. It was written mostly by Kaytranada alongside Kali Uchis, Melvin Steals, McKinley Jackson, and Colin Leonard. It was also produced by Kaytranada himself. He and Uchis managed to clinch the award despite being nominated alongside industry heavyweights like Diplo, Flume, and Disclosure.
Additionally, Kaytranada was also nominated in the categories of ‘Best New Artist ‘ and ‘Best Dance/Electronic Album’ for his second album, BUBBA. While he won the latter, he lost the former to Megan Thee Stallion. Nevertheless, that was not an unbearable loss as the two awards he won were enough consolation, with the ‘Best Dance/Electronic Album’ award putting him on record as the first Black producer and first openly gay producer to win in that category.
Even though the win happened before the televised ceremony, Kaytranda accepted the award. In a remote video feed he shared online as he received his second award, the obviously excited producer made a short speech saying, “This is crazy, this is insane,” I’m taking this one back to Montreal.”
Speaking to Billboard ahead of the 2021 Grammy award event, the Montreal-based artist revealed the reason he wanted to win. According to him, a lot of young children whose aspiration is to become musicians probably have the same inner struggles as him, “being Black and gay just [trying to] fit in.” And he believed that winning the Grammys could be a source of inspiration to them. “That’s why I want to win — that’s who I’m going to dedicate it to,” Kaytranada said.
The Music Producer Was Born in Haiti and Has African Ancestry
Kaytranda was born Louis Kevin Celestin in Port-au-Prince in Haiti on August 25, 1992. He didn’t grow up in Haiti as his family relocated soon to Montreal, Quebec in Canada, where he was raised with his siblings. His Afrocentric features reveal his African ancestry, but he refers to himself as a Haitian-Canadian.
It isn’t clear whether the music star had some sort of formal education because his life has always been about music; learning music, playing music, and selling his music. In a 2016 Red Bull Music Academy speech, Kaytranada revealed that he had to work his way to the very top of Montreal, his hometown.
Among the ways he did this was by establishing connections with the city’s top artists, and sometimes the foreign ones, just to get his one big break. The Haitian disc-jockey was mostly focused on discovering his own unique sound when he was younger, which might be the reason he never went to college.
At What Age Did Kaytranada Start His DJ Gigs?
Kaytranda began his musical career by deejaying in his city’s Artbeat community when he was only 14 years old (in 2006). By the following year, he was already venturing into music production courtesy of his elder brother Lou, who introduced him to FL studios – a local studio in Montreal.
He officially began producing music professionally in 2010 under the name Kaytradamus. He released a couple of mixtapes with that alias before officially changing his stage name to Kaytranada in 2012.
By 2013, he had begun gaining a larger following and his music began to gather wider appeal, especially after his remixes of “If” and “Alright” by pop star Janet Jackson went viral. Soon enough, he was signed exclusively to XL Records the following year in 2014. The next year being 2015, Kaytranada performed for two nights on Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour, first in Canada and then in the United States.
It was under XL Records that he released his critically acclaimed debut studio album, ‘99.9%’ on May 6, 2016. The album, which had a retro feel to it, was infused with elements of dance and R&B and featured artists like AlunaGeorge, Anderson Paak, GoldLink, Vic Mensa, and Syd.
The album received an impressive score of 8 out of 10 from Pitchfork. it also went on to win the Polaris Music Prize album for ‘Best New Album’ and a Juno Award for ‘Electronic Album of the Year’ in 2017.
Kaytranada later moved over to the Los Angeles and Toronto-based record group called HW&W Recordings. On December 13, 2019, his second album BUBBA, hit the airwaves. It was released under RCA Records and received a score of 8.1 from Pitchfork.
The DJ referred to the 17-track long LP as a “project that I made from the bottom of my heart.” The album pays homage to the black DJs who made the House and Tecno music genres popular as far back as the eighties.
So far, the Grammy-winning star has released over 13 solid bodies of work, including 2 albums, 4 EPs, 41 remixes, and over 60 singles. His 2021 EP was titled, ‘Intimidated’ and featured collaborations from H.E.R., Mach-Hommy, and Thundercat. He has also toured multiple countries including Canada, The USA, Europe, and Australia.
How Many Subscribers Does Kyatranada Have on Youtube?
The record producer currently has 267K subscribers on the video streaming platform, YouTube. He joined the platform on September 10, 2013, and has accumulated more than 109 million views as of February 2022. The views come from the many videos that the DJ has been uploading onto his channel, especially after a collaboration or new release.
His YouTube channel aside, Louis is also present on various social media platforms, including Twitter and Instagram where he has more than 453k and 850k followers respectively. He also has a following of over 850 followers on Facebook, and on Spotify, he has over 4 million monthly listeners.
Although many of his fans believe that his Grammy Award took longer than expected to come, it’s certainly good to finally see Kaytranada earn validation for all he’s brought to the table.