Being a teenager isn't easy. Your body is flooded with hormones you can't control, it feels like you're angry and horny almost all the time, and you're desiring an independence that the world won't give to you just yet. Now imagine you're also part alien and, of all people, Kai Whiston is your dad.
That's essentially the story behind London artist Kai Whiston's, surprise mixtape, Drayan!. Centered on the character of a hybrid alien teenager in the throes of puberty, the new project functions as Whiston's sonic interpretation of After the Rain, a series by Janaina Tschäpe that draws inspiration from the new-age theory about hybrid children and doubles as the mixtape's artwork.
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Featuring eight new tracks, as well as 2020's "Stingray (feat. EDEN)," Drayan! sees Whiston push his sound and songwriting to new places by mixing elements of hip-hop, UK garage, indie and other genres that defy categorization. From the twee guitars of "Betty" to the mutant bass of tracks like "Bothering Me," Drayan! feels like it was made by some otherworldly entity that studied human music and took their best stab at it — strangely familiar and unfamiliar at once.
Drayan! comes as the latest feather in the producer's cap, having already two albums, Kai Whiston Bitch and No World As Good As Mine, under his belt and collaborated with artists such as Shygirl, Dorian Electra, Pussy Riot, Iglooghost, Coucou Chloe, VTSS, Clarence Clarity and more. Last year also saw Whiston launch Lux Cache, an educational music production platform hosting tutorials and sample packs for producers.
In celebration of the mixtape's recent release, PAPER invited Kai Whiston to put together a horoscope-themed playlist inspired by Drayan! ...and this is what we got instead. Below, the producer asks Drayan, the hybrid alien protagonist that informed his new effort, to read your horoscopes this month.
Okay, dreamtime communication is recording. Transmission D will initiate in five seconds.HELLO READER OF PAPER MAGAZINE. IT IS INCREDIBLE WISE THAT YOUR CURIOSITY BRINGS YOU HERE. I WOULD LIKE TO TELL YOU ABOUT THE LANGUAGE OF THE SKY.
I should first disclaim that, given Drayan is from another galaxy, he hasn't quite grasped Earth's astrological readings within the Solar System. As I myself have little to no understanding of astrology, you can assume it was Drayan's idea to contact PAPER to do this article. The last thing I want is for him to come off as insensitive. Astrology is clearly a valuable language that shouldn't be misread in, well, his theatrical attitude.IF I CAN COMMUNICATE INTERDIMENSIONALLY TO AN ARROGANT LITTLE MUSIC PRODUCER MUG LIKE YOU THEN MAYBE I KNOW A THING OR TWO ABOUT STARS? DIPSHIT?
Okay pal, there's no real delicate way to put this, but I think that was a good segue. I am your father and you are still a teenager. I used my wide network of music press contacts and sorted you a viable platform to promote your mixtape. You'll find some day that you might not know everything. The world doesn't revolve around you.
MY PLANET, X'ZIPHURSCH VII, ORBITS AROUND ME AS THE GALACTIC BARYCENTER. THAT IS THE PLANET I ALIGN WITH WITHIN NINETY FOUR DIFFERENT PLANETS OF THE HYBRID-CHILD XEON GALAXY. MY AGE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MY UNDERSTANDING OF THE STARS. JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN'T MILK THE TEENAGER ANGLE TO THE PRESS ANYMORE DOESN'T MEAN YOU HAVE TO PROJECT YOUR INSECURITIES ONTO ME.
Alright mate. Let's just get on with the readings.
ARIES HMM. IT'S ENTIRELY POSSIBLE ARIES, THAT A PROFOUND CONNECTION WILL ENTER YOUR WORLD IN A WAY THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOREVER. WHEN THAT CONNECTION ARRIVES, GREET IT WITH OPEN ARMS. DO NOT RELY ON THE BARRIERS THAT YOU ONCE USED AS PROTECTION AGAINST THE UNKNOWN. THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE IS TURBULENT, BUT IT IS A FRUITFUL EXPERIENCE NONETHELESS.That was quite nice, actually. Maybe these won't be so bad after all.
I'm a Taurus! I would say if you're a Taurus, you are pretty cool and doing great.
TAURUS, THIS MONTH YOUR CREATIVE PROJECT IS GOING TO FAIL FROM YOUR OWN ARROGANCE. IT IS FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFICULT TO MARKET TO A WIDER AUDIENCE. YOUR INTENTIONAL EFFECTORS TO ALIENATE YOUR AUDIENCE HAVE COME OFF AS PRETENTIOUS AND JUST INACCESSIBLE.
THE STARS ARE TELLING ME THAT YOUR FULL-LENGTH PROJECT-FOCUSED APPROACH TO MUSIC AND CREATIVE DIRECTION DOES NOT HOLD UP IN THE CONTEMPORARY LANDSCAPE OF DIGITAL MEDIA, WHERE THE BLISTERING PACE OF 5 TO 15 SECOND OF MEDIA CAPTURES THE ATTENTION OF THE MASSES.
What? This is oddly specific. Are you talking to me?
THIS IS THE TAURUS ZODIAC SIGN. I'M READING THE STARS. DO YOU HAVE SOME SORT OF MAIN CHARACTER SYNDROME WHERE YOU THINK I'M ALWAYS BANGING ON ABOUT YOU?
Fucking leave it out.
THE STARS ARE SPEAKING TO ME GEMINI. THE REALITY IS, YOU WISH YOU COULD BUY ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY NEW CARS AND HOUSES, BUT YOU CAN'T. IT'S NOT FINANCIALLY VIABLE AND IT MIGHT NEVER BE. THAT LEVEL OF WEALTH WOULD BE UNHEALTHY AND, WELL, FUNDAMENTALLY UNETHICAL. IT'S NOT GONNA HAPPY BABY, NOT EVER. MAYBE LOOK INWARD FOR FULFILLMENT BECAUSE YOU'RE GONNA BE SAD AS SHIT TRYING TO BUY YOUR HAIRDRESSER A BENTLEY.
Isn't there usually more to astrological readings? Like sun, moon, ascending and that stuff?
I AM WELL AWARE. I DON'T KNOW WHICH PART OF "I'M AN INTERDIMENSIONAL ALIEN FROM ANOTHER GALAXY" THAT YOU'RE STRUGGLING WITH, KAI. I AM AVAILABLE FOR FULL READINGS FOR THOSE WHO WISH TO COMMUNICATE VIA DISTORTION IMPLANT DEVICE.
Hurry up.CANCER, YOU KNOW THAT POST MALONE SONG 'CONGRATULATIONS' FEATURING QUAVO? IT WAS OFF THE ALBUM WHERE HE'S GOT THE UGLY BRAIDS ON THE COVER. IT HAS THEM BOTH JUMPING ABOUT IN SLO-MO AS THE MUSIC VIDEO. BASICALLY HE SAYS "IF YOU FUCK WITH WINNING, PUT YOUR LIGHTERS TO THE SKY/ HOW COULD I MAKE CENTS WHEN I GOT MILLIONS ON MY MIND?/ COMING WITH THAT BULLSHIT, I JUST PUT IT TO THE SIDE/ BALLING SINCE A BABY, THEY COULD SEE IT IN MY EYES." WHAT DOES ANY OF THAT EVEN MEAN? I DON'T KNOW. SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT THOUGH.
Photography: Daniel Mutton
LEO, YOU ARE AN AMERICAN.
That's not always going to be the case is it.
THE STARS ARE TELLING ME THAT, EVERY LEO READING THIS WILL BE AN AMERICAN. TO DOUBT THE STARS IS TO DOUBT THE VERY FABRIC THAT BIRTHED OUR CONTEMPORARY IDEAS OF THE UNIVERSE.
I know like, probably two or three Leos who aren't American that will read this.THE STARS ARE TELLING ME THAT YOU WILL SEND THE ARTICLE TO THEM AND THEY WILL SAY, "HAHA COOL," BUT THEY WILL NOT BE READING THIS. LIKE HOW THEY WILL LISTEN TO YOUR MUSIC, BUT NOT ADD IT TO ANY OF THEIR PLAYLISTS. NOT TO SAY THE LEOS AREN'T A FAN OF YOU, KAI, BUT THEY DO NOT ENJOY YOUR WORK.
VIRGO, YOU WILL HIGH-KEY GO BLIND. IT'S GOING TO BE FUCKED.
ENJOY THE WONDERS OF SIGHT WHILE YOU CAN. YOU HAVE MAYBE 5 HOURS.
Fuck. Yeah that's fucked.
IT FEELS COUNTER INTUITIVE TO PUT ALL OF OUR TIME INTO DOING THESE, PEOPLE ARE JUST GOING TO SKIP TO THEIR SIGN AND READ THEIRS. NOBODY EVER CONSIDERS THAT MIGHT BE SOMETHING VALUABLE IN ALL THE OTHER READINGS THAT COULD APPLY TO THEIR SITUATION.
That's kinda true, but isn't it kinda your job to only give them the most valuable information specific to their zodiac sign? The stars should be specific.
YEAH I KNOW BUT LIKE, HOW MANY ALIENS ARE DOING ARTICLES FOR PAPER? I'VE BEEN HAVING TO EXPLAIN ALL THIS SHIT FOR HOURS. THIS IS GENUINELY LIKE, THE ONLY COHERENTLY RECORDED COMMUNICATION BETWEEN AN EARTHLING AND AN EXTRA TERRESTRIAL, YOU'D THINK PEOPLE WOULD READ EVERYTHING? INCASE I WANTED TO DESTROY THE PLANET?I think people are gonna have a hard time believing all of it. I can see my DMs now are gonna be like, "Why are you arguing with yourself on the internet. Your music was harder in 2018." They'll say, "Didn't you do that bit in your NWAGAM journal, already?"
I HAVE AMAZING NEWS FOR YOU LIBRA, YOU ARE GOING TO STREAM AN INCREDIBLE PROJECT TODAY USING YOUR FAVORITE DIGITAL MUSIC STREAMING PROVIDER.
We'll have a section to promote the tape, Drayan.RIGHT. WELL ASIDE FROM THAT, MAYBE THERE'S A NEW VIBE YOU COULD TRY OUT. YOUR STARS ARE LOOKING BORING AS FUCK TBH. LIKE I HAVE NO DOUBT YOU'VE DONE SOME COOL SHIT BEFORE AND YOU'LL DO MORE COOL SHIT EVENTUALLY, BUT YOU SEEM KINDA MEH RIGHT NOW. FIGURE IT OUT.
ALL OF YOUR DECISIONS, JUDGEMENTS, THOUGHTS, IDEAS AND ACTIONS WILL BE CORRECT. YOUR UNDETERRED MOTIVATION COULD LEAD YOU TO DO INCREDIBLE THINGS. YOU LIVE LIKE A TERMITE. YOU COULD EAT HARD GRATED CHEESE OUT OF ONE OF THOSE LITTLE JARS FOR WEEKS AND NOT FEEL A THING. NOT EVEN CONSTIPATION.
IT'S VERY POSSIBLE THAT YOU ARE UNVERIFIED ON THE WEBSITE TWITTER DOT COM AND IT'S CLOUDING YOUR EVERY THOUGHT AND JUDGEMENT. IT'S IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT BEING UNVERIFIED ACTUALLY DOES MEAN YOU ARE NOT A GOOD PERSON, IN THAT YOU HAVE NOT BEEN VERIFIED BY THE GODS AS A TRUSTWORTHY INDIVIDUAL. FEW ARE CHOSEN.
Seems like you're going too far again with this one.
THE VERIFIED TICK IS OUR MEASUREMENT OF EMOTIONAL WELLBEING. THOSE IGNORING THE SYMBOLS INVESTED BY SOCIAL MEDIA ARE NOT GROUNDED IN THE HUMAN REALITY. NUMBERS ARE MATHEMATICS ARE ARBITRARY HUMAN CONSTRUCTS. IN OUR GALAXY, WE DO NOT HAVE THESE QUANTIFIABLES. MERELY SYMBOLS AND EMOTIONS.Reads like a DeviantArt comment. Fucking crease bag. Numbers are symbols.
THAT BLOKE YOU THOUGHT WAS ATTRACTIVE IS NOT ATTRACTIVE. HE'S PROBABLY A CLUB DJ AND HE PROBABLY DOESN'T SHOWER. IF YOU KNEW HOW EASY IT WAS TO LAYER A BEYONCÉ ACAPELLA ONTO A TRACK YOU WOULD TRULY UNDERSTAND THE MAGNITUDE OF HIS FLAT BRAIN.I can confirm this one is bang on.
OH YOU'VE FUCKED IT. YOU'VE REALLY FUCKED IT THIS TIME, HAVEN'T YOU? LOOK IN THE MIRROR. HOW CAN YOU BE HAPPY WITH THAT? EVERYTHING YOU TRIED TO MAKE BETTER, YOU'VE JUST MADE IT WORSE AND I CAN'T DEAL WITH YOU. I DON'T WANT TO TALK TO YOU ANYMORE. ALL YOU HAD TO DO WAS A SIMPLE THING.
What did Aquarius do?AQUARIUS HAS BEEN EXISTING IN ALL THREE PHYSICAL MOLECULAR STATES: SOLID, LIQUID AND GAS. IT SOUNDED GOOD IN YOUR HEAD, BUT YOU ARE STILL DOING ALL THE SAME SHIT THAT YOU WERE DOING BEFORE. PICK A MOLECULAR STATE AND DO THE THING YOU WERE GOING TO DO.
MY HUMAN GIRLFRIEND BETTY IS A PISCES. HER MAGIC AND BEAUTY IS INCOMPARABLE WITH ANY OTHER LIFEFORM I'VE ENCOUNTERED IN THE UNIVERSE. SHE IS AMAZING, ONE OF THE FEW HUMAN BEINGS I FIND WORTHWHILE OF MY TIME.
One way to put it I suppose. A bit personal, though.PISCES, YOU WILL FIND YOURSELF HOLDING ONTO A BUOY SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE OCEAN. THE SUN WILL GLIMMER AGAINST THE WATER, ENTRANCING AND ALMOST BLINDING.YOU CAN'T LOOK AWAY. YOU WILL LOOK AROUND AND SEE NOTHING BUT THE CALM OCEAN WATER. YOU HAVE YOUR BUOY, YOU WILL REMAIN PEACEFUL. YOUR UNIVERSALLY INFERIOR HUMAN BODY CAN STILL CLING ON FOR LIFE. THE SUN WILL ALWAYS GLIMMER AGAINST THE WATER.
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