Kai Bosch


Staged under the cover of darkness and imbued with a subtle yet high-stakes sense of emotional drama, the music that Kai Bosch crafts makes a lot of sense if you look not at where he’s come from, but where he’s been. Having uprooted himself aged 17 from the sleepy town of Polzeath, Cornwall to the throbbing nightlife of Berlin before moving to London, his music is as indebted to the pursuit of sensation as its author.

If the narrative of the small town boy finding himself in the big city sounds like one taken from a coming-of-age film, then Kai’s early years serve only to amp up the redemptive story arc even further. It’s easy to forget given the positive recent leaps in queer representation in the media that, even half a decade ago, the public role models for a young gay man growing up in a “very Tory, very closed-minded” area were far more limited. “I came out when I was 14, I was the only gay kid at school and I didn’t quite know how to act,” he recalls. “At the time, the only film on Netflix that was gay was called ‘Gay Best Friend’ so you bet I became that. All of a sudden I changed my voice, bleached my hair and started wearing iridescent silver jackets and horrendous foundation. The further and further I got into that, I really did have an identity crisis that took quite a long time to pull myself out of.”

During this time, however, Kai had started to discover artists such as Lana Del Rey and Lorde – people whose music embraced sadness and vulnerability, and who showed that there was a beauty to be found in life’s messy grey areas. These were women who could transport you to a whole different universe, one far removed from the blinkered reality Kai was actually living in. “From then on, music really became the only thing that helped me cope and escape,” he says. “I think someone like Lana probably resonated with me because I wasn’t very happy at the time. I’d listen to her and get to be in my own world.”

Taking this increasingly important passion, teaching himself the keyboard and starting to write in secret, it took a while for Kai to let anyone into the private musical safe space that he’d started to build. But by the time he reached his second year of college, it just became everything. He applied early to Goldsmiths, was accepted to start on a music course the following year and immediately left for Berlin.

Inspired more by the idea of articulating feeling than any particular genre, the sensory explosion of his new life quickly translated into ripe material. The duality of vulnerability and hedonism that runs through Kai’s music, can all be traced to those formative Berlin months.