Keshi: A Houston-Based Singer-Songwriter on the Rise

Courtesy of @ayseltree on Instagram.
Cindy Dai
May 19, 2021

Casey “Keshi” Luong is a rising singer-songwriter born November 4, 1994 in Houston, Texas. The twenty-six-year-old artist has accumulated over 500 million streams. Keshi started his musical journey at 13 by learning to play the guitar. Later, he learned how to write and produce music by watching YouTube tutorials and started releasing music under his birth name, Casey. However, this attempt did not succeed, and his music received little public attention. Not until 2017 did Keshi successfully launch his musical career with his first popular song, “over u.” 

As Keshi’s music attracted fans, he continued to release covers and self-produced originals. However, it was hard to keep up with both music and his work as a registered nurse at Texas Medical Center in Houston, so Keshi quit his nursing job. He continued to release music and gradually gained more recognition. In 2019, after the release of his EP Always, Keshi signed with Island Labels. 

Keshi’s musical style is difficult to define. When he first released music, he drew inspiration from artists such as John Mayer and Ed Sheeran, but his current work encapsulates various musical genres such as lofi, indie-alternative, contemporary R & B, and hip hop. While his style is ever-changing, Keshi is well-known for his bittersweet melodies, layered instrumentals, and falsetto skill. 

Interestingly, many fans discovered Keshi from other artists. Many fans “met” him through a virtual concert hosted by 88Rising, an American media collective functioning as both a record label and marketing company to bring together various Asian American artists across various musical genres. On May 6, 2020, 88Rising hosted “ASIA RISING FOREVER,” an online music festival and fundraising activity to raise funds for Asian Americans Advancing Justice, a non-profit organization advocating for Asian American civil rights. Rapper Rich Brian, rap group Higher Brothers, and singer-songwriters Umi, Mxmtoon, and Stephanie Poetri performed at the event. Because of its interesting artistic mix of rising and established stars, the event succeeded both as a concert and as a fundraiser, raising more than thirty thousand dollars. Keshi boosted his fan base with a stunning cover of Brockhampton’s “Sugar.” In addition to the 88Rising show, many have also discovered Keshi from K-pop groups such as BTS and NTC, whose members have added his songs to their public playlists.

Currently, Keshi is best known for his trilogy of EPs: skeletons, bandaids, and always, which feature four, five, and six original songs, respectively. Beyond music, Keshi is known as a down-to-earth and genuine person. He interacts with supporters via social media, often found commenting under online fan art posts or participating in fan-run group chats. He also regularly hosts gaming sessions via Twitch, an online streaming platform. 

Recently, Keshi released a new single, “beside you,” co-produced by French musician Madeon. Similar to his previous hits, in “beside you,” Keshi captures the bittersweet sentiment of a romantic relationship and includes lyrical falsetto verses. Within two days of its release, the song gained over 1 million streams on Spotify and over 200,000 streams on Youtube. With his unique music style and charismatic personality, Keshi will undoubtedly continue to gain more recognition. It is only a matter of time before his music pervades mainstream media.

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