The West London songstress gets real about the modern dating scene.

London singer Elise Kasai wears dungarees
London singer Elise Kasai wears dungarees

“You get away with it because you’re hot. I think I think it’s time the pretty boys stop.” Yep, shots fired. In her debut single, “Pretty Boys,” Kasai targets the villains of the modern dating scene: fuckboys, wastemen, players – whatever you want to call them.

Like a modern-day TLC “No Scubs” but with more bite, the West Londoner penned “Pretty Boys” to condemn the snaky behaviour of these charmers, also doubling as a protective ode to female friendship. Enlisting the help of Joey Bada$$, who raps on the track (and also plays enemy number one “pretty boy” in the music video), the song pulses with catchy R&B hooks and attitude.

If you haven’t heard of Elise Kasai yet, it’s only a matter of time. She’s swiftly making waves as one of the UK’s most exciting (and sassy) newcomers – thanks only in part to her reverberating pop sound and nostalgic R&B leanings.

We caught up with the songstress below…

Where are you from? How has this influenced your music?
I’m born and raised in West London, but my parents are both Anglo-Indian, which has shaped how I’ve grown up in London, as well as the people I’ve naturally mixed with. My friendship circle is into the same music as me, so we always play R&B and hip-hop when we chill. We used to go through SoundCloud and find artists that no one had heard of yet and we’d come across some real cool vibes.

What inspired you to start making music? Who did you grow up listening to?
I would listen to my favourite artists when I was younger and always wonder how the songs got made. I guess this inspired me to write my first song. My parents would play different genres in the house growing up, so that made me open-minded. I grew up listening to a wide variety of music: Sade, Alicia Keys, Michael Jackson, Seal, J Dilla and Erykah Badu. Only recently in the last few years have I started to like pop music.

Where do you get inspiration for your songs from?
I get inspiration from real life. Also observations and my own personal feelings. For “Pretty Boys” it was from stories that my friends have told me.

Tell us about “Pretty Boys.” It seems like a modern-day TLC “No Scrubs”…
That’s a cool comparison, I like that song. “Pretty Boys” is story about a guy from London that was playing my girl. She and I had just recently become friends when she vented to me about her boyfriend. I was a little bit shocked from what I was told, I can’t lie. It annoyed me so I wrote a story about it in 2016, and then at the end of last year turned it into “Pretty Boys” in the studio. Making this song was really just my producer and I having fun, we didn’t overthink it too much.

London pop singer Elise Kasai
London pop singer Elise Kasai

How was it working with Joey Bada$$?
Joey is a friend, so working with him didn’t feel like work. I think he took the pressure off everything. I appreciate him for getting on this track!

Who else would you love to collaborate with?
Daniel Caeser and Octavian would be sick.

Your Instagram/style is pretty cool… Who are your style icons?
I wouldn’t say there is a specific individual who is my style icon, but I love the streetwear scene. I have three brothers and growing up I loved stealing their clothes.

What’s next for you this year?
I definitely want to release more music. I’ve been working really hard so I’m excited for people to hear more of my songs. I can’t wait.

Maybelle Morgan

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