The Chicago-based artist Kiraly Payne is no stranger to freeing his mind. Enlightened, self-aware and humble to his core, Payne is unlike any rising talent in the city’s eclectic underground scene — channeling his psyche wholeheartedly into his art. His spirituality guides him to always see the bigger picture, but also to appreciate the moment, as his wisdom at just 25-years-old is not only refreshing, but inspiring.
Payne can do much more than meets the eye — going outside of Chi-Town’s signature sound to create something instinctually different than his peers. The buzzing hitmaker has seen plenty of praise, especially around his city, only going up with each new track he shares. With a versatile vocal range and a talent seemingly unfound in many today’s rising stars, Payne brings the pain each time he grips the mic — enticing listeners both new and old with his entrancing, out-of-the-box sound.
Seeing most of his success on TikTok — whether it be dances, song teasers and even challenges for his followers — Kiraly is not only overly engaging to his core fanbase, but is striving to feed his genuine following while building his brand simultaneously. Although he sits at just over 3,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, the numbers don’t reflect the potency and drive he has as a rapper.
Taking his sound to new heights stemming from projects in Protect My He(art) (2019) and For The Fun (2021), tracks in “Phases,” “Nothing Like” and “Might Be” sees Kiraly vindicating his vices, opening his heart and being himself through it all — unafraid to take risks and is poised for greener pastures.
“I know who I am, and not even from an ego perspective, but I feel like that’s why people resonate with me. But knowing who I am, it’s the energy behind what I’m doing that gets people in line with me.”Kiraly Payne to Our Generation Music
On his latest single “Freez,” Kiraly is truly a force to be reckoned with. With gliding vocal chops and wavy melodies, Payne captivates as soon as he spits his first verse — completely immersing fans into his world, upbringing and spirituality all at once.
“Deep thinkers I feel like is the demographic that resonates with me most. For me, it’s about being in tune with your spirit, taking responsibilities for your actions and control of your life in general. The biggest aspect of spirituality to me is self-awareness, and I feel like I am overly self aware of myself. Negative thoughts lead to negative habits, but if you have a positive mindset, that’ll translate into being persistent. Your thoughts have a direct correlation to where you’re going.”Kiraly Payne to OGM
Wearing his inspirations on his sleeve — channeling cadences found in the discographies of 6LACK, Future, JID, Lil Wayne, Ye and others — success hasn’t come without adversity for Payne. Having worked with Saba, Monte Booker, Smino and more, Kiraly’s talent and potential reach are astronomical — utilizing the negativity of his arrest and his intrinsic motivation to compete to turn around his life for the better.
“When I got arrested, that was a huge turning point for me. That was a very pivotal moment in my life. I was like, ‘okay, I can sit around and be sad about this or find a way to transmute it into something positive.’ That flipped a switch. After that happened, I didn’t even listen to music. I read books about cultivating my consciousness to get back into a right frame of mind. Competition drives me to do what I do, that aspect brings the best out of me.”
Finding peace in recording alone, Kiraly seemingly taps into another realm every time he hits the booth — plucking ideas from “the ether” as he mentions in our conversation, constantly pushing forward for greater inspiration at every turn he takes. Whether it be from wrong or right decisions, Payne shifts negatives into positives seamlessly — using his willingness to learn and refined determination to become the greatest artist he can be. And before long, perhaps one of the best new artists you’ll be yearning to know more about.
Watch his new video for “Freez” below!