Trombonist and rapper Kadesh Flow to release new single, “I Can”

Photography by Nicole Bissey.

As Ryan Davis––better known by his stage name Kadesh Flow––approached the end of his sophomore year at the University of Alabama, he decided he wanted to start a band. A jazz trombonist and rapper, Davis sought to bridge the gap between two worlds he had previously kept distinct.

“I view hip-hop as a child of jazz,” Davis says.

Although the unique fusion quickly proved to be a natural pairing, clubs were hesitant to book him at first. 

“Tuscaloosa is not an original music town,” Davis says. “Like a lot of college towns, especially in the Deep South, they mostly had cover bands. I told venues I would play covers and would come in and play all original music.”

Ultimately, Davis and his songs would pack the house at the college cover bars.

Soon after completing his Master of Business Administration in 2013, Davis got a job for Cerner as a business analyst and relocated to Kansas City. Simultaneously, he began gaining traction posting anime and video game-inspired raps on YouTube. 

“By the time I got to Kansas City, I didn’t know how long it would take before I fully immersed myself in the artist thing,” Davis says. “I just knew I was going to do it. It took a year and some change to just get to know the community. I wanted people to know I was genuine.”

Davis quickly made a name for himself in the KC music scene. In 2017, he found himself burning the candle at both ends, balancing a demanding nine-to-five job with an increasingly busy schedule as a performer. He left the corporate world to dedicate himself completely to his craft that year.

Equally skilled at improvising and freestyling, Davis now consistently packs the house throughout the metro with his energizing performances and memorable songs. You can catch him showcasing the breadth of his artistry later this month with Brass and Boujee––an 18-piece jazz big band led by fellow trombonist, composer and arranger Marcus Lewis––along with fellow emcee Kemet Coleman on April 12 at The Ship. 

This month, Davis is set to release a new single, “I Can,” featuring Pennsylvania-based rapper Gr3ys0n and British rapper Shwabadi. Consistently releasing music is essential, Davis says.

“As independent artists, it’s really easy to get caught up on how the biggest major label artists release music, which is every few years in some cases,” says Davis, who plans to drop another single, “Anyway,” next month. “But it doesn’t make sense to not be releasing music incessantly.” 

Amid his upcoming releases, Davis is preparing for a whirlwind of a summer. In addition to a busy lineup of local performances, he’s set to embark on an East Coast tour in July with other musicians that are a part of Nerdy People of Color––a collective of self-proclaimed nerds with various talents.

But aside from gigging, writing music always remains at the forefront for Davis.

“Writing is the only thing I don’t ever stop doing,” Davis says. “There’s always something to reflect on.”  

LISTEN: “I Can” ft. Gr3ys0n and Shwabadi, available on all platforms April 5. GO: Brass and Boujee, April 12 at 9 pm, The Ship, 1221 Union Ave., KCMO.

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