Meet BreeKay & Kasairi: The OC’s rising hip-pop duo
Cousins BreeKay and Kasairi contradict norms, both within the Christian hip-hop subgenre and music industry as a whole.
As a Christian, hip-hop-influenced, Mexican (and part-black), female pop duo, they represent a new frontier. But, if you ask them, they haven’t even noticed yet.
“I think we have extremely strong personalities where we just don’t care,” BreeKay said. “People have been very accepting and receptive of what we put out, and it’s encouraging.”
Both girls grew up in Southern California, and, even though their families were close and commonly spent time with each other, they both feel that they grew the closest during high school. With the development of their relationship also came the building of their relationships with the Lord.
Despite the fact that both girls grew up in Christian families that regularly attended church, both BreeKay and Kasairi said that they dedicated their lives to Christ after high school.
“That was when I really grew closest with the Lord,” BreeKay said. “I started realizing that my relationship with Him is better than any other relationship that I could have with anybody.”
Kasairi had a similar transformation but was most touched by a performance from a spoken-word artist that visited the youth group that she and BreeKay attended.
“I was amazed, like, floored that you could do something for God and be good — like this good,” Kasairi said, “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I want to be able to do that’ … That was what kind of sparked it.”
This interaction also influenced her musical outlook. However, both girls initially got involved in music by singing in their church worship band at a young age. But this involvement was by no means voluntary.
“I was always kind of forced to sing in church,” BreeKay said.
At the age of five, BreeKay voluntarily started to teach herself the piano, which eventually evolved into an interest in beat-making.
“One of our musicians at church, when I was a teenager — she was also a teenager — she made beats,” BreeKay said. “It was interesting because, to me, it seemed easy.”
Her father recognized her interest and decided to invest in equipment so that she could pursue music production. She has been refining her skills and making music ever since.
Kasairi also had similar introductions to music through singing in the church worship band. This is where she first discovered her fear of being on stage as well.
“I had the worst stage fright up until my senior year of high school,” Kasairi said. “After graduating I went to college and decided to be a music major, and I think that really opened me up.”
Although initially going into college undecided, a friend of Kasairi’s, who was a music major, shifted her interest toward music as an area of study.
“He heard me singing, and he was like, ‘You should be [a music major] too.’” Kasairi said.
The following day, her friend showed Kasairi all the requirements that it took to become a music major, and she officially started working toward that major the following semester.
After three years of studying music, Kasairi decided to drop out of college to pursue music fully.
“They can teach me everything, all the theory, all the steps it takes to be this great amazing vocalist,” Kasairi said. “But they can’t teach me to social network, promote myself; I feel like I could do this on my own.”
BreeKay majored in political science in her time at college and planned to go to law school, become a lawyer and then a judge. She eventually obtained her degree but decided that law school was not the best option for her.
“When you go to college, more than likely, you will figure out what you don’t want to do,” BreeKay said. “I was doing well, but, in the middle of college, I ended up learning that wasn’t the path that I wanted to go. I really did have a passion for music my whole life, and I was like, ‘I could make a career out of it, I should go after it now.’”
Both girls came back to Orange County with a plan to pursue music, but the notion of them doing it together wasn’t necessarily an idea that they immediately considered.
“It wasn’t for a while after I came back from college that we decided to go ahead and do it together,” BreeKay said. “It was kind of on a whim.”
The girls usually work on songs separately. While BreeKay usually does the production of the tracks, Kasairi is responsible for the vocals and spoken-word aspect of their music.
A major deciding factor in them working together was their shared feelings toward contemporary Christian music.
“We kind of feel that a lot of … Christian music in general sometimes is kind of just cheesy,” BreeKay said. “We were like, ‘We could totally try to make something with excellence.’”
“I don’t know, I guess it’s kind of eclectic,” BreeKay said. “When we are making these songs, I like all the flavors — like, I want all the flavors. I don’t just want one specific genre. I want every beat different genre-wise because I feel like I want everyone to like something on the EP.”
However, what is apparent is the darker, more serious feel of Javelin as compared to #nosubscribers. This approach was taken to address the more serious topics on the project with honesty and transparency.
“We have a heart for this generation, and I feel like a lot of kids are just broken,” BreeKay said. “People like to hear the transparency. They think, ‘Okay, they’re a real person, too. They go through stuff, too. I can relate to them.’”
The girls seek critique and mentorship from other friends and artists when creating music. Two notable ones include Skrip, who they featured on their song “Costco,” and producer OnBeatMusic.
“We live in culture where everybody is just following each other and following trends,” OnBeatMusic said, “and [BreeKay and Kasairi are] totally not doing that.”
Download Javelin for free here.