A.K. Paul is a London-born and-based singer/songwriter, producer, engineer and recording artist, who first came to prominence with a contribution to his brother Jai Paul’s debut single “BTSU.” The following year, Paul was very busy: he worked on his brother Jai’s “Jasmine (demo)” and Big Boi‘s “Higher Res,” feat. Jai Paul and Little Dragon, as well as co-writing material for Sam Smith and Emeli Sandé, which resulted in the London-born and based artist winning a Ivor Novello Award back in 2013.
In 2016, A.K. Paul, Jai Paul and Muz Azar started their own label Paul Institute, and the label released A.K’s full-length debut Landcruisin’. Unfortunately, Paul Institute and its co-founders had gone through a protracted legal fight that nearly shut the label down — but over the past few months, the label, along with its co-founders and artists have released new material. “I’m really happy we’re releasing new music with Paul Institute this summer,” A.K. Paul says in press notes. “It’s been a while coming and the last couple of years have been perilous at times for PI, particularly because of a legal fight that set us back. So besides it being sick music, to return with such a strong set of releases feels like a vindication of our rights as artists too.”
Paul’s latest single “Be Honest” is a New Jack Swing-like take on house and electro pop, centered around stuttering beats, shimmering synth arpeggios, an infectious hook and the British artist’s soulful crooning. Sonically, the song is an escapist (and necessary summer) banger — even if it’s one of the strangest summers in recent memory. In press notes, Paul describes the song as being “about giving up control for a moment, allowing yourself to feel something beyond what you’ve known. It’s a song about liking something you didn’t think you would like, feeling something you didn’t think you’d feel — and as soon as you come to your senses being faced with the prospect you’ve only half lived . . .”