Kai (Canadian singer)

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Background information
Birth nameAlessia De Gasperis-Brigante
Also known askai
Born (1990-03-17) 17 March 1990 (age 30)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • Vocals
  • piano
  • keyboards
  • guitar
Years active2008–present
LabelsWarner Music
Associated acts

Alessia De Gasperis-Brigante (born 17 March 1990), known professionally as kai, is a Canadian singer and songwriter from Toronto, Ontario.[1] Best known for her collaborations, she co-wrote and was featured on Flume's Grammy-nominated "Never Be like You", Diplo's "Revolution", and "Mind" from the Grammy award-winning 2015 album by Jack Ü.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

kai went to Bishop Strachan School, notable for its various alumni, including actress Laurie Holden. She is the granddaughter of deceased Italian-Canadian billionaire Alfredo De Gasperis.[3]

kai derives her name from the Japanese word 'kai', which means 'change'. She claims to be something new in music and she only wants "to relate [and] share her stories with her fans and anyone who will lend their ear".[4]


Early career[edit]

In 2011, kai released her debut extended play 11:11, which included her debut single "I Choose Me", which is frequently used in campaigns for First Choice Haircutters. The EP received minimal promotion and did not impact any charts.[5][4]

In 2012, kai teamed up with Montreal dubstep group Adventure Club on the track "Need Your Heart",[6] which features kai's vocals and writing. The song has been remixed by several artists, including Minnesota,[7] Crywolf, and Candyland. The track peaked at number 2 on the iTunes Electronic music chart.[8]


kai collaborated with Diplo on his EP Revolution, co-writing and appearing on the title track "Revolution". She lent her vocals to the track "Crawl" by Childish Gambino for his second studio album Because the Internet.

In 2014, kai wrote "Sweet Talker", which was produced by Diplo, the title track from Jessie J's third studio album of the same name which was released in October 2014. She claims to have written the song with Rihanna in mind.[9] In 2015, she was featured on Skrillex and Diplo's collaborative project Jack Ü's debut album on a track entitled "Mind", which she wrote.

In 2016, kai wrote and was featured on the track "Never Be Like You" by Australian electronic musician Flume. It reached number one in Australia[10] and the top 20 in the United States,[11] as well as becoming an international hit and her first song to top the iTunes Electronic music chart.[8]



Extended plays[edit]

Title Details


As featured artist[edit]

List of singles released as featured artist
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album


"Need Your Heart"
(Adventure Club featuring Kai)
2012 Non-album single
(Childish Gambino featuring Kai)
2013 86 Because the Internet
"Never Be Like You"
(Flume featuring Kai)
2016 21 1 1 10 27 2 20 Skin

Other featured in

  • 2013: "Revolution" (Diplo feat. Faustix, ImanoS & Kai)
  • 2015: "Mind" (Jack Ü feat. Kai)
  • 2015: "Let Me Love You Right" (Hunter Siegel feat. Kai)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Ceremony Category Nominated work Result
2011 Independent Music Awards Best Folk Singer/Songwriter Song "I Choose Me" Nominated[21]
2012 Toronto Independent Music Awards HNSS – Best Acoustic Performance[22] N/A Won
2016 ARIA Awards Best Pop Release "Never Be like You" Won
Song of the Year Nominated
Best Video Nominated
2017 Grammy Awards Best Dance Recording[23] Nominated
APRA Awards Dance Work of the Year[24] "Never Be Like You" (Harley Streten, Kai, Geoffrey Earley) – Flume featuring Kai Won
Most Played Australian Work[25] Won


  1. ^ "Artist: Kai on CBC music". CBC. Archived from the original on 1 March 2016. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  2. ^ "Kai | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  3. ^ Kelly, Tim (2 April 2013). "Fred De Gasperis honoured for vision, philanthropy". yorkregion.com. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  4. ^ a b c "11:11". CDBaby. 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  5. ^ Feng, Tiana (6 May 2011). "[LISTEN] KAI- 11:11". Ride the Tempo. Archived from the original on 23 October 2016. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  6. ^ "Adventure Club - Need Your Heart ft. kai". thissongissick. Archived from the original on 2 January 2013. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  7. ^ "Minnesota Remixes "Need Your Heart"". earmilk.com.
  8. ^ a b "iTunes Electronic Charts". iTunes. 27 August 2016. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  9. ^ "Interview: Kai talks debut album, Jack U collab, and Fashion". Aesthetic Magazine. 20 October 2015. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  10. ^ Ryan, Gavin (13 February 2016). "ARIA Singles: Flume 'Never Be Like You' Is No 1". Noise11. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  11. ^ a b "Flume - Chart History - Billboard Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  12. ^ "Flume - Chart History - Canadian Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  13. ^ Australian-charts.com Kai page
  14. ^ "SINGLES CHART". Australia Independent Records (AIR). 25 January 2016. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  15. ^ "Never Be Like You". Ultratop 50. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  16. ^ "Discographie Kai [CA]" (in French). SNEP. Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  17. ^ "charts.nz - Discography Kai [CA]". Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  18. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2018 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  19. ^ "New Zealand single certifications". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  20. ^ Cantor, Brian (17 August 2016). "Flume's "Never Be Like You" Reaches Platinum in the United States". Headline Planet. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  21. ^ "10TH ANNUAL INDEPENDENT MUSIC AWARDS NOMINEES ANNOUNCED!". Independent Music Awards. 16 February 2011. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  22. ^ "TIMA winners". torontoima.com. Archived from the original on 19 October 2017. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  23. ^ "59TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS NOMINEES". www.grammy.com. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  24. ^ "Dance Work of the Year". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) | Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS). 2017. Retrieved 7 April 2017.
  25. ^ "Most Played Australian Work". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) | Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS). 2017. Retrieved 7 April 2017.