Kahli Abdu
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Kahli Abdu

New York City, NY | Established. Jan 01, 2002 | SELF

New York City, NY | SELF
Established on Jan, 2002
Solo Pop Afropop




"Kahli Abdu advocates changing styles in new video"

Kahli Abdu’s Nigerian heritage shines in his music. Vibrant and engaging, it’s impossible to skip through his soundcloud library for fear of missing a beat, a vibe, a compelling lyric. Each track has its own power and mystery. From the brash funk of “Fear Fear Factory” to the uplifting flavors of “Festival,” Kahli melds rhythms and instrumentation into a new genre he has dubbed “World Electro.” Equal parts Fela Kuti and Wyclef Jean, there are cavalcades of polyrhythms marching forward to triumphant synth pads and sing along hooks to inspire your day. Kahli recently won the Hip Hop/Funk/World category of our Best of 2015 readers' poll for emerging artists, and he’s currently in the studio churning out his debut album. We’ll be sure to keep you in the loop! - Deli Magazine


Starting off a Monday with good music is the key to a great week so I ventured out to Brooklyn Bowl and caught Kahli Abdu & VHS Safari with openers, Pegasus Warning.

Pegasus Warning started off the night with a varied arsenal of upbeat tunes that featured great vocals, a killer drummer and a guitarist that loved to bounce notes over each other. Their quick 45 minute set had the early arriving crowd begging for more when they exited stage left.

During the downtime between sets I had the chance to go backstage with the cool cats from Kahli Abdu & VHS Safari and snapped a few photos before their set which you can view below!

Kahli Abdu & VHS Safari are a mix of many different genres so to put a label such as “Hip-Hop” on them may be unfair to this bunch of extremely talented musicians. They label themselves as Afro-Electro which is a decent description. To me – their sound was big, with big vocals and big personalities that had an Island flair to it, almost tribal at times but always with a killer groove to dance to. Kahli Abdu & VHS Safari is a great party band and will be catching up with them as soon as possible! Be sure to check out their recently released LP A.R.T. Project on Spotify, iTunes and Soundcloud. - Pancakes and Whiskey

"5 on it: Furious Styles"

A portion of the fun of composing 5 On It each week lies in balancing the various styles and sounds that make up a hip-hop landscape as diverse and open as has ever existed. Choices range from the ignorant and undeniably catchy to the decidedly conscious or challengingly avant garde. Building range in a single edition of 5 On It feels like a guiding mission in itself, a demand by the ever-expanding hip-hop universe to represent its far-reaching tendrils as accurately as the limited scope of a single column can.

Brooklyn-based trio Kahli Abdu & VHS Safari (the former a rapper/singer, the latter a production duo) describes their music as “Afro-Electro—a mix of hip-hop, electronic and Afro-pop.” Debut album The A.R.T. Project blends these influences with vigor and sonic adventurism that guides them through breezy fun like “Forever & Ever” and borderline Apocalyptic buzz of “Take A Picture.” - Pigeons and Planes

"Kahli Abdu & VHS Safari Premiere ‘A.R.T. Project'"

A.R.T. Project, the debut LP by Kahli Abdu & VHS Safari, arrives today with its unpredictable mix of genres, tones, and soundscapes. Featuring the guitar-based mellowness of both “On This Side” and “Forever and Ever,” the album spans an array of eclectic songs, all engaging yet different from the next. There’s the longing soul of album opener “The Holiday,” the Yeezus-esque ferocious bass of “Take A Picture,” and the romantic acoustic electronica of closer “Goin With You.” Ultimately, A.R.T. Project, which Jos-born, Brooklyn-based rapper Abdu and D.C.-rooted production team VHS Safari (fka Trackpants), conceived during one long New York winter, intrigues with its blend of evocative pop and sonic depth. Kahli Abdu & VHS Safari will play the last show of their January residency at the Knitting Factory Brooklyn tomorrow night. The band will also perform this Thursday at Philadelphia’s Milkboy. Listen to A.R.T. Project below and check out the striking cover artwork by Lisa Jaeggi. - Okayafrica

"Take a Picture"

Check out the new video from Nigerian born singer/rapper Kahli Abdu and producers VHS Safari. The politically charged visuals are for the remixed version of their single 'Take A Picture' and is centred on the Boko Haram-led attacks and longstanding tension between civilians and police in Nigeria - as well as police brutality in the U.S. - Afropunk


I have always been a fan of Kahli Abdu since his ‘Band of Rebels’ days.

Kahli has been one of those consistent underground emcees from the diaspora, who has managed to stay true to the culture without losing the message in his music. He has since teamed up with the VHS Safari, got signed unto the Chocolate City Music and this has led to anticipation on the part of his fans for bigger things from him.

Forever and Ever features Ice Prince, who delivered a brilliantly ending to the song. Since merging with VHS Safari, Kahli does less of rap and on this, we see KAVHS going all emotional on this electronic instrumental where the group talks about their travels, falling in love and seeking a girl’s hand for a lifetime forever, ‘If you give me your heart, I will fall in love with you and there will be forever and forever’.

It is a really good tune, heartfelt, absolutely refreshing and has a repeat value. - Sounds.ng


Still working on that hot first release.



Kahli Abdu was Born in Jos, Nigeria, where many Nigerian music and film stars emerged, or gained an education. Kahli Abdu's music journey began in the church, where his father was a choirmaster and song leader. His mother taught him to write songs and his father taught him to sing and harmonize. 

In 1996 Kahli fell in love with rap music and wrote his first rap verse. It wasn't until 2002, upon graduating high school that he took music seriously, after he was invited by friends to join a Rap/R&B group. In 2005 Kahli followed his family to America, where he began his journey as a solo artist.

Kahli collaborated with his college buddies in 2014 -- production duo, VHS Safari-- to record and release an album titled A.R.T Project. The collaboration led to several shows across the United States East Coast, and a trip to Lagos, Nigeria, where they played in front of 3,000 people at the Afropolitan Vibes concert. 

Kahli's growth as an artist is manifested in his strong body of work. While putting together and releasing six projects for free on the internet, Kahli demonstrates his uniqueness and versatility. Kahli sings and does his harmonies, raps, and writes all of his lyrics. One of such projects is the brilliant mixtape, Ministry of Corruption, where Kahli married hip hop and electro sounds with Fela Kuti samples beautifully. This would be the beginning of Kahli's exploration into a sound he initially termed: Afro Electro

Kahli's music has always been about channeling  memories from his childhood into words, melodies, and rhythms. His self-created genre, World Electro, combines groovy beats and 80's pop synthesizers, blended with the rhythms, beautiful melodies, guitar s and driving percussion that encompass music from Africa. Kahli’s combination of singing and rapping tie everything together with personal stories and  meaningful observations on the beauty and struggles in the world. This all comes together sweetly when Kahli performs live, in an incredibly energetic show. 

Kahli is currently in the studio writing and producing  his debut studio album.

Band Members