Canadian R&B singer and rapper Jahkoy Palmer sees U.S. West Coast as a blast of sunshine.
He’s never been to Arizona, but he’s hoping for more of the same when he opens for Kehlani at the Marquee Theatre on Tuesday, April 18.
“I’m super excited,” says Palmer, who performs under just his first name. “I’ve never been before. I’m looking forward to the warm weather. It’s actually a pretty day today in Toronto. It’s nice and warm.”
Palmer is touring to support his 2016 EP Foreign Waters. He says his show will be high energy; his on-stage dancing is contagious. Palmer began his career as a dancer and slowly transitioned to music. His performances have evolved from rapping to singing.
“At first, I used to dance,” says Palmer, who yearns to live in California. “I was also playing sports. I was into basketball, soccer, football, volleyball—pretty much every sport. Then I got hooked on music. I generally think that came from the dancing. When I was dancing, I was so into the music. It brought out the vibrations of the music into me. I got hooked.”
Those vibrations—in particular, those of the Caribbean—are evident throughout his music, including his latest single “California Heaven” with Schoolboy Q.
“I want to introduce people to the Toronto culture,” he says. “A lot of people are interested in Toronto.
“Toronto is very multicultural, but there’s a center of influence on the Caribbean culture in the city. It’s really very vibey, for the most part with the music that’s coming out of Toronto. It’s been around for a while, but it’s getting its attention, which I’m super happy about.”
Besides Schoolboy Q, Palmer has collaborated with Willow and Jaden Smith. Two years ago, he released the songs “Still in Love,” “You’re your Hand” and “All the Things You Do.” Early last year he signed to Def Jam Recordings.
“It’s an amazing time,” he says. “It’s everything I’ve ever hoped for in my entire life. I’m living my dream and it almost feels like I’m dreaming. I love this dream, so I’m never going to let it go.”
Kehlani w/Ella Mai, Jahkoy and Noodles, Marquee Theatre, 730 N. Mill Avenue, Tempe, 480.829.0607, luckymanonline.com, 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 18, $30-$45.