“Kelly Forever” EP – promo vids and lyrics

“Kelly Forever” is now streaming on Spotify and everywhere you can stream music! Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/2NLgePiImCLXe5WpgJu5tx?si=gAhlCNvsT5WkjlgRInLMyg 

“Debussy”

It came to me in a dream
Your long hair straight and neat

You are playing
You are singing
Debussy

Your elegant fingers sway
Like cattails by a lake

You are playing
You are singing
Debussy

You are playing
You are singing
Debussy

Kelly and I played classical piano for several years. “Deux Arabesque” by composer Claude Debussy, was one of the songs we both assiduously learned. Whenever I hear that song, I feel an instant connection to Kelly. When I go back to my parents’ house, with my Debussy sheet music and Yamaha piano, I try to re-learn the song, bit by bit. I hope to one day be able to play the song fluidly again, like Kelly did in the video footage for the “Debussy” promo. The ending of this song features a sample of Kelly’s playing at that recital. I close my eyes and I’m there in the audience; I can see her long, black hair and swaying fingers. 

Whenever I play or create music, I’ll be thinking of you, Kelly. Thanks for inspiring me with this EP. 

“Happy Days”

On your computer
You had a folder
It said “happy days” 
For your happy days

Oh look, you’re smiling
Your eyes are shining
In the pictures you took
On your happy days

I wish you had so many more of them
I wish that your blue days
Faded away
Faded away

Wherever you are
Whoever you’re with
You deserve all the happiness
A room full of cats
A library too
And friends who make sure 
You’re never blue

Your soft demeanor
Your gentle humor
You had the nicest skin
And the sweetest smile

Your quiet kindness
Your quirky silliness
You gave us happy days
So many happy days

I wish you had so many more of them
I wish that your blue days
Faded away
Faded away

Wherever you are
Whoever you’re with
You deserve all the happiness
A room full of cats
A library too
And friends who make sure 
You’re never blue 

Even though we’re blue 

Wherever you are
Whoever you’re with
You deserve all the happiness
A room full of cats
A library too
And friends who make sure 
You’re never blue

Kelly really did have a folder on her computer titled, “Happy Days.” When I learned of this, I bawled. I hope she had many more happy days than not. In the folder, she saved some cute selfies and memes she liked. I wish the folder was infinite. As an “avid reader and lover of cats” (what’s engraved on the plaque on her memorial bench in VOA), books and furry felines brought Kelly a lot of joy. In addition to being a book and cat lover, Kelly was a steadfast, caring friend who always put others first. We hope that Kelly is happy in the spirit world. She deserves all of the books, cats, friends and love this universe has to offer.

“Aries Twin Flame”

Aries twin flame
We are the same
In so many ways
We are the same

We loved to watch 
“Euphoria”
We liked to eat 
Macarons and pho

We were born just
Ten days apart
We are both
Passionate wild hearts

We are one
We are one 
We are one

You told me to 
Watch “Parasite”
You said it’s about 
Class struggle, and I’d like

You were a 
Feminist at heart
You cared about art
You read Vonnegut

We were born just
Ten days apart
We are both
Passionate wild hearts
We are one
We are one 
We are one

We are one
We are one 
We are one

Kelly and I are both Aries, her birthday being April 1st and mine April 11th. We were seven years apart in age, but our birthdays were only ten days apart. We both embodied Aries qualities, like being passionate, fiery, creative and idealistic. It moves me to think about all the ways we were similar beyond being born in the same month: how we liked a lot of the same shows, movies, books and foods. How we shared similar ideologies and interests, and were both free spirits at heart. 

Kelly had macarons for the first time when she visited me in LA when I was in grad school. She told me she thought they were delicious. When I came back to Cincinnati, we went to Macaron Bar in OTR together, and tried all of the flavors they had; it was a fun day I’ll never forget. For Christmas one year, I got her a lip gloss set in plastic macaron-shaped containers. She got so excited, thinking they were the actual pastries, and then let down realizing they were lipgloss. But she thought they were cute and used them nonetheless. I have one of the lip glosses with her finger imprints in it. It’s like an artifact I want to preserve forever; a little piece of Kelly. Aside from macarons and pho, we both loved ramen, boba, scallops, snacks from the Asian mart like Want Want Rice Crackers and White Rabbit candy, and our parents’ dishes like Chinese stir-fried tomatoes and eggs. Whenever I see these foods, I find myself tearing up (I’ve cried in many a grocery store) and wanting to get them in honor of Kelly. 

Some of the shows we both liked were “Euphoria,” “Game of Thrones,” “Paranoia Agent,” “American Horror Story,” “Sex and the City” and “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” Kelly loved “Avatar” so much, we had a photo of Aang as the final lockscreen on her phone. We watched endless movies together with Lisa, mostly psychological thrillers or arthouse horrors like “The Cube,” “Three Extremes,” “The Game” (and anything by David Fincher), “Audition,” “The Gift” and so many more. Kelly was the first person I knew who watched “Parasite.” She recommended it to me, suggesting I’d like it because it’s a “film about class struggle.” She was aware of my interest in class conflict and heard my constant Bernie Bro musings. 

Speaking of Bernie, Kelly told me she was definitely going to vote for him in the 2020 primaries. A girl after my own heart! She educated herself on intersectional feminism, the BLM movement, the pitfalls of capitalism and the horrors of colonialism. Kelly was a brilliant, articulate and intellectually-curious person. She was analytically-minded, graduating with a B.S. in computer science, but was also an excellent writer. She had interests in many areas, including psychology, gender studies and linguistics.

When I was a kid, I made a book, “Dogs and Puppies.” In it, I had an author’s note with my age, birthday and a little about myself. When Kelly was around the same age, she made a book “All About Cats.” It also had an author’s note, uncannily similar to mine. 😉 I used cut outs from a dog calendar for photos, but she did her own illustrations which were adorable. She wrote that she wanted to be a cartoonist when she grows up. My parents put our books side by side in their memorial room for her.

When I say “we are one” in the song, I mean it. She’s a part of me. I can see her spirit in everything that is good and beautiful. I hope she can live on through my memories of her and the art she inspires me to create. 

“Jelly Pie”

Kelly Cai
Jelly Pie
Apple of my eye

Dad called you “guai” 
Which meant “good daughter”
Mom called you “bao wa” 
Her forever precious baby
And you called me Beeda
And Lisa Chick Tweet Tweet

Kelly Cai
Jelly Pie
Apple of my eye

Dad called you “guai” 
Which meant “good daughter”
Mom called you “bao wa” 
Her forever precious baby
And you called me Beeda
And Lisa Chick Tweet Tweet

Kelly Cai
Jelly Pie
Apple of our eye

Kelly wasn’t active on social media, but she did occasionally use Instagram. Her username was “Slice o’ Jelly Pie,” a play on her name. Her profile photo was a drawing of a pie, with a smiling ~kawaii~ face. Like the play on words and cute picture, Kelly had a silly soul. Being goofy was, in fact, her MO. Anyone who really knew her knew how much of a prankster she was (even I had been subjected to her prank phone calls). 

Kelly called me “Beeda” when we were kids because she couldn’t pronounce “Belinda.” We laughed about this as recently as two years ago. I have a gift tag from a Christmas present from 2019, where Kelly writes “To: Beeda. From Kell. Love u sooo much :D.” I’ve saved this gift tag as another precious artifact I’ll cherish. 

I haven’t mentioned this much, but I actually had the privilege of naming Kelly. The name is cute and sweet just like she was, so I think I did a pretty solid job. Kelly JinJin Cai — Kelly Cai, Jelly Pie, apple of my eye — I hope you like this album. I love you forever and always. 

🥧Vocals, lyrics & keys by me
🥧Sound design & additional keys by Julian Cires
🥧Guitar by Cesar Alas
🥧Bass by Fernanda Goshdarlin
🥧Drums by Jeff Rose
🥧Mix/master by Eric Hernandez
🥧Album art by me with edits by Lisa Cai

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