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Born in 1997, Kahan was raised in rural Strafford, Vermont, where his family owned a tree farm. He first started writing songs at the age of eight and was still in high school when he and his friends began producing and uploading some of his work online. After coming to the attention of producer Joel Little (Lorde, Broods), who offered to collaborate, Kahan signed with Republic Records at the age of 20.
The label released a series of singles throughout 2017 beginning with "Young Blood," which went viral, collecting tens of millions of streams. By the second half of the year, he was touring in support of the Strumbellas. The EP Hurt Somebody arrived in January 2018 and featured singer Julia Michaels on the title track. "Hurt Somebody" charted in several countries, including reaching number 13 in the Netherlands and 14 in Australia. Kahan made his late-night TV debut on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert that February and spent the rest of the year touring in support of George Ezra and completing his first headlining tours of North America and Europe.
Working with producer Joel Little (Lorde, Taylor Swift), Kahan recorded his debut album, Busyhead, in New Zealand. Led by the single "False Confidence," the record was released in June 2019. He followed it a year later with another EP, Cape Elizabeth, and "Pride," a collaborative single with mxmtoon. In September 2021, he returned with his sophomore full-length, I Was/I Am, which again found him working with producer Little. Featured on the album was the song "Someone Like You," a collaboration with Joy Oladokun. Kahan's third LP, Stick Season, arrived in October 2022, landing at 14 on the Billboard 200. Included on the album was the title track, which hit number 13 on Billboard's Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart. Several non-album singles arrived in 2023, including a cover of Jason Isbell's "If We Were Vampires" (featuring the Lumineers' Wesley Shultz) and a piano-version of the Stick Season-track "Orange Juice." ~ Marcy Donelson