Kevin Varghese is a musician and poet from New York.

As a rapper, he operates as KAVI.

His work focuses on two primary elements:

  1. Substance

    A devotion to conscious, experimental material that places an emphasis on lyricism. In his latest project, Chameleon, Kevin touches on topics like isolation, transformation, relationships, and loss. A perpetual love for learning and language pushes both the content and the artist.

  2. Connection

    At a KAVI show, you’ll always find yourself getting involved. From freestyle sets to fully improvisational and interactive experiences, the audience is invited to join in the organic flow of music. The true joy for the performer here is tapping into the channel of creativity and welcoming everyone in to what is all at once scary, sacred, and true to the self.


"കവി" is pronounced Kavi (kuh-vee)

When I was born, Kevin wasn't a popular South Indian name (yet). My aunt heard my name and had fun with it. Kev...Kevi? The accent of a name like that was lost on her - a woman who grew up around people with beautiful names that rattled around the mouth with percussion, rhythm, and poise. A woman who spoke a language of playfulness and wit. A language, a palindrome, which gave me so much passion and talent: Malayalam.

And she said ‘avan oru kaviyāyirikkuṁ.’

‘Ah, he's bound to be a poet.’

Kavi means so much to me. Family and culture. My roots. My foundation for language, music, and art. It’s more than a rap name or an artistic moniker. Kavi means growth, hard work, and self-acceptance. Kavi means love and unity. I want to live the rest of my life like haptic poetry, so it was only fitting.

Kavi means "poet".