Ky-Mani was born in Falmouth, Jamaica, but at the age of nine, he relocated to the inner-city of Miami. During his youth, Ky-Mani was unaware of his musical abilities, sports being his first love. With his mother's direction, he took piano and guitar lessons and played trumpet in his high school band. In addition to tapping into his musical talents, Ky-Mani was an athlete, competing in soccer and American football. As a teenager, Ky-Mani started rapping and deejaying; his first single was "Unnecessary Badness". He became inspired as a singer after being asked to sing a hook to a song during a recording session at a studio in Miami. Ky-Mani soon began experimenting with laying tracks, at times with his brothers, Stephen, Julian and Damian.