The rising South London native that is Kwazi Cort has been on the up and up. Before dropping an ode to his hometown, via his brand new single ‘Trapstar II’, the genre-blending artist had a string of notable work to his name.
From collaborating with 67’s LD on ‘Please Don’t Boast’, and releasing an attention-grabbing BL@CKBOX freestyle last year, he has done nothing but go from strength to strength. His distinctive sound is a result of combining the foundation of Grime and Rap with unique elements of Rock and R&B.
We got a chance to send some questions Kwazi's way just as he dropped his latest project, 'Blood on the English Carpet', here is what he had to say...
AT WHAT AGE DID YOU REALISE THAT MUSIC WAS WHAT YOU WANTED TO PURSUE?
14, I didn’t come to any real realisation, it was an organic choice made possible because of my environment and things in my community - South London the breeding ground of rap. If you're born in Brazil, you kick a ball you know? Natural.
YOU HAVE OFTEN PLAYED WITH FUSING ROCK AND GRIME, WHAT DREW YOU TO THAT COMBINATION?
I often fuse it, I came to it through coming up in South and finding Kings of Leon. It was only natural to fuse to things I love most. It's almost second nature to put a set of things you like together and discover something new, for better or worse.
WHAT'S THE OUTLINE OF YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS, DOES THE CONCEPT COME FIRST, THEN THE MUSIC? OR VICE VERSA?
Life happens first. There’s really no concept, just a mirror… a reflection of my life happenings. That mirror is really the studio and nothing in between. A lot of it is almost unconscious and spills out onto an instrumental.
WHAT'S YOUR PROUDEST CAREER MOMENT?
…Hmm. I guess when I was 14 and made my first song and sent it around school.
At that point I guess innocence makes things that are so simple so gratifying. Maybe because you don’t have scope… when you’re 20 and see others with 10 million views you’re reaching for more, 10K isn’t enough, 20K isn’t enough..
WHAT'S YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT OUTSIDE OF YOUR CAREER?
Going to Africa for the first time. I was the first one on my dads’ side to return in 100 years.
IF YOU COULD COLLABORATE WITH ANYONE ALIVE, AND ANYONE WHO HAS PASSED, WHO WOULD THEY BE AND WHY?
Kanye alive... not even for the music, just the conversation bro. I just want to know what he’s doing on that ranch. I’d rather interview Kanye than make a song with him, learn game.
Passed, has to be Bob Marley. And find out what strain he’s smoking haha.
WHAT INSPIRES YOUR OUTFIT CHOICES AND AESTHETICS? A LOT OF RAPPERS DON'T SEEM TO BE NEARLY AS ADVENTUROUS OR SUCCESSFUL IN THOSE AREAS.
Convenience... I normally run late, so really how long it's going to take the bus to come.
Might look stylish but that’s why I’m usually in all black and never fails to work... If I spend too long choosing colours the next rapper already dropped his video.
IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT'S THE MOST UNDERRATED ALBUM?
N.E.R.D. - In search of. I connect with that one differently.
AS SOMEONE WHO AVOIDED THE MANY TRAPS INVOLVED WITH THE GANG-LIFESTYLE, WHAT'S YOUR ADVICE TO THE YOUNG PEOPLE WHO ARE CURRENTLY IN THOSE CIRCLES?
Get a good education. Get good role models. Get good advisors. Get a lawyer. Get good accountants.
Build a positive team around you, one that you can inspire and be inspired by.
WHAT'S THE PLAN FOR THE REST OF 2020?
Find the PR Fairy. Find a way to connect to the world, by first connecting to myself on a deeper level.