KWABS – Interview

Wem die Türen des Buckingham Palace offen stehen, dürfte sich bereits 2010 mit Kwabena Adjepong bekannt gemacht haben. Dort durfte er im Rahmen einer BBC Castingshow Prince Harry mit seiner gewaltigen Stimmkraft und selbstkomponiertem Lied beglücken. Seit seinem Hit “Walk” sollten aber auch der Otto Normal Verbraucher erkannt haben, dass  an ‘Kwabs’ so schnell keiner mehr vorbeikommt.  Nach erfolgreichen Kollaborationen mit SOHN und Disclosure,  einer Tour mit Bondtitelthemensänger Sam Smith und einer frisch abgedrehten MTV PUSH Live-Session hat der 25 jährige Brite im September noch sein Debütalbum ‘Love+War’ aus dem Ärmel geschüttelt. Wir haben ihn vor seinem Konzert in Berlin getroffen und ihn zu seinem Werdegang befragt.


Looking at your career: so far you have played at Buckingham Palace, you made music with Sohn, toured with Sam Smith, collaborated with Disclosure, “Walk“ went No.1 in Germany and your debut album just came out. Any life goals left?
Plenty! I feel like everyday I just try to wake up and enjoy the day. Every day is an achievement but I wanna go and make more music, spread the word further. Have more people join the team and that is where the fun lies for me. You can get all sorts of trophies, but for me it’s about letting people know what we are doing and engaging people through the music. That is what I care about.

For the people who don’t know you already, how did it all start?
I’ve been singing forever really. I guess I needed to. I decided I wanted to be an artist who sings and writes and performs about 4 years ago when I was about to leave music college. I just thought: let me see what happens when I put some music on YouTube. People liked it, so I carried on basically. That is how I found my management and that’s why I’m here today really. I realized before it was too late that I wanted to sing for people, a lot of them.

So how did singing become a necessity?
I respect singing and music above almost everything else. If you’d tell me tomorrow that I get dropped from my record label, at least I would have my voice and my singing because that is the one thing that has been constant all my life, no matter what has gone right or wrong. It has always been there and I need it as much as it needs me. My voice and my music: that is a relationship I can never let go of.

You studied at Royal Academy of Music, what did you learn there that you most profit from today?
Professionalism I think. You learn really quickly that you are not a big fish anymore. There are lots of really talented people there and everyone was trying to achieve great things and work really hard. It teaches you to realize your place in the world and appreciate other peoples talent, not try t fight against it. Talent isn’t always everything, it’s also what you add to that through hard work.

How did you meet Sohn?
My manager found him and I listened to his music and liked it, so we organized a session. It was gonna be a writers’ session without a prior meeting. So, the first time we met was the first time we wrote something together which was cool. I trust people who write good music and he writes good music, so there was nothing to be scared of. We sat down and we talked about life and I told him everything, more than I’d tell anyone else and then we wrote a song that wasn’t about any of that. I just let him in enough so we could write something that was personal. That is where “Last stand“ came from.

When did you realize it was the right time to put out an album?
I was writing kind of for writings sake and I wanted to make stuff which informed. I wanted to make some songs that I could look at and say “That is the kind of songs I want to make!“ and then use that to form the rest of the writing process. The entire process from beginning to end, since I signed with the label, actually has been writing the album. It’s just during that time people catch wind of you, because we life in a world were the moment you squeak, people know about it. You have a responsibility to these fans that you’ve never had before to tell them what’s going on and who you are. You give them something to hold on to and that is where the EP’s come in. They help people understand your journey. I picked a few of the songs that we put out as an EP to be part of the body of the album.

Since you singed with your label, what has been the biggest adjustment so far?
Probably having lots of other people and opinions. That is hard. The reason why I am here is that I am quite stubborn and the reason why I am with my label is because I believe in the power of collaboration. And this collaboration is, what allows me to make this music at all. It’s a big adjustment work wise but it’s worthwhile.

While reading about your new album, it was mentioned how your album is so confessional all the time. Do you agree with that?
Not really. I don’t really write about myself. At leas not so that you would know. I think it sounds confessional but I feel like this is the first opportunity for you to meet me. Even if you are sitting across from me now. I’m gonna tell you certain things but I’m not gonna tell you everything now. I hopefully have another 20 years of storytelling and albums ahead so I think it is more exciting to draw it out and let people get to know you over time.

So if you had to make this album into a short story, what would it be?
It’s a young man, making his way through a landscape with twists and turns, picks and chops and rivers and whatever. Throughout that time he grows and looks at his own journey from that time.

What do you think is the most justified comparison you have heard about your music?
I was never part of any particular thing and I am still not. I am a horrible person to ask because I always give terrible answers.

Bedroomdisco Adventskalender

Passend zu unserem Interview mit Kwabs, gibt es heute auch ein Adventskalender Türchen mit dem britischen Newcomer! Denn wir haben drei signierte Vinyl seines Debütalbums ‘Love+War’ zu vergeben! Das Kleingedruckte: Ihr wollt gewinnen??? Dann müsst ihr euch ranhalten, denn die Adventskalender-Tür schließt sich, sobald sich die nächste morgen früh gegen 9 Uhr öffnet. Also flott eine Mail mit dem Betreff “Love+War” und eurer Adresse an geschickt – spätestens bis morgen, 10.12. 9:00 Uhr! Wir wünschen viel Glück!


Foto-und Videographin, Fotoredakteurin und Bedroomdisco-Lover

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