Kwakzino aka Kwakz is 28 and grew up in South Norwood near Croydon. He now studies in High Wycombe and has been writing lyrics on and off since he was 13. He’s been focused on music since he was 21 and released his first mixtape aged 23.
I asked Kwakz a few questions to get to know the guy behind #2Legit2Quit…
What/who are your 3 biggest influences?
My mum, uncle, Jesus Christ
What about your musical influences?
My three biggest musical influences that inspired me to get into music are, Oxide and Neutrino, Kirk Franklin and Tupac lol. When I was young I loved all of their music and in their own way each have had an impact on me and played a part in me going into music and taking seriously.
How would you describe your sound?
Different, counter-culture, exciting and again…different
What’s your favourite tune off the EP and why?
My favourite song depends on my mood. I’m really proud of this body of work.
My top three songs personally are:
- Positive Vibez because of how it came about so organically in my boys’ front room on a beat he had produced 5 years prior 🙂
- Elevate cos I love the strong message behind this song and love performing it due to the energy it brings.
- L,L,L,S is special to me as its one of those diamonds you create as an artist that you’re so proud of you want to show the world straight away. But if you don’t yet have more work that matches that creativity, you have to keep it concealed and wait until it is the right time to show the world. As you can see, I’ve found it hard to pick one lol and then I could replace either of those with Journey due to how defining of my reality it is and again the message it has for others, that life is a journey that we have to face up to and make the most of.
What’s your top 5 played tunes this month?
Ay I am a music head I love a good song that can just take me away some times.
This month I’ve been on a different vibe and found a few foreign bangers too.
- Booba – DKR
- Booba – Valide
- Nasshhe si Chadh gayi – Befikre
- Likemikes23 – Foreign
- Tay600 – Pressure
Love that. What are your plans for summer/any gigs?
Ayye summer will be fun and I most definitely will be playing as many gigs as possible then. As well as the music; Summertime I’m looking to be putting on Project Elevate which was birthed last year and is a creative space for young people to come and take advantage of during the 6 week break where they can develop various creative or technical skills; be inspired and have a safe place to chill out and meet new people.
That’s sick. Big up yourself for giving back. What’s the last best gig you’ve been to? The most fun I’ve had at gig was at my own EP launch earlier this year and I booked my friend Rhymestar to come down and perform his new single Understand Me along with my other guy Maxx Profits and they both absolutely killed it. I can’t remember being more gassed than that at a performance in the last few years…
If you could have one dream collab who would it be and why?
A dream collab would have to be with Bob Marley and Tupac; but that will have to wait until Heavens doors open and everything little thing will be alright 🙂
Who produced the EP?
- L,L,L,S – Garf
- Loving Life – Cornerboy Muzik
- Blessed – Kazebeats (recently produced Joe Grinds Pon Di Riddim)
- They Don’t Know – Golduss – produced and featured on the hook in particular tracks 6,7,8.
- Positive Vibez – Steamer an artist/producer from West London.
Eerf Evil (Live Free) is my blood brother and also fellow rhymer and constant inspiration in my life. I am looking forward to more collaborations with these talented artists and producers.
Now for the review, please have a read and a listen.
#1 A chilled out summer old school hip hop Reggie Snow vibe. Solid opening track.
#2 Ad libs. UK Rap is doing it’s a ting right now and this track proves the longevity of the trap beat and ad libs combo. Lyrically tight with honest content this gives us a glimpse into Kwakzino’s journey into music.
#3 Journey – this is my favourite tune off the EP. Life is for living not for being shook. Sick opening bar. The instrumental is beautiful and Kwakzino’s flow compliments the narrative of the tune Journey. Solid hook, after one listen I couldn’t get it out of my head. “Hard work pays, that’s all I push now”
#4 We get to track 4 and Kwakzino proves he can spit. I like the continuity and the consistent positive message he spreads. Again the lyrics reflect that music is his ting now, it’s rare that someone calls bs on trapping and the headache that comes with being in the game. I respect his hustle and the message. Also, the beat is SICK.
#5 A chilled out vibe, looking forward to listening to this over summer.
#6 Living life and I’m loving it. SNM. I want to hear this in the rave. Kwakzino has an ear for beats which is clearly demonstrated through the variety of tracks on the project. This is the biggest beat, it goes hard and I’m loving it.
#7 I dare you to listen to this and not dab. This tune made me happy and count my blessings. Life is good when you listen to BLESSED.
#8 This is catchy and vibey as hell. Ending the EP on another big beat. Kwakzino’s voice is sick this is a solid EP that illustrates his ability to bridge genres, present the best that UK rap has to offer with flow and the skill of storytelling through his lyrics.
I predict big things to come.