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“It’s the most autobiographical record I’ve made to date.”

Te grime revival has taken the UK by storm in the last year, with acts like JME and Stormzy gaining millions of views on YouTube with their tracks. But Kano, original OG and creator of four of the best grime and hip hop albums from out of the UK in years has been playing the long game, and spending three quiet years on what could be his best album yet. A serious musical contender, Kano digs deep and intelligently into subjects he’s passionate about, but still manages to bring the party and the edge that grime is all about. I spoke to him ahead of his set at the Waterfront this month.

16 / March 2016/

What has driven you through your career so far? I think just to better myself, you know? I guess I focus less on trying to become bigger and more on trying to outdo my previous work, or do something different and push boundaries, experiment with a new flow or beat. I just like to discover the new, that’s what’s really pushed me. Your breakthrough hit was P’s and Q’s back in 2004. When you were writing it did you realise it had something special to it? I really liked it. I’d be lying if I said I though it would, after all these years, be considered one of the tunes from our scene, but I did like it. Here’s an interesting story; the producer, Davinci, didn’t really like it when we made it. He said “It’s a good song, but it’s not great”. Ha ha! I said “Listen, trust me on this one!” I had to convince him that the tune was alright enough to be released. I think he was wrong! I haven’t told him I told you so yet, but the next time I see him I will pull that card on him. Your debut album Home Sweet Home did incredibly well, and even people like Nas and the RZA bigged it up. Tat must’ve been pretty amazing? It’s always nice when people you actually respect acknowledge or respect your work. It still matters to me so much what my peers think, you know what I mean? I released a tune the other day and Wretch texted me and told me he loved it, and Ghetts, Giggs and I are always playing tunes to each other. We like to know what each other think, and that’s just my peers, so when people who have inspired me, people who I look up to like my music that’s really great. Why do you think it is that grime is still pretty much a London based genre and seems to be only slowly filtering through to other places? I reckon it’s spread more recently compared to when we were coming up. Now you have crews coming out of Manchester, Bugsy Malone from Birmingham and Mez from Nottingham who’s doing really well. So yeah, there’s still not such a big scene as in London but there are more people getting involved now. Maybe for the first ten years of hip hop it was very New York-centric; for the first five

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