2016 saw the first glimmers of light from the Western Sydney suburbs artist Kwame. A 20 year old student of hip hop who was just finding his legs, when a chance meeting with the legendary A$AP Ferg confirmed the path he now treads.
His stellar debut EP ‘Lesson Learned’ and lead single ‘Friends’ was the last time we heard from the stalwart in March of 2017 before he was dubbed the 45th most played artist on Triple J’s Unearthed. This was the bookend moment to a massive 2017 which also saw Kwame sign to Vita Artists alongside Peking Duk, Nyxen and Tigerilla as well as dominating the live circuit supporting cultural heavyweights Migos, 6lack, Bliss N Eso, Wiley and more.
Fast forward to February 2018, Kwame wasted no time in bringing us his new certified summer anthem ‘WOW’ to help us ride out the final warmer months. From the moment it’s fruity Kalimba drumline hits to the catchy pitch shifted hook hollers “You the man now, poppin’ on the gram now” - ‘WOW’ lives up to its name. What’s more impressive is the quirky pristine track was written AND produced by Kwame, stacking up the odds in his favour as a clear stand out artist in 2018.
‘WOW’ is also the lead single from his upcoming Sophomore EP ‘Endless Conversations.’’ which will be out March 23rd...it promises to be a divergent offering with Kwame saying “In life we shouldn’t set ourselves to achieve just one thing, we are capable of so many things and we should never limit ourselves”.
We recently caught up with the man behind the hit for a chat:
BTG: 2016 was the A$AP Ferg incident. Tell us more about that. How did that even happen?
KWAME: 2016 was honestly the most crazy year of my life! It was my first year out of school I was on my way to Ferg's concert with my boy Brandon. Next thing you know, I'm on stage rapping alongside Ferg. He had stopped during the middle of his set and asked if anyone in the crowd could rap. I stayed quiet because I didn't want be that guy, I was too shy! Brandon set me up and pointed at me and got Ferg's attention. The moment felt unreal, I literally walked off the stage like nothing happened. The next morning I woke up to my phone buzzing and the video of me on stage with Ferg is viral!
BTG: You followed that up with a huge 2017. How did it feel when you found out you were the 45th most played artist on Triple J's Unearthed?
KWAME: It felt amazing! Honestly such a blessing to even be considered in the top 50 most listened artists on Triple J! I'm making music from a bedroom with my bestfriends and to see the reach it gets is outrageous!
BTG: Take us back a little bit. Where did this all start for you?
KWAME: I started making beats at 16, my mentor's I Digress & Domba took me under their wings teaching me how to use different programs, sound designing, everything to do with production! It was as if everything was meant to be! We're all from the same school, all in different grades. We rent out a house which, we turned 6 rooms into studio's where we all record, produce, mix, master...literally everything! Name any category of the creative arts and we have you covered!
BTG: This one is standard but must be asked. Top three influences and why?
KWAME: I don't think its even possible to quantify that into a number, everything inspires me. The people that I've met along my journey through music have inspired me in ways they couldn't imagine.
I'm constantly inspired by new things everyday and I feel like that's the beauty of being inspired by everything because I never know what will inspire me next.
BTG: We know that you rep Western Sydney. But tell us a little bit about your background. What does KWAME mean or where is the name from?
KWAME: KWAME is actually my middle name! I'm from Ghana, the west side of Africa. I was born in Auckland, New Zealand actually! In Ghanian culture each day represents a name for both male and female.
Kwame represents Saturday, it was the day I was born!
BTG: Your new single 'WOW'. To put it simply, it's a banger! Congratulations. Can you quickly run us through your writing process for that track?
KWAME: Thank you guys so much I appreciate the support!
In the backend of 2017 I was producing for a lot of the artists at our studio on their EPs and singles.
I hadn't made time for myself to get back into my own release and so one day I locked myself in my room so no one could walk in and disturb me, haha.
I played the melody on my keyboard and I just knew I had to attack this with some drums, like not just any other kind of drums. You should have seen the project for this beat there was so much happening!
Once I had the track, all these punchlines were coming left right and centre, I really wanted to attack this track and properly rap....like come in with bars and dominate.
The end phrase of the B section in the chorus "Kwame going stupid packing up the place WOW" was a line said by my boy Raj Mahal's track 'Errbody' from his EP 'Neva Safe'
It sounded so catchy and had this bounce with the flow and I had to run with it!
BTG: Favourite act you supported on stage in 2017 and who you would like to support in 2018?
KWAME: Hard one to decide on! It would have to be either AJ Tracey or the Migos afterparty at Marquee!
Both nights were insane and the energy of the crowd was next level!
Should Ferg do a tour in Australia, It would literally make my whole career to open for him, it just makes sense to!
BTG: Can we expect you to be touring in Melbourne anytime soon?
KWAME: 100%! I LOVE Melbourne, It's always such a vibe when I have a show there, we're teeing some up for the year!
BTG: Tell us a bit about 'Endless Conversations.'. When can we expect it out? Can we expect more like 'WOW'?
KWAME: 'Endless Conversations' Is my second EP out on the 23rd of March! I can't give you details cause it's gonna give everything away!
All I can say about the EP is that it's filled with just good music, for anyone and everyone!
BTG: Thank you so much for having a chat with us Kwame, we are huge fans! Any last words you have for your fans?
KWAME: I love you all thank you so much for the support, I'm for the culture, for Australia's urban scene to be heard across the world, to break the barriers for the next generation.
Your support drives me physically, mentally, spiritually & creatively everyday to be a better version of myself each and every single day!
To celebrate; Kwame will be launching the EP at Sydney’s The Lair, Metro Theatre on Friday April 6th with support from Travy P and Tony Free
Tickets are on sale now via: www.metrotheatre.com.au