ARTIST ON OUR RADAR: KWOLI BLACK
His recent single 'Wake Up' featuring the introspective rapper Lex Amor pulls listeners into an honest perspective centred around personal struggles of anxiety and depression. Produced by a long-term collaborator and friend, JSTRNGS (producer for artists like, Ojerime), 'Wake Up' has a chilled, rhythmic airy production to assist heartfelt lyrics from both parties. "I have been a fan of Lex for a while," Kwoli Black started reminiscing. "I went to Kojey Radical's album launch party, and she was there. I approached her and told her, 'I want to work with you one day. I have a song you could fit on. She was like, 'yeah, yeah, send me an email.'"
“I made the hook for the song one night when I was in the studio. My producer’s older brother turned around and said, ‘you need to be drunk to do this hook’. The alcohol must have gassed me. On my IG story, I was playing the song. I @’d Lex Amor and said, ‘we need you on this song Lex!’”
“She must have seen it and told me to DM it. I sent it, and she was going to Nigeria at the time. She gets it done a week later, and it’s perfection. The song comes together so beautifully. I can have it on a loop for an hour and not get bored.”
Kwoli's admiration for Jazz Rap comes as no surprise as he sees legible inspiration from artists such as Chance the Rapper, Tyler the Creator, Childish Gambino and Kendrick Lamar, all delivering pieces of work that push Rap's borders creatively. "They existed as incredibly unique personas in the Rap game. Where they go far against the norm regarding song subject and the actual sound itself," he told us. "They were talking about things that not many rappers talk about. They talked about love. They talked about loss. They talked about, you know, being an outsider."
"[Their music] made an outcast like myself feel less like an outcast."