Last Wednesday The MOBO award winning Hip Hop duo Krept and Konan played a gig at The Haunt, Brighton. Before the gig we had a little chat with the duo.
Hi Guys, I know you have said in a lot of other interviews that you have been influenced by people like Skepta, Tinie Tempah and So Solid Crew but I was just wondering if there are any influences you have that might surprise people a bit?
“Yeah …. Michael Jackson cos of the way he is so cinematic with his videos and that makes us know how important visuals are when we put out a piece of work and I don’t think we have said him a lot but we always refer to him when making a video.”
You guys have just put out a Debut album this year (The Long Way Home which is the highest-charting UK rap album in history) but last year Tinie Tempah suggested that the album format is near extinction and said that ”People don’t really listen to albums completely from track one to twelve.” How do you Guys feel about that?
“I don’t know we feel like you can’t just listen to one song from our album, it’s not that kind of project. You can’t just listen to one song and understand it fully without hearing the rest of the album. We see it like a film, you can’t just watch the intro and understand it fully until you see the rest of the film. We tried to make it not too long or too short and we want people to listen to it over and over again and not really realise they listened to it again.”
Do you think the internet has been good or bad for music artists?
“In our case it’s been the best thing. Like when you’re first coming up the internet is a great place to get your voice heard, things like YouTube and that, ‘cos anyone can open up a YouTube account and the internet is the best place for independent music, all you need is good music and a YouTube account. But it does make people digest music a lot quicker cos there is a lot out there now so you have to put out new music a lot quicker now, so it’s a good and a bad thing. There is always a good and a bad to most things [laughs].
You have a clothing Line (Play Dirty). It’s not unusual now for music artists to have their own clothing range and this can be seen across loads of different music genres, do you think there is a special connection between music and fashion?
“Yeah definitely, all musicians have fans and a lot of those fans will be into how that artist looks and want that look. So if you’re big then you’re probably gonna have a lot of people that will be into what you‘re wearing and having your own clothing line makes that easier for the fans to get that look.”
The Mercury prize nominations were announced the other day, there were no Hip Hop nominations even though this has been a huge year for UK Hip-Hop with artists such as yourselves doing so well, is UK Hip Hop is being underrepresented in the music press?
“I think so; you don’t really see that kind of music at the Brits or things like that. I wouldn’t say our music is frowned upon but it’s not as big as it should be or doesn’t get the support that it should but there is a lot of people out there making noise that should be at the mercury’s and stuff like this but in time it will get there, cos you’ve got people like Stormzy and us doing so well at the moment and there is only so long they can ignore it”
I’m not sure because I think a lot people feel like if they were going to do it then this should have been the year.
“Well you know how it is [laughs], we will make noise next year and see what happens. These things happen when they’re meant to happen”
Is there a Krept and Konan masterplan, have you got the next 5 years mapped out or are you just taking things as they come?
“We just want to get bigger and bigger but do it gradually. What a lot of people don’t know is we were offered to do the main stage at Wireless but we turned it down cos we want to go through all the stages and tear them all down before we get to the main stage, you know what I mean. So we feel like we have earned it. We first won best newcomer at the MOBO’s then we won best Hip Hop act, next time we want to win best album and best whatever and just keep doing it till we are at the Grammys. Just take things step by step, we have places we want to be but you can’t rush these things man”
Some people accused your single “Freak of the Week” of being too commercial, I’m sure you will strongly deny that but how did you feel about that?
“[Laughs] yeah, these things happen, but I think most people eventually understood why we made that record and then were like “oh, we get it now, this is a banger” and you know it is our best-selling single to date, so it’s all good.”
Finally, what has been the highest achievement so far?
“It’s all been the highest achievement so far man, you know what I mean. Everything we have done has been crazy. We have done some things that have never been done before like been the first UK act to close the MOBO’s. It’s been so surreal and we just want to keep doing more and more things, you know we want to be here in ten years’ time closing billion dollar deals with Apple or something [laughs]. We are just enjoying every part of it.”
Interview by Luca Van Dresh
We interviewed Krept and Konan as part of the Budweiser Live Project – a free music tour, transporting great British music talent across the UK over three weeks this autumn. For more information visit www.budweiserliveproject.co.uk
Krept and Konan will be back in Brighton playing at Concorde 2 on Monday 23rd of November 2015. Tickets available here.