Throwback Interview: Skepta on Kanye West and ‘Konnichiwa’

skepta

Watching the artists you root for on the road to achieving their aspirations is an inspiring thing. The 2015 BRIT Awards were aired last week (February 25) and Kanye West’s performance was certainly a highlight.

Albeit largely muted live, ‘All Day’ saw ‘Ye rap surrounded by around 50 dudes in all black everything – including the likes of Skepta, Stormzy, Novelist, Krept & Konan, Jammer and other notable faces from the grime / UK rap scene.

It took me back to when I caught up with Skepta in the autumn of 2013 for MTV. “If there was one person I could work with it would probably be Kanye West,” he told me.

“When I first started coming up, I always used to wanna work with people, but I realised people are at different stages of their career. So I try and really enjoy what I’m doing and somehow music always just makes you drift into people’s paths, you know what I mean?”

“Why Kanye?” I asked.

“I think he’s one of the few Americans that are free. A lot of artists – and it’s not a bad thing, we all do it – we get into the music industry and think we’ve got this blueprint that we have to follow. But [with] Kanye West, I just feel like every time he brings a CD out, it might not be for everyone – just like my music, it might not be for everyone – but it’s always fresh, it’s always free.

“No one knows what Skepta’s gonna do. I’m just gonna do whatever I wanna do and just hope that the supporters keep supporting. I think Kanye’s one of those guys in the States that has that vibe for me.”

On ‘Konnichiwa’

“I’m a guy who always thinks back to the beginning of things; I wanted to take it back to the old school style of music, like 8-bit sounds – really basic sounds. The name ‘Konnichiwa’ just came from my love of the fashion in Japan. I thought of the name and tried to fuse it all together – a fashion, 8-bit grime based album.”

 You can peep the full 2013 interview at MTV The Wrap Up’s old school site, before our revamp last year. Follow Skepta on Twitter as he’s set to unveil ‘Shutdown’ today (March 1). 

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