British soul singer Kwabs talks debut album ‘Love + War’ and performs gig at Somerset House.
LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (REUTERS) – British singer-songwriter Kwabs’ debut album ‘Love + War’ has been a long time coming after the release of popular EPs ‘Pray for Love’ and ‘Walk’ in 2014, and being tipped in the BBC Sound of 2015 longlist.
Speaking to Reuters before performing a gig in his hometown of London, in the grounds of the iconic Somerset House as part of their Summer Series of music, Kwabs explained: “Yeah it has been a while coming. I have been working on trying to make the album that represents me the best possible at this time and that takes some time. And I feel like I finally found a bunch of songs, a collection of songs which really are emblematic of what I’m trying to say right now, at 25, and I feel like, I hopefully feel like I have an album that people will be able to get a sense of me from and will help them understand who I am.”
Born Kwabena Adjepong, Kwabs trained in jazz at London’s prestigious Royal Academy of Music and said he drew inspiration for the record from the life he’s had so far. He grew up in Bermondsey, and spent much of his childhood in foster care. “I’m young but I’ve experienced a lot of things which colour my– view of the world and which I’ve found really interesting and I think that other people might find interesting too if they feel that way inclined so for me it’s been about searching, you know, the recesses of my brain and trying to work out what that stuff means to me so I can express it to other people.”
The album’s title track is called ‘Love and War’. “It’s just a song talking about — all the stuff that you hide inside your head and how that affects you and affects other people and it drives you crazy but that’s how, that’s fine,” he said. “It’s kind of a big song. It sounds big and grand and I guess that’s kind of what a lot of the album feels like. It’s a bit of explosion of emotion in a way.”
Aside from his UK success, Kwabs’ 2014 single ‘Walk’ hit number 1 in Germany and the top 5 in Switzerland and Austria. His European headline tour was a sell-out, following his lead support slot on Sam Smith’s tour. “I’ve been all over the place, all over Europe, especially after having some real great success in Germany and across Europe with my song ‘Walk’ last year and we’ve just been non-stop touring all the time, so that’s been a big change. I’ve not been home very much which is good and bad but I’ve really enjoyed being able to perform.”
‘Love + War’ is released in the UK on September 11 on Atlantic Records .