K*ners is a Bristol based rapper signed to Reel Me Records. His new album “Voice Of The City” is out now. I spoke to him about his music, support he gains and rapping with Damon Albarn.
Piotr Balkus: You are based in Bristol. How different is this city from London?
K*NERS: Bristol is like a mini London. Same sort of culture but a lot smaller in size and population.
You just released your album “Voice Of The City”, described by your label Reel Me Records as “gamechanger”. Do you feel like you are someone who changes the face of hiphop music?
I feel the album has a lot of quality in terms of written songs, international production and collaborations which include Kardinal Offishall, Sway, and Roots Manuva just to name a few. I think the album has a more international sound compare to most hiphop album’s I’ve heard coming out of the UK.
How you would describe the hiphop music today? Hiphop music is cool today but if I’m honest, I listen to a lot of older stuff from like early 2000 etc, that to me was some of the best times in hiphop.
Please tell me more about your song recorded with Roots Manuva…
I’ve known Roots Manuva for a longtime. I had Rodney P on my 1st album “K in da Flesh” and thought to myself how I could better that. That’s when Roots Manuva came into my thoughts and I asked him to jump on “Lion’s Den”, and he did it with no questions asked. Salute to Roots Manuva for real. I look up to what he’s done in the game.
You used to tour with Damon Albarn and Gorillaz as a live set rapper. Any chance you will be rapping for Damon again?
I was introduced to Damon by Massive Attack this year and went to help him out at the sound check to a show he had in Bristol. He wanted me to rap my own verse’s while he sang the chorus to his Gorillaz hit “Clint Eastwood” he liked what he heard so ask me to do it at the show later that evening… you can see the footage on you tube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNOCL7PptwY). It went really well and he asked me to come on another show with him in Portsmouth and that also went down well also. He asked me if he can call on me again if he needs me, I was like “Sure!”. His management have my number and we have been in regular contact so I think it will happen again for sure.
Do you feel like an underground artist or mainstream one? Which area you feel most comfortable in?
I’m definitely an underground artist but some of my songs could sit in the mainstream without compromise, songs like “Watch You”, “Opposites Attract” and “Ma Ma” form the “Voice of the City” album. I have been supported by Charlie Sloth ( BBC Radio 1/1xtra), Ras Kwame, Firin Squad (Capital Xtra), and Shortee Blitz & MK (Kiss Fm) alongside some big US artists on radio.
You are getting support from other big names in industry for example 50 Cent. How much the support of other artists and fans mean to you?
It’s nice to have support from your peers. When 50 Cent and Rio Ferdinand posted the “Voice Of The City” Album sampler on their websites I felt a sense of pride that they were feeling the music.
Fans are very important to me and are the reason why I do this. I hope this new album will help the fan base grow further. It is available via Itunes and in HMV stores Nationwide.
Any plans for gig in Bristol or London?
I have a couple gigs coming up in Bristol on the 1st Nov and on the 31st Dec, and have been in conversations with a couple of promoters from London. Check my website http://www.kners.co.uk to keep updated on my live dates.
Any interesting new music from new artist you d like reccomend?
Look out for Raleigh Ritchie song “Stronger than Ever” he is another Bristol lad destined for big things…