KWES – Artist Information | The Camden Crawl 2012

You probably can’t remember what you were doing when you were four years old. Kwesi Sey can; he was making music. At four! Some twenty years later, at the tail end of 2011, the South London producer we’ve come to know simply as Kwes. signed with Warp Records – a label made for him and his lawless use of sound. He calls it ‘free pop’, and it began in Lewisham in 1990, raised on a diet of Top of The Pops and the Top 40 Chart Show. You can hear it in ‘Meantime’, Kwes.’ debut release for Warp, his finest collection of songs yet. It’s an EP that twinkles to life with the opening ‘Klee’ – a track that lays overlapping synthesisers over rustling field recordings and sparkling glockenspiel, a pre-tortured Fuck Buttons, if you will. “I feel my music fits around many heads of many sizes and mental dispositions,” he says; a sentiment echoed by ‘Meantime’’s ability to cater for assorted pop fans. It’s smart pop music, ready for the radio but void of pandering; home-schooled but meticulously studied. Some will be drawn to the tape crackle, others to ‘Honey’’s springtime hook of “I’m stuck on you, honey/Come down here and join me, others to the cryptic sonics crammed into ‘LGOYH’’s seven minutes. In December 2011 Kwes played his first live show, almost three years after the release of his debut single. ‘Kwesachu’, ‘Heart In Home’, ‘No Need To Run’ and the recently released ‘Get Up’ (which had been made available as a free download) all made sure that the show was sold out; all Kwes had to do was prove that his home-schooled talents could step out from behind the mixing desk. So, with a little help from multi-instrumentalists Elan Tamara and Georgia Barnes, that’s exactly what he did. After all, when you spend three quarters of your life indoors, you’re only going to leave when you’re certain you’ve got something worth showing off. Kwes’ debut album will be released in late 2012, when he will further prove that there is nothing wrong with being brought up on a strict diet of popular music.