It’s an average late summer night on a busy street in London’s East End, Dalston to be exact. Kingsland Road is littered with youngsters huddled in front of newsagents and kebab shops; hipsters with finely trimmed moustaches are strolling with tote bags. Neon lights are flashing above shops and restaurants while a steady flow of traffic trails down the high road.
Standing out from the crowd isn’t easy in today’s musical landscape, with a bunch of aspiring artists and struggle rappers bombarding Twitter users with links to their music. It’s harder than ever to separate the real from the fake, with comedic artists like IceJJFish being laughed at but none the less listened to, retweeted and shared. So it’s refreshing when a true talent like Kojey Radical appears. A burgeoning talent with a different take on self-expression, his output and his message.
A favourite of club nights and live music, Dalston’s Birthdays is hosting the Kojey Radical EP launch. At only 21 years old, the former London College of Fashion student has been making noise in the urban music and arts circuit with his poetry performances. The North Londoner delivers exceptional, off-beat, humorous pieces, tinged with realism and self-awareness.
It’s the first performance since the release of his debut EP, ‘Dear Daisy: Opium’ and the air is thick with expectation, sweat and weed smoke. The sold out show is proof of the fact this young man has an army of believers; their number impressively but organically rising. The crowd is treated to the sounds of Soulection’s LDN representer, Hannah Faith, as well as music from local talents such as SLK and Jay Prince. They clapped, they sang, they listened, they made noise, now the youthful crowd falls silent ahead of the main event.
This is an extract from the Autumn/Winter 14 Issue of Viper Magazine. Read more from the magazine here.
Words by Kwame Wilson