Born in East London, raised in Birmingham Kofi Stone has been a storyteller from the very beginning. His introspective, relatable and deeply honest brand of Hip Hop has seen him become one of the most exciting emerging musicians coming out of the UK. Get familiar with this VIPER interview…

What five words define your sound?

Soft, introspective, pure, classy and unfiltered. 

Tell me something unique about your creative process.

I normally hum the melody or flow before I put words to it.

Which song of yours would you like people to hear first? 

‘Stories In Pyjamas’.

What inspired you to make that song?

I wanted to make something that had layers to it. I used the line “stories in pyjamas” to personify youth. I wanted to talk about the innocence and simplicity of being a child in contrast to the sometimes complicated reality of being an adult. I also wanted to highlight how simplicity and innocence isn’t always the case for every child. “We went from stories in pyjamas to, like, running through the Gaza.” This line is important as it highlights how sadly, some kids don’t get to be kids.

What’s the most vulnerable you’ve allowed yourself to be when writing/making music? 

I’d say they were between two quite recent records that I have written. Both unreleased but I definitely dug quite deep. I wore my heart on my sleeve and wrote my true thoughts.

What’s the best/worst experience you’ve had on stage?

The best was probably in Prague at the end of 2023. I hadn’t been on stage for a while so I was quite nervous, but the energy in the crowd was really warm and I just felt at home. I felt that everyone wanted to be in the room and present in the moment, which was nice. The worst experience I’ve had on stage was at Hammersmith Apollo. I had issues with my sound and people in the crowd were trying to signal to me to turn my mic up throughout the set, and it was just a shambles. I left the stage feeling embarrassed and really low afterwards. It definitely wasn’t the best.

What is your favourite song to perform?

I would say ‘Busker Flow’. The energy is always great. 

Which artist/song/album made you want to make music?

When I was about nine years old I heard Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five’s ‘The Message’ and something woke up inside of me. I think that was the first Hip Hop record I had consciously listened to. I remember the moment so clearly. I was in my friend’s bedroom and I just knew that I wanted to rap. 

What’s the meaning behind your name?

Traditionally, Ghanaian boys born on Friday are given the name Kofi. I’m a Friday born so that’s where ‘Kofi’ came from. I adopted ‘Stone’ because when my mother was in labour with me, there were a few complications which almost resulted in me not being born. However, because I survived my grandad gave me the nickname ‘Kofi Ekpe’. Ekpe is an Ewe word from my tribe which means ‘waterstone’. My grandad was a poet and used the analogy of me being a water stone, as this type of stone is not moved nor broken by the water that surrounds it. I shortened it to make Kofi Stone. 

If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing instead?

I’d like to say I’d be working with my pops in the family business but honestly, I can’t imagine myself doing anything else but making music.  

What’s success to you?

Success to me is knowing and building a relationship with Jesus, making my loved ones happy, being at peace with myself, making the music I want to make and changing the world through that.

What moment in your life/career forced you to change direction?

I finished university and I was working several hospitality jobs simultaneously. On one particular shift I remember thinking I don’t have enough money to get me through the week. At that moment, I knew I had to change my destiny and I became more hungry. I’ve never looked back or slowed down since. 

Where can people keep in touch with you? 

The best place is Instagram. If you’re kind enough, I’ll respond. 

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