The Graft to the Top…
Kida Kudz has proved himself to be standout. With charisma, a confident sense of style and unquestionable musical prowess, he’s a rap sensation whose star power is only going to get brighter. Whether he’s posting on the Instagram with Diggy Simmons or getting praised by A$AP Rocky, Kida’s journey into the music scene has been nothing short of commendable, receiving acclaim from his peers and fans alike.
PAUSE spoke to Kida Kudz about his fashion, influences and the grind of making it as an artist. Here’s what went down.
So you’re from London, or you moved here?
I was born in Nigeria
So when did you come to London?
I moved here when I was 14.
How has living in London shaped your career?
It played a big part because for me I was confused with my sound and stuff. Because I’m African, I was trying to balance the sound, the fashion, everything I do and London culture really helped me shout out to people like Skepta and that I learnt from. It is what it is man, London’s where I got my first music record deal.
How did you find your sound, coming from Nigeria and then you’re in London, and it’s two completely different cities, how did you work out how you were going to find your sound and merge where you’ve come from to where you are now?
When it comes to being African and Afrobeats, that’s in my bloodstream, I don’t need to listen to African music to make it. I don’t really listen to a lot of African music because it’s already in my skin. I listen to myself a lot and then I get motivation from other people, and coming over here, I had to make sure there was a balance. My friend was saying you don’t live in Nigeria anymore you have to make sure there’s a balance so you can communicate with people over here, and it took me years to work on that sound, like 5 years I was just trying different things and I literally just found myself in 2017.
So you’ve been interested in music from a very young age, what age did it start from?
I used to be a dancer for music videos and I’ve been doing that since from probably the age of 6. I never enjoyed my childhood because I used to dance for gospel artists, so I was never a normal kid – but I knew what I wanted to do. This is my life, this entertainment thing is my life.
I always knew this is where I need to be. No matter how frustrating it gets, it gets frustrating trust me, some times I be like I don’t need this sh*t anymore and I’ve had plans of moving out to LA and just go have a normal life. But right now this year has been the best year of my life. I got my deal, I’m working with people who make pop music, a lot of things are coming out of that!
Name any up and coming artist in London that we should be keeping our eyes on at the moment?
Octavian, and oh yeah – Burna Boy, I get him.
Why can you understand him?
People don’t get me at times, I wear a lot of vintage clothes and I’ll buy something for five, ten pounds and make it look good. Before I started this afroswank movement, people used to be like “what is he wearing?” but I knew what I was doing, I was creating the brand. I got all my friends into fashion, so you’ll see that when you come to my shows.
You’re kind of like the new age of afrobeat.
It’s crazy, the track I just put out got 200,000 streams on Spotify in 6 days. I have my own disciples, so I know what I’m focusing on now. I’ll be going on tour next year and I’m just happy with my own community. If bigger things come, that’s cool – but for now, I’m happy.
If we were to go into your wardrobe, what brands would we find?
Favourite fashion brand?
Right now, Liam Hodges. I’m so impressed with his stuff – he keeps it real.
How does it feel to see people vibing and enjoying your music when you’re out?
I was talking about this with my friend on the way here. When I’m recording it’s in a calm environment but then I’m watching snaps of people all over the world getting lit like even people from Australia have listened to my shit and South Africa as well, it’s ringing out there.
I wanna get out there and touch everyone I really want to do a show in New York next year so I’ll be looking forward to that because I want to just do stuff as much as you can because life is short. That’s not me saying that I’m going to die young but you’ve always got to be ready.
We know you’re going to Nigeria later this year, what else is on the list for 2018?
I need to play my hometown in Nigeria, a big countdown concert there – like 1,000 people! The album is doing really well out there. I’ve got a show in Lagos, Denmark – it’s getting busy but I’m so appreciative about it all. I DM people all the time, I FaceTime my followers sometimes, you can lose it in two seconds so you’ve got to stay humble.