Label volunteer, Alec Reed, tells us about the artist he feels we should watch out for in 2021.

2020 hit the music industry hard. In doing so, it halted the progress of a lot of artists across the globe, with tours and festival appearances being cancelled left, right and centre. So rather than going to concerts and festivals, I was confined to the four walls of my bedroom, discovering new artists online as opposed to festival line-ups. Many searches on Spotify and Soundcloud later, and I found a wide range of new artists. Some who I grew to fall in love with over the course of last year and will be keeping close tabs on during 2021.

One was Kofi Stone.

Kofi is a talented, confessional and comforting artist to listen to. His debut album, Nobody Cares Till Everybody Does, encompassed a wide range of approaches in production. A blend of jazz samples and other beats not sounding too far-removed from ‘90s East Coast hip hop, the album is sonically diverse at times but never fails to keep you engaged. Accompanying the beats is Kofi’s dexterous, flawless and beautifully poetic lyricism, shaped by his bold flow that further embeds his album as a future UK classic. The subject matter of the record is incredibly personal at times, emotionally steering throughout a number of topics: the struggle of love, isolation, family drama, the long-lasting effect of parental divorce. Listening to the album closely, I could relate to a lot of what was said, and it helped me in a way to in part, comprehend a lot of what life has brought on.

Take ‘Rodney Place’, my favourite song off an album that is all hits, no misses. The song talks on the effect that Kofi’s parents’ divorce had on him; being from a broken home myself, it really hit home. The power of music, for me, was captured perfectly in that song, with Kofi and Joe Corfield teaming up to create one of my favourite tracks of all time. With that being said, it’s one of the many tracks of his that I take great pleasure in listening to. ‘It’s Okay to Cry’, the first song of his I came across, is a collaboration with fellow UK rapper Loyle Carner, who regarded Kofi Stone as “the next up… the best” on his “Artist in Residence” show on Radio 6. That’s high praise, and praise which is warranted. With his debut album, Kofi has the ability to go as far as he possibly can. He is a talent, and one that with time, will be heard by more and more people. Take ‘Busker Flow’ for example, at that point, he’s just showing off.

So lucky for us, there is new stuff from coming our way in 2021, with him releasing a snippet on his Twitter:

“My people were picking cotton but now they’re copping land

Making fun of my colour but then they cop a tan

You ain’t ever hitting your target you shot a lot of blanks”

Just an excerpt from the 1:56 that blessed our ears, and it gives you a taste of what Kofi offers. It feels good to have people like Kofi in the UK scene, where meaning can often get lost in this search for money and lust. He keeps it real, raw and honest. It’s a shame that we can’t get out there and live life as it should be, but trust me when I say Kofi Stone will be one of the first people I will try to see post-COVID.

Kofi Stone. Remember that name. Search it up on Spotify, Apple Music, Soundcloud, the lot. Or even catch him on Balamii radio with Sena, nothing but good vibes.

This man is my one to watch this year, so drop him a listen, he never fails to impress.

Header designed by Christos Leo Alamaniotis – Assistant Head of Design

Article Edited by Matthew Rousou – Label Music Editor


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