There is something magnetic about Kofi Stone’s music. To be more specific it’s the ease with which he places himself on a track aka his flow.
He’s comfortably riding a wave which glides softly over your ears and keeps you going back for more.
WFA first got introduced to Kofi in late 2017 when we first chanced upon “Stories in Pyjamas” — a story which navigates Kofi’s upbringing and touches on the unavoidable issue of race with the line
“Life’s already harder when your skin’s a little darker.”
Having found a musical partnership for his last few singles with fellow Birmingham-based producer Joe Corfield, it seems Kofi has built a strong foundation to help springboard him into a project release.
Read more below about Kofi’s journey so far as well as where he sees himself going as an artist.
WFA first got introduced to you through your 2017 release: Stories in Pyjamas - tell us a bit about the headspace you were in when penning that track.
I remember that I was in my uncle’s loft when I wrote this, it felt like a great moment I wasn’t really in a particular headspace I just was searching around for beats and then I stumbled across a producer called smith the mister from browsing soundcloud and it spoke to me, the rest was history.
“You always gotta finish what you started.” - has there ever been anything you’ve started which you didn’t finish, that you now regret?
I tend to live by my words so aside from my project which is taking a bit of time to finish there hasn’t been much actually, I started learning the guitar last year but I haven’t followed through with it, so I think i’ll be picking that back up.
When did you realise you had the skill to rap? And how did you hone your style in terms of your flow?
I had started rapping at around 11 after getting into poetry and being inspired by Nas illmatic, but the moment that made me believe that I was actually good was on the playground in year 8, there was this kid in year 11 that was big and scary and he said he’d beat anyone in a rap battle, my friends older sister who was in his year ran to call me and I battled him & won, everyone went mad when I said my reply which gave me a bit a of confidence to actually do this.
You collaborated with fellow Birmingham-based artist and producer: Joe Corfield on your latest single “Rodney Place” — how did you two form that working relationship?
I heard about Joe through a mutual friend of mine big up Rashidi, I asked him if he could reach out to Joe for me and he said I should just hit him up, I was amazed by his talent so was apprehensive to reach out, but I did and he was on it straight away.
Your songs are centred around family which a very personal topic. But Rodney Place feels a lot more vulnerable. Do you ever feel an apprehension to open yourself up and share concealed parts of your life with the world?
It’s split because at times I feel like I’m sharing too much but then I am the type of person that wears their heart on their sleeve so I think it’s only right to be myself, I think it’s important that people know your story as an artist.
On Daddy Don’t Want This, you talk about seeing a girl whose dad isn’t too keen on you; but you continue anyway. Has anything ever stopped you from doing what you wanted to do or do you just go for things despite any obstacles?
I tend to just go ahead and do things when I want, if I have a passion for it and I’d love to excel in it I just go for it of course life throws obstacles your way but we must climb over all obstacles and go for what we want, be who we want to be no matter what anyone says.
As your first name suggests, your heritage is Ghanaian but you grew up in the UK, how did that influence your sound?
I listened to a lot of Ghanaian high life growing up and also Ghanaian afrobeat, there was also a mix of soul, jazz and pop in my household so I think I can appreciate a vast amount of genres however I wouldn’t say that Ghanaian music has influenced my sound though well not with this first project.
What’s the last song you heard which completely blew you away?
Kendrick Lamar - How Much A Dollar Cost
You’ve got a Sold Out show at the Servant Jazz Quarters coming up — can you describe how you feel when performing your songs live?
I feel good I feel like I’m telling my story, it’s nice to have people take it in and vibe to it too.
Do you have more live shows lined up for this year?
I will be doing another headline at some point towards the end of summer once my project is out.
Lastly, when do you think you will have reached “success” as an artist?
Success as an artist for me is making the music you are happy with and people receiving it well, it's also the music having a positive purpose in people's lives. Obviously it’s a numbers game so I will say I’d love a sold out tour across the country and even europe. Ultimately success is hard to measure because the numbers game is never ending but If I can sell out ally pally one day I certainly won’t complain.
Be sure to check Kofi out at his shows later this year in London and Birmingham.