Leaders of the New School - Krept & Konan

South London rappers Krept and Konan have spent the last few years taking over the underground music with their rhymes and rhythms, and have gained a notorious reputation in the Grime and Hip Hop scene. 

Both known for mastering it online with YouTube views in the millions, there is nothing this Duo do not know about making it in the music business. Their first major release was a mixtape titled Young Kingz which was released on 2 September 2013. With barely any promo or media coverage and just only two internet videos, it was in the top 10 within a matter of weeks. This put them in the Guiness book of records as the Highest-Charting UK album by an Unsigned Act.

During 2014 they received 4 MOBO awards for Best Hip-Hop Act, Best Male Act, Best Song - Don't waste my time and Best Album Young Kingz. After signing with Virgin Records and collaborating with other major artists such as Ed Sherran, Emeli Sande and Skepta, their debut album The Long Way Home was released on 5 July 2015 and entered the UK Albums Chart at number 2 becoming their highest-charting album.

And they do not stop there, in between making new music they have launched their own clothing line Play Dirty, been selected as Puma's newest ambassadors for the Evolution pack and have launched PD Foundation ( Positive Direction) with Croydon Council for the youth in South London, where the young can learn anything from producing, graphic design to Songwriting.

 

 

Krept: Jacket- Alpha Industries, Glasses- Kite, Konan: Jacket- Alpha Industries.

 

UNBLOCK: What was your main inspiration of music growing up?

Krept: The group So solid Crew,  that kind of what got me to write a lyric and my friends as well. There was this mini church in my area where we would do sets after hours, late at night. My friends had lyrics, I was like the only one that didn't have one, I was like nah.. I need to have one, that's kind of what got me in to writing my lyrics.

Konan: My inspiration of music was a lot of things, mainly my family, my dad was a singer, my mum was a singer, my brothers, a lot of things. Dad was a Jamaican Singer (Delroy Wilson otherwise known as 'Jamaica's first child star’). It was kind of my household from an early age to late seventeens. I remember I had a Will Smith Wild Wild West CD when I was young and music fromMoo’ Fire crew and Dipset, It was a big inspiration growing up on the Rap scene. Also 21 seconds to go from So solid Crew, I always remember I wanted to be a roadie when I was younger - to be a So Solid Kid!

 

Konan: Coat- Magicstick, Shirt- Luke 1997.

Krept: Coat- MISBHV.

 

UNBLOCK: What has been your favourite track you have made so far?

Krept: Me personally I would say, making a song with Ed Sheeran. That whole day in the studio was an great experience for me, its all those studio vibes and dancing. 

Konan: My favourite one was My Story , obviously its about a real situation, the way we described it, it takes me back to where I was in the situation at the time and it how far I have come from. It was a big moment in our life 

Krept: Coat- MISBHV,  Konan: Blazer - Songzio, Galsses- Kite.

 

Konan: Blazer - Songzio, Galsses- Kite.

 

UNBLOCK: Next Album..Do you have a wish list for collaborations?

Konan: JayZ, Kayne, Eminem, Beyonce, Rhianna just all stars man, all stars!

Krept: (laughs) They can just be on it, they don't have to say anything, they can just breath on it. Beyonce can just huff on it.. Featuring Beyonce!

UNBLOCK: Have you ever been starstruck?

Krept: Once..I remember it was Nicole Scherzinger, like I just turned and she was just there, she looked so pretty and I was like ow my god.. I don't know if I was star struck or loved her, I was just trying to work it out.

Konan: I remember a star struck feeling, or if it was really being starstruckbut I was at this awards it was Sister Sister! One of the sisters was there, she was staring at me dead in the face and gave me a wink and I was thinking like.. its Sister Sister! your a good looking girl!

UNBLOCK: How do you find it now working with Virgin Records, do they let you carry on the same?

Konan: When we came in to the rule we kinda of like have been ourselves right from the beginning, when we got with Virgin, they just let us crack on, a lot of artists don't get that freedom and that space to kind of do what they want.

Krept: If your going to get in this business, you got to make sure you build up yourself as much as possible, so when you are there, you can have the freedom and creativity to make the business decisions. Because you are still going to get told how it should be done so we all have a meeting about it and then decide.

UNBLOCK: Whats your hidden talents when your not making music, your secret passion you like doing?

Konan: I love films, I like watching films. It helps with my creation and seeing things differently and with visuals. 

Krept: My secret talent is Superhero’s.. something along the lines of Batman.

UNBLOCK: Whats your advice for new artists in the music industry today, especially with the fact its gone very digital and its not about selling physical records anymore its more about online presence.

Konan: Learn your business man, its like a lot of things, its not a straight Industry any more, you have to learn how everything works, you have to learn every aspect of it and what your getting your self in to.

UNBLOCK: Because you cracked that new digital online wave when you brought out your first mixtape Young Kingz. 

Krept/Konan: Yer definitely!

Krept: Learn how to do everything yourself, because if you start relying on people for things it just slows you down.

UNBLOCK: The magazine UNBLOCK have a major Chinese audience, have you toured in China yet?

Krept: No not yet, but I remember being in Harrods and I got bombarded by Chinese people, they were actually visiting and weren't living here and they were so excited! They were like ‘OH my god! I know you!’ I was like What? This is Crazy!

UNBLOCK: the magazine is called UNBLOCK,which is basically against all kinds of restrictions such as what China put on their country also things such as creativity, what comes to mind when you think UNBLOCK?

Krept: Freedom, independence, 

Konan:Not dealing with my Instagram!

Krept: Coat- Flylander.

 

Konan: Blazer - Songzio, Galsses- Kite, Watch- Rolex.

Krept: Jacket- Alpha Industries, Glasses-  Kite.

 

 

 

 

Krept: Coat- MISBHV,  Konan: coat- Magicstick, Shirt- Luke 1997.

 

Photography By Linda Cooper, Styling By Neesha Sherma, 

Interview By Lucy Dean, 

Grooming By Mario Moura,

Hair By Joshua Aspell, 

Stylist Assistant Danny Walker, 

Assistant Alfie Maxwell.