With Croydon’s grime duo Krept and Konan due to release their debut LP The Long Way Home at the start of July, Eamonn Crowe, Deputy Editor, sat down with them to discuss their upcoming album, what they think of the haters and the secret to being greazy.
You guys are about to release your first album on a major label, how is the process different to recording an EP?
When you’re recording an EP there’s no pressure, because no-one is expecting it. With an album, everyone’s expecting the album, the label is expecting an album and the fans are expecting an album, so just to keep your career going you need to release an album. But with an EP, it isn’t as important, and if it doesn’t come out, no one is going to be upset and there’s no pressure. So that’s the difference between doing an EP which is available for free download and an album which you actually have to sell.
You have teamed up with Jeremih on new single ‘Freak of the Week’, what would you say to people who argue that UK grime artists shouldn’t be collaborating with mainstream US artists, as they see this as selling out?
People are going to complain about everything. When we did ‘Don’t Waste My Time’, there were no features on that, but people still said that sound was American and that the track had a catchy hook, so it was mainstream. Then you go and do a song with Jeremih and they say that’s mainstream too, do you know what I mean? You can’t please everyone. To grow as artists, you need to branch out. From that collaboration, we have already got fans from other countries, every country you can think of, like Mexico that had never heard of us before. There’s so many new people tweeting us, people from America and a lot more girls as well. I feel like for an artist to grow you can’t do the same thing, you need to branch out if you want to grow your audience, you’ve got to do it all man.
You recently performed on stage with Kanye West at the Brit Awards. What was it like performing with him?
It was an experience man. The fact that we were with Kanye was like ‘wow we’re with Kanye, this is crazy’, like, he is one of the biggest rappers in the world. To be performing on stage with him debuting his new single to the world, doing it with him is a crazy thing man.
UK hip hop and grime is really starting to blow up, so what do you see for the future of the genre?
I feel like we’re going to hopefully become an act that’s big all over the world and not just seen as UK rap. Yeah there’s rappers from the UK and they’re part of the whole thing, but rap culture is all part of one thing, we all speak the same language. I don’t feel people look at Ed Sheeran as English, they just look at him as a singer. They don’t say he’s UK pop, so I feel like it’s going to come to a place where it’s exactly the same, like if you go to America, you’re just from England, but your rap is accepted how every other artist is accepted.
On your upcoming album you’ve worked with huge UK and US artists, such as Ed Sheeran and Rick Ross. What was it like working with these stars and did they give you any advice?
Ed Sheeran taught us with America that you’ve got be there, you can’t just think you can take over the US, while being in the UK. Ed also said about how he played his song to a cab driver and the cab driver said he would never let his daughter go to an Ed Sheeran concert, because there was a minor swear word. So Ed said that made him think that ok, I have to watch what I’m saying because parents won’t let kids go to his concert if he swears. So if we were to ever do a song that we wanted to appeal to everyone, I just wouldn’t swear, even if it’s just a minor swearword. You just shouldn’t do it, there’s no point. Like basically, it just makes you aware that you have to watch what you’re saying in your lyrics.
Exeter Uni has quite an infamous reputation for being posh, so can you help us out with being greazy. What’s the secret and what can you teach us?
You know what yeah, I feel like you’ve just got be authentic man. I don’t think you can teach someone to be greazy. People would say people are greazy because they grew up like that, cause they grew up around certain things and stuff. Your environment makes you greazy, you can’t just be greazy if you’re not from that kind of lifestyle.
I want to test you guys on some Exeter slang. I’ll give you three Exeter slang words and you see if you can guess their meaning.
The first word is pigeon.
Is it like what TLC meant, like scrubs and pigeons?
The second word is rig.
Nah bruv what’s rig? (I told Krept and Konan it’s a body part) Is it man’s genitals, the rig innit, like that’s what the girls need to hold on to.
Finally, do you know what it means to bolt?
Does it mean you’re drunk? So if we come to Exeter Uni, everyone will be using those words? So I could be like there’s bare girls looking at my rig?
And with that, I left Krept and Konan to continue their quest for world domination. Whilst there music is not everyone’s cup of tea, it is clear that these guys are hard workers and they genuinely want to be successful. So watch out for them doing some big things in the near future and remember, stay greazy.
Eamonn Crowe, Deputy Editor