It was a simple stage – two female vocalists, a mixing table, and a DJ. Minimalistic. Sparse. Everything brushed in dark colours. And then there was Kojey Radical.
He’s got that Kanye swagger like he knows he’s all that. Fancy bronze tracky. Fresh white kicks. Shiny gold chains. A Sesame Street tee to boot. Confidence on a hundred.
It’s all legit, too. He can talk the talk, and you better believe that he can walk the walk. A seemingly endless energy that simply oozing out of him, Kojey Radical could’ve powered the entire fucking city with his electric stage presence.
Following two-tone ska band, The Selecter, the crowd was quite a mishmash of ages. It’s tough to transition from dad tunes to beat drops, but local talent Kojey found a way. He had the Roundhouse hyped from the crop-topped youngsters to the plaid-shirted oldies. Beverage in hand, fist to the air, everyone was pumping and bobbing in their own way.
There’s a lot to love about Kojey Radical. His raps are crisp, clean-cut. His delivery is punchy. When he gets into a groove, it’s magic. The lines all fuse together like a jigsaw puzzle. He’s got the sexy side in “Cashmere Tears.” Then there’s Angry Kojey in “Feel About it.” And sad boi in “Can’t Go Back.”
It’s easy to see how this guy started as a poet and spoken word artist. Instead of focusing on the drugs, violence, and sex that dominates much of the hip-hop scene, Kojey took time to get real with us. He talked about Harry, a close friend who was shot and killed, who always supported Kojey’s music career. “I don’t believe in remembering people in silence. I believe in remembering people in celebration.” Snaps.
He also got vulnerable again, opening up about his struggles with depression and anxiety, stressing the importance of positive mental health. His advice was simple: get out of bed. “How can I talk to people if I can’t even get out of bed?”
Kojey kept dropping truth bombs throughout his set, mentioning the importance of communication in relationships. “If you feel something, feel it out loud.” I tell ya, if this music thing doesn’t pan out, Kojey is prime life coach material.
Or Beyoncé’s backup dancer. I reckon he’d have that on lock. The guy’s got moves that would make even Bruno Mars woozy. He can flat-out dance. Kojey strutted his stuff all over the stage to many oo’s and awe’s. He might’ve started in the tracksuit, but by the end it was just the bronze bottoms and a glistening six-pack that left the stage to uproarious hoots and hollers.
Kojey is a local talent through and through. He was raised just a stone’s throw from Camden in Shoreditch, specifically Hoxton. But music wasn’t his first love. The 27-year-old graduated from the London College of Fashion with a first-class BA in Fashion Illustration. And it was actually whilst illustrating a book titled Dear Daisy that Kojey created his first musical project of the same name. From there, three records followed – 23Winters (2016), In Gods Body (2017), and Cashmere Tears (2019). As his name suggests, Kojey has always been radical in his approach to art, mixing spoken word with visuals and music. He doesn’t shy away from politics, either. Kojey touches on racism, religion, and revolution, paying tribute to his Ghanaian heritage as well as criticising the socio-economic issues facing Londoners.
Audacious in his performance and avant-garde with his motifs, Kojey Radical is truly a force in the hip-hop scene. If you missed 6 Music Fest, Kojey Radical is back for round 2 at the Roundhouse on April 2nd. You don’t want to miss it.