Kwes is one of the more idiosyncratic talents currently residing on the roster of electronic label Warp Records. M quizzed him about songwriting, playing live and the benefits of PRS for Music Foundation funding…

Jim Ottewill
  • By Jim Ottewill
  • 5 Feb 2013
  • min read
South London-based Kwes has been on the ‘ones-to-watch’ list of bloggers and music tastemakers for what feels like some time - but this talented singer, songwriter and studio whizz refuses to be rushed by the glare of industry expectation.

His diligent approach to making music has seen him veer away from the limelight and instead fully immerse himself in sound - via this approach he’s collaborated with a dizzying array of leftfield creatives in a variety of guises. He’s produced Big Dada’s Dels and the Mercury Music Prize winning Speech Debelle’s second album Freedom Of Speech as well as exchanging sonics with Micachu on various mixtapes - Kwes has also worked with Damon Albarn and The xx, played live with Bobbie Womack as well as creating a set of contemporary productions based on classic Italian operas. It’s this incredible work-ethic and technicolour aural palette which has led to Albarn and sonic auteur Matthew Herbert both declaring themselves as fans.

M spoke to Kwes ahead of his recent headline gig at a PRS for Music Foundation party held at London’s Scala. We asked him how what working with Damon Albarn was like, how his debut album is progressing and why he’s still ‘bricking it’ when it comes to playing his music live…

 Watch him perform his song Bashful for an M live session