This week, Kano stars on the cover of Music Week to launch the campaign for his sixth album, Hoodies All Summer.
The interview – which includes contributions from Parlophone co-president Nick Burgess (pitcured above, left, with Mark Mitchell) and Kano’s long-time manager Richard Thomas – is online now, while we ran a taster of a revelatory interview with the rapper earlier this week.
Here, we get into the nitty-gritty of the campaign with Burgess, who joined Parlophone as co-president earlier this year…
This is the first big release since you came into the job. Where the story of the album starts?
“It’s a brand new label in terms of the psychology and the culture. Kano is the personification of what the label wants to be seen to be part of, true artistry, integrity in the music and no compromise. Artists that are completely unique and have a unique voice in popular British culture. Kano is the ultimate artist for us at the moment. It’s a brand new dawn, we’ve got lots of exciting artists we’ve just signed and lots of amazing new staff, we’re embedding into the label, it’s a real new dawn and it starts perfectly with Kano.”
Do you and Mark Mitchell play different roles?
“With this album we’re on equal footing. Me and Mitch have a different skill set, he’s from a more marketing background and I’m more from A&R, we dovetail perfectly on acts like Kano. In general we complement each other really well, he sees more of the process, release schedules and process, and I’m more of the creative side of it, we both have equal understanding of what each other do.”
What does Kano mean to music in 2019?
“This record was about using real instruments, gospel choirs, recoding direct to tape, very little Pro Tools, a record that could have been in any era over the last 50 years. To have that timeless quality. He’s grown out of [beyond] any genre, you can’t define him. He’s one of the greatest British artists out there today.”
How pleased are you with the reaction to Trouble and Class Of Deja?
“We’ve been absolutely astounded by the connectivity. We knew it was going to be an incredible record, we knew we had something special, but the power of the music is exactly what we wanted it to be, it’s made a huge impact on everyone. We’ve had great reactions across the board, media and fans alike. Class Of Deja was the street track to excite the fans and then Trouble was just a beautiful piece of music to set the tone for the reecord and tell the story. It’s achieved that perfectly so far. We believe it’s the best album of his career, this is his seminal record, it confirms him as an iconic artist for the UK. We’re looking at two or three tracks as follow-ups, but we’re letting these singles cement themselves. We’d like to release three other singles off the record but we haven’t defined the exact roll out as yet.”
Kano is one of the greatest British artists out there today
Nick Burgess, Parlophone
How do you hope it will do?
“We know it’s going to be a successful record, we haven’t put a number on it. We believe it’s going to be a Top 5 record and we want to win the Mercury next year. We want to be seen as an artist record. But we definitely believe we can have a Top 5 record and we have complete faith it will be a successful campaign, no question.”
How can the label help him?
“Any great artist needs someone to help tell and amplify their story, to give it context. We completely understand him, we love him, he’s part of the family here and we’re here to execute his vision. With the video, the creative freedom to deliver it, many people might be scared of making a video like that. We’re not here to compromise in any way, we stand by him in all his decisions. We protect him from anyone trying to change his narrative.”
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