Exclusives Interviews 4 November 2022

GRM Exclusive: kwn Talks Debut EP, Growing Up Around Music, Dream Collaborations & More

4 November 2022

Waltham Forest has been a breeding ground for young emerging talent over years. From the rise of More-Fire Crew and the iconic Lethal B to England and Tottenham captain Harry Kane, the East London borough makes no mistakes in pushing stars to the masses.

Next up, hailing out of E17 is 22 year old kwn. Pronounced Kay-Wuhn and previously K1 after not wanting to be distinguished as a generic Drill artist, the versatile songstress holds no bars when it comes to her genius.

Music has been embedded in her blood from a young age. Kwn’s parents and older siblings would show her the ropes with an array of genres being playing in the household. Her artistry is crafted through singing, producing and DJing which screams out longevity in the ever-growing, competitive UK music scene.

2022 has been a teaser into the world of kwn. Every track thus far has shown a different side to the Walthamstow native. Her debut single “wn way or another” displays her affectionate feels whilst still being able to bring through an energetic wave to her listeners. The following “sweetie” featuring close friend Scribz Riley brings on a dreamy vibe as she looks to connect with every type of listener who appreciates good music.

As we approach the final months of the year, kwn is far from toasting to her successes of the past 10 months. Her two singles serve as a preview to a highly anticipated, debut EP which is set to put Waltham Forest back on the map to the new generation. We caught up with kwn to discuss music, influences, visual processes and more!

Where did the name kwn originate from?

“You know what, it was just a nickname that I had in school. First it was K with a number 1 at the end, but I changed it because everybody said I sound like a Drill rapper! The pronunciation is still the same, but the spelling is a little bit different. My last name is Wilson so I just put the ‘w’ and the ‘n’ together and it came out like that!”

When did you become motivated to make music and has it been something you’ve always wanted to pursue?

“I’ve always enjoyed making music but it was after being at my sisters’ friends house where he had everything set up. He would teach me how to record my own vocals and that’s what really pushed me to say I can actually do this by myself and I don’t have to rely on finding producers. I grew up in a musical household but being around other creatives pushed to really make music.”

Let’s touch on your latest single “sweetie” featuring Scribz Riley which gives off a dreamy vibe! What was the process for this track?

“I can’t lie, this song came about because I needed a sexy slow song for my project! That’s what was missing. I wasn’t doing the heavy R&B at the time and it was in a different bag then what I’m used to. It was quite organic to be fair. I sent it over to Scribz and he did his verse!”

Talking Scribz Riley, he is on your single but you’re also on “Introduce Myself” off his ‘Wish Me Luck’ project. How did the connection come between you two and what is it like when recording?

“I met Scribz a while ago when we had a session with JADA. It was JADA that introduced me to him. That’s when we did “Introduce Myself” and from there we continued our relationship. With Scribz, it’s easy to work with him because he’s such a talented guy so he knows what you’re looking for and how to work with you.”

2022 has also seen you release “wn way or another” – It sounds like you’re speaking to a love interest through the lyrics but on a jumpy production. Is this a way of showing you have two sides to your music?

“I do like doing that, writing a happy song on a sad beat or writing a sad song on a happy beat. I don’t know what it does to the listener, but it just makes sense! I didn’t make the beat then think I’m going to write about this, it just came together. The beat is very jumpy and the song is very toxic!”

The visuals are eye-catching whilst still not giving away too much in terms of your appearance. Is that the direction you were going with for the video?

“Definitely! As a person in general, you won’t know too much about me until you get to know me. It’s the same for my creative work. There’s still questions that need to be answered and a sense of mystery which is cool!”

There’s a lot of melodies and romantic feels in your music. How would you describe your genre of music and how do you find your zone to create this sound?

“I wouldn’t put a genre on my music to be honest. There’s no box that I’m secluded to. I’m always trying to do things which are super creative. I never go into the studio and say “I’m going to make a song like THIS today”. It’s whatever comes to me! In terms of the creative process, I just go to the studio and create because it’s just fun to make a music. I just go with it.”

Did you have any music inspirations growing up? How did they inspire you?

“Growing up my Dad used to be a DJ. He would play music all the time and when I make beats, he would come into my room with advice. He would tell me what 808 to put down and what snare sound! My sisters would listen to a lot of music and I’ve been around it my whole life. My family more than any artist have inspired me.”

What genres was your Dad mixing?

“Everything! Mostly Garage and Deep House. I’ve been around a lot of House music and Black Koffee! I also had a lot of R&B and Pop going through the house. Even my playlist now is all over the place. You wouldn’t expect it!”

You have rolled out two singles so far. Is this gearing up for a future project?

“Yes, we have another single dropping soon then the project will be coming after that which is exciting! It’s a six-song project which will give you a little bit more of an insight into me.”

In a time where so many artists are pushing their name out, how do you make yourself stand out and find your own lane?

“I don’t really think about it like that! If you’re meant to stand out than you’re going to. Everyone’s unique in their own way but I don’t think about standing out. I already know my music follows a different sound sonically. I just stick with what I’m doing and hopefully it pushes through!”

Aside from yourself, are there any other artists you’ve been keeping an ear out for?

“I need to go on my Spotify! Kelz from Canada. He only has one song out at the moment but he’s wicked. I really like cityboymoe, he’s fire and BenjiFlow is hard. There is a lot of talented people coming out.”

Is there a dream collaboration for yourself? Or are you more concentrating on pushing your own sound out?

“I mean obviously I’m focusing on pushing myself but if I did have a dream collaboration it would be PARTYNEXTDOOR or Ty Dolla $ign. Producers wise, it would be Timbaland or The Neptunes. My biggest dream collaboration is Coldplay! A bit on the other side of the spectrum but they’re huge!”

What would make a successful 2022 for yourself?

“Getting this project out! The title for the project is ‘Episode 1’. Hopefully, people like it and I just want to keep creating music. I just want to link up with more musicians, more creatives and do my thing.”