KESHO  (pronounced ‘kay-sho’) is 22-year-old Kenyan born/ Southampton based Connor Daniel, an artist whose music knows no boundaries. The name means ‘Tomorrow’ in Swahili, as KESHO is out to be the sound of the future. Bringing together dance, electronica and R&B, the sound is a vibrant fusion that takes up today’s post-genre challenge to create soul-infused, modern pop equally at home on radio or the dancefloor.

His latest single ‘Fire Love’ is a commercial Pop track with a gritty edge. The song’s concept is simply about wanting someone and the chase that makes it so exciting. Both of Fire Love’s lyrics and instrumentation follow a crescendo that leads into the euphoria of Trap-infused synth brass and silky vocal chops in what electronic Pop music fans have come to know, love and move to – the ‘Drop’. He says the single was written rather quickly, within one day in fact, collaborating with Lady V, Paul Whalley and Amber Van Day. Fast workher that Kesho! We wanted to find out more – so time for a Take 5…

When did you realise that you wanted to be a music artist? What or who has inspired you?

I think my life was always going to lead into a creative path. My mum was in a band with my Aunt so I grew up surrounded by musicians. I was actually a dancer before a recording artist so I guess I’ve always had rhythm. My older brother downloaded FL Studio (music production software) for me when I was 13 and within an hour I fell in love with making music – I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I grew up listening to Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind & Fire and Quincy Jones and they’re all on my spotify playlists today. I’m massively inspired by Hip-Hop and the best lyricists in the game currently like Kendrick Lamar, he’s so versatile with the manipulation of his voice it inspires me endlessly.

Who, living or dead, would you dream of collaborating with?

Kanye West 100%. I know he’s a controversial one but I adore his music and creativity. His earliest albums College Dropout and Late Registration formed my love for Hip-Hop and subconsciously taught me about creative sampling at the same time. Of course I don’t agree with some of the crazy political stuff he talks about, but speaking purely about music – he is my dream collab. 

Tell us about your single –’Fire Love’-  what is the song about?

Fire Love is about the thrill of the chase. It’s like that confusing part when you’re talking to someone and you think it could go far but you’re both scared to admit it. It’s like saying ‘screw it’ and telling someone how you really feel. 

Tell us five things you love about the city you live in, and why……

I’m going to slightly bend the rules here if that’s okay? I was born and raised in Mombasa, Kenya so I feel it’s only right I talk about both Southampton (where I currently live) and Mombasa. 

  • Mombasa: There’s a beach bar in Diani called ‘Forty Thieves’ that’s beautiful. My aunt and uncle were resident musicians there too. 
  • Mombasa: Warm sea water. I may live on the South Coast of England and we have plenty of water but man it’s cold. I miss walking from the beach into the Indian Ocean and it feeling like a hot bath! 
  • Southampton: Mates. I’ve had the same group of friends since Year 7 Secondary School, I see some every week and some every 6 months but it always feels like nothing’s changed and that’s really cool. 
  • Southampton: Nightlife. Over the last few years especially there’s been an influx of really cool niche bars to hang, play pool or have a beer or 20. 
  • Mombasa: FOOD!! Some of the best Seafood you can ever eat. Crabs, lobsters all the good stuff. 

What are you most looking forward to this year? 

Some really cool sessions with amazing writers/producers. I’ve also got a ridiculous amount of demos so I can’t wait to go through them and decide which are the best to finish and start thinking of release plans!

KESHO / AKA CONNOR DANIEL / KENTISH TOWN / Shot By Rob Blackham / www.blackhamimages.com

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