“It’s so important to share the story behind the performance and let others know that success, whatever form it takes, comes with hard work and vulnerability. It comes with losing and getting up, losing and getting up again to break the mould and win the game. I’m a real believer in the power of music and the power of community so I’m excited to perform at Apprentice Nation; to share my story and support others to see that every door is an opportunity.” Kojey Radical
Kojey Radical is no stranger to working hard to find his path in life. The son of Ghanaian immigrants, he grew up in Shoreditch and Hoxton in a home filled with music by his brother – a local DJ in the late Garage and early Grime scene – as well as being part of his older sister’s dance company.
Whilst at secondary school and college, Kojey grasped inspiration and opportunity from the people around him. A pivotal moment was a guest visit from spoken-word poet Suli Breaks, who came to read in an assembly one morning, and generated the inspiration for Kojey to start writing poetry.
Journey to Success
In 2014, while studying Fashion Illustration at London College of Fashion, Kojey dropped his debut EP ‘Dear Daisy’ on music platform Soundcloud. It was a moving body of work that took apart his early childhood, combed in ruminations about religion, East London and young love. The success of the track ‘BAMBU’ led to Kojey supporting Scottish band Young Fathers on their 2015 tour, giving him the opportunity to leave his day job and hone in on his unique style of spoken-word partnered with extensive music genres.
In 2016, the ten-track critically acclaimed project ‘23 Winters’ dropped and led to nominations at the 2018 MOBO Awards for Best Newcomer and Best Video. The project featured tracks inspired by his father and hosted collaborations with Tom Grennan, Bobby Lewis and Apprentice Nation artist Ray BLK.
Soon after, Kojey changed the dynamic between music and verbal passages, releasing ‘In Gods Body’, which expressed an open introspective of a dark period in his personal life. Featured in the expressive track ‘Mood’ is Apprentice Nation artist Ghetts. 2018 saw a sell out show at KOKO – the show was a defining moment both professionally and personally for Kojey.
Following this success, ten-track critically acclaimed ‘Cashmere Tears’ was released in 2019. Built on powerful wordplay, bringing funk to the modern-day, the EP links up with singer-songwriter Amaarae and the song ‘Eleven’ featured in Michaela Coel’s critically-received series I May Destroy You.
2022 welcomed Kojey’s heavily anticipated album ‘Reason to Smile’, which is described as “an amalgamation of his Ghanaian roots, an embracing of familial teachings and an inspection of manhood” (GQ Mag). Deep rooted in themes of his mother and her working efforts, the album opens up Kojey’s life as a personal journey. The album itself was shortlisted for the Mercury Music prize and included in both album and video of the year categories at the MOBO Awards, alongside Kojey himself also being nominated for as ‘best hip-hop act’.
Kojey’s most recent achievements have led to winning Song of the Year with ‘FUBU’ at the 2023 Visionary arts Awards.
Get ready to be captivated by inspirational music and formidable storytelling with Kojey Radical live at Apprentice Nation – 7th November, at The Garage, North London.
Sign up to attend the show for free: https://bit.ly/46SVFnZ