From Brand New To The BRITs With Kanye: Krept & Konan Explain It All
MTV Brand New winners Krept & Konan talk killer collaborations and their debut album, The Long Way Home...
Krept & Konan have come a mighty long way since winning MTV Brand New For 2015 in February. Their debut album The Long Way Home is ready for release on July 6th, with big name collaborations featuring everyone from Rick Ross to Ed Sheeran, and the night before our interview the boys shared a stage with Tyga at London's Indigo at the O2.
Add to that the plethora of festival appearances lined up for summer, new single 'Freak Of The Week' featuring Jeremih and THAT casual spot on the BRIT Awards stage with Kanye West... we're amazed the duo had time to squeeze us in!
Image: Alex de Mora
MTV UK: You’re gearing up for the release of your debut album The Long Way Home. How long have you been working on it and collecting all those collaborations?
Konan: About a year, year and a half now. As soon as the mixtape was done and out, we were back in the studio, getting back at it. We had the album halfway done by January 2014.
Krept: So in that four or five months we made the skeleton of the album, but getting it right was the longest part, which took us about a year. All the collabs we got throughout that year, but they were very natural, and unplanned.
Konan: We just kept meeting people and saying, ‘Yeah, we should get in the studio.’
MTV UK: Was there anyone at all who you had to chase a bit to get them on there?
Krept: Rick Ross. It wasn’t so much a chase; we had a song and thought it would be sick if Rick Ross was on there. We were performing at the same event, 1Xtra Live, then Semtex went in and showed him our stuff. Rick Ross heard it and was like, ‘Yo, this is sick!’ And he did it the next day.
Everything really was organic. We saw Wiz Khalifa at Wireless, he asked what we were working on, we sent him a song and he did it. Ed Sheeran said he was in, he heard one of the beats, and had an idea for a hook straightaway.
Konan: We saw YG in LA at the BET Awards and arranged to hook up at Wireless. Then we met him properly there.
MTV UK: Then you just popped up on stage with Tyga at his Indigo show at the O2…
Konan: Yeah, I got a FaceTime from Abou, Akon’s brother, to say Tyga was in town. He asked if we wanted to come out and we said yeah, we were in the Universal building at the time, so we just went straight there.
MTV UK: What was the crowd reaction like? Every tweet we’ve seen has just been like, ‘OH MY GOD!’
Krept: [laughs] No one expected it! Even backstage people were like, ‘What are you guys doing here?’
Konan: He literally hit us up four hours before the stage time, so we didn’t even make soundcheck, but we ended up performing at the afterparty at DSTRKT as well.
MTV UK: And obviously you popped on stage with Kanye at the BRIT Awards – how did that one happen?
Krept: That was Skepta, he hit us up at the studio like, ‘Are you wearing black?’ [laughs] I was, but Konan wasn’t. He told us to meet him at the O2 in an hour, but Skepta’s very random, and he didn’t tell us why.
We got people to meet us at the O2 with black clothes, and then Skepta told us Kanye wanted us to come on stage, so we went backstage. There was actually an outfit set out for everyone, and the wardrobe people were saying we had to wear them, until Kanye’s people came in and said [adopts American accent], ‘NO! THEY WEAR WHAT THEY WANT!’
It was a good experience. Kanye seems cool and he thanked everyone for coming out.
MTV UK: What are you most looking forward to about festival season this year?
Krept: Just to turn up and have fun with it. We’ve turned down a lot of shows this year.
Konan: We haven’t done a show in like six months, or like one show in six months.
Krept: We wanted to wait for the album to come out and for fans to hear the new stuff.
MTV UK: Your new video for ‘Freak Of The Week’ is amazing – what was the inspiration behind it?
Konan: We just wanted it to be super glossy and have that old school kind of feel. We wanted to look starry [laughs].
Krept: And the director came up with the oriental theme, which was sick.
MTV UK: And Jeremih’s in it…
Konan: Yeah, we met him through Donatella, our mutual friend. We just built the relationship from there and Krept hit him for a beat.
Krept: It’s mad, because the album was done and mastered, but then Jeremih sent us the song and we knew it was a big one. It delayed our album for so long, because we had to get the sample cleared, but it was worth it.
Krept & Konan's debut album The Long Way Home is released on July 6th. 'Freak Of The Week' is available to pre-order now.