KOF
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KOF

Liverpool, England, United Kingdom | INDIE

Liverpool, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
Band R&B Singer/Songwriter

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“KOF is an enigma in the UK Hip-Hop scene. On one hand he is a soulful vocalist – able to infuse the hardest track with his smooth dulcet tones. On the other hand, he is a talented lyricist able to spit dark and edgy provocative rhymes over any beat you throw at him” - British Hip-Hop


“KOF well and truly earns his one-to-watch status” - RivMixx


“KOF is the future of UK Music”
Ace N Vis – BBC Radio 1Xtra - BBC


REVIEWS

“KOF is the future of UK Music”
-Ace N Vis, Radio 1 and 1Xtra

“KOF is definitely one of the top talents and most hardworking Urban acts we have in the UK”
-Ras Kwame, Radio 1 and 1Xtra

“Easily one of the best”
-Dan Greenpeace, All City

“The Future”
- Mistajam, Radio 1/1Xtra

“Young KOF has the potential, energy and attitude to perform on the highest stage”
Liverpool Music Week

“Local Hip-Hop Legend”
- HUB

“As always KOF delivers. KOF’s journey is one that should not be missed”
- Ngunan Adamu, BBC

“The leading light of Liverpool’s Urban Music Scene”
- Stompin Charts

“KOF is 'the UK's freshest talent' a 'new breed of lyrical genius”
- Anna Holligan, BBC

“KOF is an enigma in the UK Hip Hop scene. On one hand he is a soulful vocalist- able to infuse the hardest track with his smooth dulcet tones. On the other hand, he is a talented lyricist able to spit dark and edgy, provocative rhymes over any beat you throw at him”
- British Hip-Hop

“I’m extremely proud to be among the first North American blog’s to show this artist love. Everything from the quality of the sound down to the marketing is on point. A lot of you up and comers need to get out your pads and take notes on this man right here.”
- Santos Angela, We Do It Right Magazine

"KOF is definitely one of the top talents and most hardworking Urban Acts we have" - Ras Kwame, Radio 1 and 1Xtra

"KOF has proven he is a multitalented performer with a massive personality to boot...this is one Liverpool star who will be rising higher and higher"
- Guestlist Music

"KOF well and truly earns his one-to-watch status" - RIVMIXX

- One Hundred Global



Kofi Owusu has progressed from a Butlin's talent competition to become a rapper and music producer.

Kofi Owusu has progressed from winning a talent contest in Butlins at 12 to becoming a music producer, rapper and singer by the age of 22. He may call himself Young Kof but by his age and attitude is that of an old wise man.

Kofi Owusu aka Young Kof (his rap name) is a founder member of a music company Urbeatz (Urbeatz.com). Urbeatz do everything from developing and producing young artist at grassroots leve to distribution of designer clothes from London They also produce their own clothes and run rap workshops in schools. Urbeatz have now got a slot on BBC Radio Merseyside’s Upfront show Saturday nights around 9:30pm. They also broadcast an internet radio show each week to promote their own artist Urbeatzradio.com.

Young Kof a, singer, rapper and music producer has tunes that are up there with the best of them, Snoop, Usher, Jayz but don’t compare him to 50 Cent. “I don’t think 50 is a positive role model for the youth of today, the stuff he’s rapping about is not good for any youth black or white.�
"The schools always give us the bad classes thinking we won’t be able to cope."
Kofi Owusu

He was born in Liverpool but moved to London when he was six and came back to the city when he was 18 after studying performing arts. Living in London has helped him with his art form as hip hop Rn’B drum and base are much more bigger London's music scene. Kofi says his musical influences are bit of a musical 'all sorts', from, Stevie Wonder to Travis, Justin Timerblake to Donny Hathaway.

After hearing about the death of Anthony Walker he felt he should write a tribute song “Not to keep the memory of Anthony alive as that will always be there but to keep the awareness of what is going in society�. Young Kof has written/produced Where Did We Go Wrong a tune dedicated to the memory of Anthony Walker and Stephen Lawerence.

Urbeatz run a lot of workshops in schools and youth clubs. These are short course’s in the form of six weeks tasters to give children a different view of writing poetry through the means of rap. “The schools always give us the bad classes thinking we won’t be able to cope." Kofi says, "But when the teachers come back they shocked at how the kids are so into it."

I asked him how it feels to be a role model to young people, but that didn’t sit too comfortably with him “I don’t like to be seen as a role model as I don’t like the responsibility of that, as I make mistakes too." - BBC


oung Kof is an enigma in the UK Hip Hop scene. On one hand he is a soulful vocalist- able to infuse the hardest track with his smooth dulcet tones. On the other hand, he is a talented lyricist able to spit dark and edgy, provocative rhymes over any beat you throw at him. Whichever way you flip the coin; Young Kof, aka Kofi Owusu, is part of the emerging new wave of UK urban talent.

Flying the flag for Liverpool but originally born in East London, Young Kof has successfully fused together all the musical and cultural influences in his life and placed them into his music- to much critical acclaim. 1Xtra’s Ace and Invisible have heralded Kof as the 'future of music' and he has already shared the stage with UK stars like Roll Deep, Skinnyman and DJ Semtex. Young Kof speaks to Britishhiphop about breaking into the UK music scene.

BHH: Do you think living in both Liverpool and East London has influenced your musical style?

Young KofYoung Kof: Yeah definitely. The music I make is a product of the places I've been, the things I've felt and everything around me. I left London just before the Grime revolution kicked in so I was listening to a lot of garage, and speed garage. I've got a lot of that energy in my music. Liverpool has also got a big musical background so it all comes in to play within the music I make. Living in both places helped me realise how to connect with people through different styles and genres.

BHH: You sing and you rap- which one of the two feels more natural to you?

Young Kof: I was a singer first, from when I was a little kid singing on the stairs in my house for a couple of pound off my aunts and uncles, so that’s always been me. The rapping came much later but I seem to be doing a lot more of it lately. I think both come naturally to me, it just took me a while to realise that I could rap.

BHH: For people who don't know Young Kof, how would you describe your musical style?

Young Kof: You know I get asked that question so much and it's still the hardest to answer. I don't really have a specific musical style because I have so many different types. I might sing some sexy slow Neo Soul, flip it and do some grime influenced hip-hop mixed with a bit of electro house. Then switch that and jump on some hip hop fused with rock then go right back to some RnB. I'm into trying different styles and keeping it outside the box. I feel sorry for some of my fans who like one type of song because they might not get one that has a similar sound for a while! Sorry Peeps!

BHH: 1Xtra have been very supportive of your career thus far- in general do you think UK Urban acts receive enough support from media outlets?

Young KofYoung Kof: I could say yes but then you're always gonna get an artist who thinks he or she isn't getting enough support. If the music you make is good enough and people are feeling it, the media outlets have to take notice. It's their job! I do think that a lot of DJ's, magazines and TV channels need to step up their game when it comes to supporting UK music though. There's a little too much love for the U.S. music which seems to be getting more like cookie cutter music as the months go by. I believe that the UK is the future of urban music, especially with the talent we've got coming through!

BHH: How do you feel about performing at Celebration Of Life?

Young Kof: I feel blessed about being given the chance to perform. Anything that is for a good cause, bringing people together and using music to do that- I'm on it!

BHH: At this stage who would you most like to work with?

Young Kof: I've probably worked with most of the UK artists that I'd like to apart from Klashnekoff! Soon come though! Other than that, although I'm probably punching above my weight, I'd love to go toe to toe with Kanye on one of his beats. I'd like to do something with Musiq Soulchild. I think doing a track with Basement Jaxx would come out dangerous too! You know there's too many so I'll just stop there (laughs).

BHH: What advice would you give to aspiring singers and rappers?

Young KofYoung Kof: Just keep doing your thing. You're gonna get non believers, you're gonna get haters, you're gonna get overlooked for things you deserve but if you love what your doing and you believe in it strong enough then keep rolling with it. Definitely keep it positive because making music gives you the change to get into so many peoples ears, so spreading the right message is a must if we want people to progress! Don't forget to have fun though and be yourself!

BHH: Who are you feeling at the moment?

Young Kof: If were talking about artists then obviously Kano's doing it. Sway, Klash, Dizzee, Devlin, I'm getting into Ghetto a lot more lately for his flow. I like Ny too. There’s some dude called Young Kof who's coming up at the moment too. I'd say watch out for him! Producers: Jaguar Skillz, Joe Buhdha, Curtis Lynch Jnr, Daniel 2 Dark, Davinche, Dexplicit, Epitome and Jay Knowles to mention a few. U.S. though, Kanyeezy, Lupe Fiasco, Floetry, Murs, oh Common! Definitely Common! Luda's definitely doing it and I'm a massive fan of Jigga too!

BHH: What's next for Young Kof- what do you have in the pipeline?

Young Kof: Well I'm just finishing up my 3rd mixtape on URBEATZ called 'Still Me' (out on Dec 3rd). After that I'm working on a concept EP with producer Jay Knowles. I've doing some stuff with a band so I'm looking to get that stronger and work on some new music with them and get our shows up. I've got a few shows in Europe over the winter which I'm looking forward to. I'm looking to start work on my debut album next year, get that out and then begin to take my music to those who don't know! If you wonna see what I'm doing though check out the space that's mine, www.myspace.com/youngkofurbeatz and www.urbeatz.com .

By Michelle Adabra - British Hip Hop Magazine


Young Kof
Interview by Sam Clack

At the moment, you can barely blink before a new hip-hop act appears on the UK scene. Blink again and many of them disappear back into obscurity, having had their five minutes of fame. True, there’s a big pool of talent here – just check Jehst, Sway and Broke'n'English to see – but how do emerging artists manage to swim and not sink in this hectic and often heartless industry?

Sam Clack visited rapper, singer and founder of Urbeatz music collective Young Kof at his Liverpool studio to hear his story so far, including spots with Ms Dynamite, Lupe Fiasco, on 1Xtra and Channel U, and discovers more about his blueprint for success.

“First of all when, how and why did the idea for Urbeatz come about?

I've sung all my life but never taken it seriously; I started messing about just writing silly raps like little jokes. I ended up writing something about my life "Hard Times� and I had a little demo programme that I could record on but I couldn't save. I showed a couple of people the track and they seemed to like it. I dunno if they were shocked just because I'd done it or what. I got told about a small recording studio in Ormskirk where I could record it for a small fee. I checked it out and managed to get a decent recording.

The guy who owned the studio played it for a few friends who were doing gigs called the LMC. They asked me if I wanted to perform at a small rock event. I wrote a few more tracks and performed them. My cousin (Yaw) was there for support and was giving me tips while I was on stage. It turned out to be a success and the crowd seemed to enjoy the energy and performance. After that show, I got asked to do the Bikerstaff festival. I asked Yaw if he wanted to manage me coz I was booked for a couple more small festivals. We decided to go under the mane Urbeatz with the plan to work with more artists and get them shows and stuff. I got some of my own recording equipment and it's been a rap since then (excuse the pun!).

“What are its main driving forces and goals and how do you hope to achieve them?

The main driving force is success. We want to be successful in everything we do whilst keeping in line with a high level of quality. We have different goals all the time such as mixtape deadlines, getting radio play, getting music videos played. All of which have been achieved. Most goals we've set have been reached. For instance, we wanted to start up a newsletter by the end of the year. We've actually now joined up with a publisher and set up a magazine. So now we're co owners of a magazine and it's not even Christmas.

We're also setting up Urbeatz Films which will be producing music videos and we've just finished writing a film which will be shot in autumn.

“Now, your mum's Liverpudlian, your dad's Ghanaian and you were raised in East London. Where do you feel your roots are and how have these very different influences affected the direction of your music?

(Glad you asked this question)

Although I was raised in east London, I feel my roots will always be in Liverpool. When I lived in London I would visit family in Liverpool at least once a month. Living in London though, music is everywhere. Everybody was doing it, especially in my middle teens, and I would sing now and again but I was more of a spectator. I spent most of my time listening to Garage, rnb and Hip-hop and I was there around the birth of grime so I'd been heavily introduced to the main "urban" scene. Since I've moved back to Liverpool I have that London twang in my accent when I speak and rap so it's definitely influenced my speech. In terms of musical style, It's made me aware of how music can be so different and you can do different genre's as apposed to just one, which is why I might rap on one track, sing on another and then MC on one after that. As far as heritage, I can't really say I've been influenced because I don't know too much about my parental background. Not enough to influence my music anyway. Unless I'm talking about subjects like race or slavery.

“You certainly have a unique style of performing, combining rapping with soulful singing. Tell me who you’re key influences on both sides of the coin are and which genre do you feel most affinity with?

I've always sung since I can remember so that's me, first. Rapping is something I've picked up along the way but I feel strongly about both. Sometimes it's better to sing about something than rap it, and vice versa. I feel fortunate to be able to do both as well as I do. It sets me apart from a lot of other artists.

When I was younger I'd listen to singers like Donny Hathaway, Stevie wonder, the temptations and then modern artists like Jacko, Musiq Soulchild, Glenn Lewis, Usher, R. Kelly and laugh if you want but I think Justin Timberlake has a sick falsetto voice so I rate him for that too. In terms of rapping, the usual two on everybody's list, tupac and biggie, landmarks in the whole movement! Love Jay-z's music. I can't fault him. Right now I'm feeling Lupe Fiasco. I'm influenced by loads of rappers. I'm into British artist's such as Kano, Dizzie, Sway, Klashnekoff. Too many to name here.

“New artists seem to be emerging every day and there's a lot of talent out there in the UK. What sets you and other Urbeatz artists apart from the rest?

We don't follow no trends. I'm not gonna say "We're real, we speak the truth" even though we do, but that’s clichéd now. We make good music and we're true to ourselves and the places we come from. On a real though, I don't think anybody in the uk can do me like me. I know that there are a couple of artists that sing and rap, I don't think any of them reach me in quality of content and flow and be good at both styles as sharp as me! If I'm wrong, come find me! Ha!

“What have been your key achievements so far?

I've done a lot of things that I'm proud of over the past two years and I'd like to put them all down. Obviously I cant. The first would be setting up Urbeatz with my cuz, that means that hopefully I won't ever have to work for anyone.

Musically, I've done tracks and shared the stage with some great uk artists. Skinny man, Ms Dynamite etc. and it's a pleasure to do that and be seen on a par with them in some circles. My greatest to date though is writing the track "Where did we go wrong", A song I wrote about racism, where I talk about the death of Anthony Walker and Steven Lawrence. Also about society on the whole and how black people and members of ethnic minorities are treated in the uk and across the globe. It's the realest song I've ever wrote and it touches everybody who hears it. When people tell me how much they love the song and tell me how good it is that I'm making positive music, It stands for a lot in my mind. It's definitely the song I'm most proud of.

“Now, as well as performing, you also effectively run a business. I mean, you've got the Urbeatz store and, arguably more importantly, you're maintaining some very strong links in the Liverpool community. How important is it not just to perform, but also to perform as a business?

It's extremely important. With downloading so rife at the moment and being that artists are 10 a penny these days, it's hard to make a living out of music. Having a business means that we can explore other ventures and be able to survive without solely relying on the music. It also gives us a change to give back to the communities that aren't as well off as a lot of places in the uk. We do workshops in schools and youth groups, teaching poetry through rapping or bullying and racism and stuff. We cover the board quite well with the programmes we offer. Also with Urbeatz films, and Urbeatz radio. We have other mediums of getting our music heard and making people aware of the talent we have and the talent that is out there.

“What about the workshops you run with Urbeatz? Tell me about them.

They help community leaders and school teachers to relate to the pupils a little better. Because we are young and hip-hop is very much the in thing at the moment, teachers are looking for new and better ways to reach kids and raise issues that are going on in their lives and society. It's easy for the kids to relate to us because we come from the same background as most of them so we can identify with them better. We just use what we know and have learnt through our own experiences to educate the children that we work with.

“You've recently received some good coverage on 1Xtra, loads of people have been downloading the podcast you put out and now a member of your stable - Pyro - is putting it down on Channel U. Things are looking pretty good for you right now aren't they?

Yeah, definitely. It was only a matter of time before people started to recognize what we can bring to the table. 1Xtra have supported us when some dj's in Liverpool wouldn't. Now everybody's on it. They've shown us a lot of love. We've had interviews and been played on some of the best shows on there, Ras Kwame, Semtex and twin B etc. So it's made a lot of people stand up and take notice. We were the first people to get a video on channel U from Liverpool so we've kinda set the benchmark with all that video stuff. We wanna hit MTV Base and get nationally know. It's good to get your city on side first though. Pyro's video is doing big on Channel U now though. We wanna take it bigger though. The video for where did we go wrong is doin well too and has just reached number 9 in the channel U Chart. Young mob's video for where Ya Der should be on now too so everyones getting their shine on. It's good. Can only get better from here though!

“So where does Kof - not sure I can call you young any more! - stand now and what's up next for you and the Urbeatz collective?

Ha ha! Yeah I think I'm gonna drop the young soon. It's hard though coz that's what people know me as. I'm not big enough to have name changing ceremony like Diddy just yet though. Ha.

Next Out we've got Epitome's Mixtape Called "Epitome Of the Remix" scheduled to come out soon. He's done a bunch of remix's and laid famous rappers over it. It's dirty. Old skoolers and new skoolers alike will love it. We haven't got an exact date coz our hard drive blew an we didn't have a back up so we're just sorting out the finishing touches on that one. Should be out in the next couple of months though. We've got defiance's Mixtape out soon too. It features the skilled production of defiance himself along side some of the best rappers in Liverpool. Can't wait for that one. Pyro and the Younger mob should both have their mixtapes out in the first quarter of next year so keep an ear out for them. I'm currently working on my solo mixtape which is gonna get you on it, if your not already in the month of Octber this year. It's called Love Life 'N' Music. Gonna have everthing on it. Singing, Rapping MCing. Just finished a track last night which may be the first single. It's called Circles. The hook will be in your head for time! All our mixtapes will be sold in Virgin and Probe in Liverpool and if there ain't no copy's there, you can find information on where to get it from at www.urbeatz.com. We're planning the film as well in the autumn so keep on the website for when that's out.

If anybody wants to sign up to our mailing list were we'll send you some of our new tracks and promo's you can email us at mailinglist@urbeatz.com

Keep your eyes open coz it's goona be a good year!

Peace - Plastic Soup


As always the Young Kof delivers. His smooth vocals got the crowd hanging on every note- his tribute song for murdered teenager Anthony Walker “Where Did We Go Wrong?� put a tear in everyone’s eyes. Young Kof has the potential, energy and attitude to perform on Top of the Pops. Young Kof’s journey is one that should not be missed. - BBC



Maverick spirits keep the city's flame alive

The road to Liverpool's stint as 2008 European Capital of Culture has been quite a rocky one. But as the city prepares for launch next month, we profile the up-and-coming talents under 30 driving its flourishing arts scene





KOF (Kofi Owusu), rapper, singer and music producer

'The urban music scene is pretty small in Liverpool,' says Kofi Owusu. 'You can't catch a hip hop show any given night here. But it's growing. In a few years it could be on a par with rock and indie.' If Owusu, who raps under the name Young Kof, is typical of the level of talent in the city at present, he might just be right.

His sound fuses issue-led lyrics that draw inspiration from 'conscious' US rappers such as Common with the kind of pulsating basslines and skittery beats associated with grime, but there is something distinctive about this 24-year-old. His accented delivery and idiosyncratic style could herald a new sound unique to his hometown. 'Liverpool's got a vibe unlike any other city,' he says, 'but if my career builds any further' - Owusu has had Radio 1 and 1Xtra airplay on the back of two well-received underground mix tapes on his Urbeatz label, and he has an album in the works - 'it's inevitable I'll have to move to London. I don't want to though.'

He adds: 'I do think Liverpool deserves to be Capital of Culture but I don't think it's being dealt with in the right way. The people aren't in control of what's happening, and they should be. Nobody can show the culture of Liverpool better than its people.'
KF

- Guardian


The Friday evening began with Young Kof bringing the bite and rhythmic energy of rap to challenging effect. This scouse artist with plenty to say breaks free from the hip hop stereotype portrayed by so many wealthy rap artists. He played the audience superbly, and won over a largely folky audience with a mix of natural charm and great music. His song dedicated to Anthony Walker, 'Where Did We Go Wrong?' was genuinely moving. A great performer and one who deserves to get to the top of his ladder, for all of our sakes. - Catalyst


Discography

Singles

Looking At Me (2011) - playlisted on 1Xtra, strong support by Radio 1, Capital, Choice, UnityRadio, BangRadio + more
Video playlisted on numerous TV channels including MTV
Released: Nothin But The Music

All Good (2010) - playlisted on BBC Radio 1Xtra
Video playlisted on numerous TV channels
Released: Nothin But The Music

Fire It Up (2010) - Charted in Commercial Club Chart no16, Video on MTV and other TV channels
Released: Nothin But The Music

FAMOUS (2009) - supported on Radio 1 and BBC Radio 1Xtra. Video playlisted on numerous TV channels
Released: Nothin But The Music

Jump (2009) - supported on Radio 1 and BBC Radio 1Xtra.

Drop (2009) - supported on Radio 1 and BBC Radio 1Xtra.

You Must Be Dumb (2008) - playlisted on BBC Radio 1Xtra, Kemet and received support from numerous radio station across UK and Europe including Radio 1

Body Rock (2007) - playlisted on BBC Radio 1Xtra, Kemet and received support from numerous radio station across UK and Europe

Revolution (2007) - playlisted on BBC Radio 1Xtra, Kemet and received support from numerous radio stations across UK and Europe

80's Baby (2007) - playlisted on BBC Radio 1Xtra, Kemet and received support from numerous radio stations across UK and Europe

LPS / EPS / PROMO

All Good (Promo) - 2010
DJ Put It Louder (Promo) - 2010
The KOF EP (EP) - 2009
Still Me (Promo) - 2007
Sides of Me (Promo) - 2007
Love, Life and Music (Promo) - 2006

Photos

Bio

Musically it may be best to describe KOF as a rapper/singer-songwriter who creates music that is a fusion of inner city music genres, new school flair and old school flavour, mixed with conscious lyrics and big beats. KOF’s talents lay not only in his unique and undeniable realism, but also in his soulful voice and melodic flow. Add that to his open and unrestricted approach to music and you can understand why he is considered a ‘breath of fresh air’ in the UK Music Scene.

KOF’s ability to match catchy lyrics and melodic flows over quality contemporary sounds has led him to develop a strong fan base, that cuts across racial and regional boundaries.

Despite being classed by some as a ‘new artist’ KOF has already achieved consistent air play on stations such as BBC 1Xtra, Capital Network and Radio 1, and has opened up for international touring artists, in the process gaining a dedicated following; not only in the shape of his ever expanding fan base, but in respected music industry officials alike.

KOF’s developing buzz across the nation has led to kudos and support from the likes of Ras Kwame, DJ Target, Mistajam, Huw Stephens, Ace N Vis and many more and collaborations with Wiley, Sway, Wretch 32, Skinnyman, Rodney P, Curtis Lynch Jnr, Jaguar Skills and numerous top producers.

After a few years of breaking into the national Urban Scene through a series of 1Xtra playlisted tracks KOF raised his career further in 2009 with consistent radio play on BBC Radio 1 and co-signs by some of their top Djs such as Zane Lowe, Huw Stephens, Annie Mac and Ras Kwame. Further the summer saw KOF perform across the UK and Europe at some of the top festivals and events including Glastonbury, EU Music Days, Malmo Festival and HUB. In July 2010 KOF released his first single, 'Fire It Up', featuring UK Urban superstar, Wiley. The track was named MOBO Single of the Week and received strong support from Radio 1, 1Xtra, Choice, Juice FM and many others. Further the video received plays on MTV Base, Flava and Chart Show TV whilst in club world the track shot to no16 in the Commercial Dance Chart. KOF's follow up track, 'All Good' added to an already successful 2010 when it was playlisted by 1Xtra and garnered continued support from Radio 1, Choice and Juice. The video was a regular on Sky TV Music channels whilst in club land the song charted in the Top 40 of the Commercial Dance Chart.

After a busy and very successful 2010, KOF continued the good work with a new fresh live, soulful sound with the single 'Looking At Me'. In August the single was playlisted on BBC Radio 1Xtra, leading to multiple plays on Radio 1, Capital Network, Choice FM. The video for 'Looking At Me' was added to multiple TV playlists including MTV and KOF lined up a series of industry gigs as well as a 6 City UK Tour with his live band.

For more information: www.kofmusic.com