His voice is mesmerizing, very well controlled, an undulating range on the high and lows, deep and soulful. Originally from Ghana, growing up and based in London; We Plug To You… Kwabs. Kwabena Adjepong aka Kwabs first caught my attention with his very moving rendition of “Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child” which he performed live at Buckingham Palace in front of Prince Harry as part of the grand finale of the BBC 2 reality TV programme, Goldie’s Band: By Royal Appointment. I got to find out upon further research that the Ghanaian-British Singer/Songwriter was in fact a contestant on the three-part BBC 2 reality TV series and among the final twelve young musicians chosen to form a band that represents “the sound of Britain today“.
He may come across a little laid back in his styling and appearance (judging from photos and videos of the young Londoner) but Kwabs’ voice is big, bigger than the space it fills and very unexpected. He sings as a ‘matter of fact’. Intense and deep. I practically could not get distracted while listening to him sing. His vocal cords are undoubtedly created to sing and it surely shows he is working at his craft with his calculated and effortless riffs and runs, done clearly not to impress and which come out as natural and beautiful as can be. This is a voice that creates colors, very haunting and arresting in a positive, feel good way.
It’s so difficult to streamline his style, his voice is R&Bish and Soulful, and cuts across Jazz, Soul and Gospel/Old Spiritual genres. His sound transcends description and if I had to (only if I had to), I would put him in the same basket as Anthony Hamilton, Stevie Wonder and Sam Cooke. His following is growing and everyone is looking forward to a recorded project from him soon. There may not be a lot out there, yet, on Kwabs’ music but there are a couple of well done covers on YouTube, including one of Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Like A Star” while he has digitally released only a couple of originals. Kwabs has also been on tour with Plan B on his UK-wide Forest Tour.
Let’s get you plugged into two of his originals, this first one is titled “Lay Back” and was released last month. Like Kwabs said on his Facebook page, “if it moves you; it moves you“. “Lay Back” is a soulful almost bluesy sound riding on minors at some pretty interesting places, backed by bass and acoustic guitar licks. Beautiful. It’s a song obviously designed to calm the listener and clearly written from his soul. Poetic with a personalized message. Kwabs sings nicely in his deep soulful low register on this one. Take a listen.
“So breaaaaaaaaaaaaathe, remember what it’s like to lay back”
Another of his originals is titled “So” which you can listen to below. The song is an acoustically driven R&B/Soul song which allows Kwabs exhibit his vocal range excellently especially with those well-injected adlibs. The richness of his voice is highlighted all across “So” as he sings passionately about the centre of his attention being one of a kind. Enjoy.
And we will round this feature up with his cover of James Blake’s “The Wilhelm Scream”. 30,000 views in a month can’t be wrong so check it out below
Kwabs is not just a good singer, he is also a passionate songwriter who writes from his heart. He is more than ready to join the league of new generation leaders of Jazz, Soul and R&B but I am sure he will not only join, but stand out and be a legend in his own right. No question about this, his voice, his skills (and his fans) will not let him fade away into obscurity. I smell Grammy Awards for the burgeoning artist as we’re very excited about Kwabs and hopefully it happens for him. Stay tuned and let’s see what else this talented rising star has in store for us.