Sunday, September 09, 2007


set of collaborators that Kano has on his new album- Damo and my girl, Kate Nash.
On his debut album, Kano relied on support from a small number of close associates, but for the follow-up he has spread his net far wider. Craig David and Lemar croon soulfully, while the dancehall star Vybz Kartel adds his particular brand of earthiness. Most eye-catching of all is the appearance of Damon Albarn on the lolloping "Feel Free", the chorus augmented by kids from Kano's old school. Not that the artist planned it that way. In fact, he started recording the album without his label's knowledge, laying down a handful of tracks to show how he wished to progress. "I did it that way because you get too many people telling you how a track needs to go. I made a lot of tracks without anyone on them, apart from session singers or my producer, but I wanted to hear somebody different, so I got in Vybz Kartel and that went well. I don't normally like collaborations, because it's more hassle, with too many preconditions."


Although fellow British rapper Lethal B has released Back To Biznizz, with a guest appearance from Kate Nash, Kano is adamant that he discovered the singer-songwriter first. Last November, the rapper wrote lyrics for a girl to sing on "Me & My Microphone". He asked his producer to find someone in the mould of Lily Allen, so the producer trawled the solo star's MySpace page for female performers, from which Kano plumped for Nash. After the live clampdown drove black artists back underground, they have set up shop on the social networking site and use it to make contacts or publicise their work.

"Fraser was a bit scared of contacting her at first," Kano remembers with a chuckle. "He thought so many people must contact her saying, 'I'm a producer', but she came down and did her stuff."

The forthcoming single, "This Is The Girl", shows yet another side to this versatile performer. With its strident strings sample, plus Craig David on hand to provide a melodic counterpoint to Kano's rap, he has created an R'*'B/garage hybrid that has been tearing up dancefloors for weeks. "I'd been talking to Craig for a while. I like R'*'B and I like working with different people that do what I can't and bring in their thing."

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