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Get to know Kah-Lo, the Grammy-nominated Nigerian MC

Working with UK producer Riton, she pairs a monotone flow with jackin' house beats

  • Words: Charlie Case | Photo: Daviston Jeffers
  • 27 June 2018
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The party-starting bangers have come thick and fast since then, with tracks like ‘Money’ and ‘Betta Riddim’ adding an afrobeat twist to the hip house dynamic – although she likes to distance herself from the genre dominating Nigeria’s airwaves. “I’m African but I’m not making African music,” she says. “My music doesn’t connect with Nigerians the way local music does.” Meanwhile, on tracks like ‘Fake ID’ and ‘Ginger’, she employs a monotone energy similar to New York artists like Azealia Banks and Zebra Katz.

But don’t call Kah-Lo a rapper. “I don’t like the term ‘rapping’; my style is more talking,” she says. “I actually prefer to sing, but talking over house just works better.” In fact, there are moments on upcoming debut album, ‘Foreign Oil’ where Kah-Lo has already started to make that transition to singing – like on ‘Ready To Make A Move’ where she lets her vocals loose over Todd Terje-esque grooves.

Looking to the future, Kah-Lo plans to step out from under the wing of Riton and release her solo work in the next year. And her Grammy nomination has only motivated her further. “Next time we’ll try to win!” she says. But for now, with her album with Riton landing in August and slots at South West Four, Pukkelpop and Reading & Leeds, Kah-Lo looks set to soundtrack the summer with future-facing festival anthems.

Riton & Kah-Lo’s debut album ‘Foreign Oil’ is due this summer

Charlie Case is Mixmag's Staff Writer, follow him on Twitter

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