Like much of the southwestern edge of central London, Pimlico is a place of two halves. Four story town-houses and boujee wine stores line the public facing streets, but behind them, out of view of the countless tourists who visit the area each year, are the council estates. Up-and-coming London rap artist and producer Kadiata lives in one of these, in a place he shares with his mum.
“At first she wasn’t sure about the music thing,” he says, grinning, when I arrive at his sixth floor flat. He’s dressed in red Adidas sliders and white socks, motioning for me to take my shoes off before I head inside. “‘We didn’t come to this country’ for you to do that’, but then I gave her her first cheque and she could see it was working.” In the couple of decades since moving over from Angola at the age of four, things are beginning to click into place – Kadiata is making moves in a creative industry.
To get to a point of sustainability has taken a minute, though. Kadiata and I first met back in 2015, when we premiered his debut video “Goodnight” – something he’s quick to remind me of as I feel my brain slipping into mush, sure that it couldn’t have been more than two years let alone four. But alas, he’s right. And since then, Kadiata’s brought his boundary shifting production to a host of names in London’s music scene – Che Lingo, Jesse James Solomon, House of Pharaohs member Samwise.
We’re here today to talk about “Margherita”, his most recent solo track, which we’re premiering the video for below. Shot on Kadiata’s estate, and described as “an anthem for anyone trying to live their best life and better themselves in every way”, it has a last supper feel to it. Kadiata and his friends dine out and drink up, before he heads off for a quick nap in a bedroom they’ve assembled on a patch of grass. The piece was put together by Alt, a team of creatives that Kadiata keeps close to hand – preferring to work with people he knows, everyone going on the journey together. “It was a hell of a lot of dissembling,” he says with a laugh, remembering how long it took to ferry various furniture items around London, taking them apart and putting them back again.
“People have started to invest in me, and if I keep saving that money, I’ll be able to put that toward a deposit,” he tells me, speaking on his eventual plans to buy the council flat he lives in outright. It’s a smart move. And it’s a nice place too, we’re sat on sofas on either side of a fairly large living room, which is where he creates his music. On one side, stacks and stacks of DVDs and old PlayStation games, running the gamut from Driv3r through to GTA V. There’s a fat TV screen too, but the most important set-piece is his production set-up – a laptop and keyboard and speakers on a raised table, looking out from the sixth floor of the building and out toward Pimlico.
He’ll be following up this video with a new EP, dropping as the seasons start to shift back toward summer – sometime around May and June. It’s named Blind This Summer. “You know, like, that summer feeling? Where you’re – not unaware – but in your own bubble, you get me? ‘Fuck it, it’s summer, I’m going to let go of whatever, let me just live’. That’s what this project stands for, still.” Keep your eyes and ears peeled when it’s ready to be released. For now, Kadiata is going to keep working.
As I’m about to leave, producer Flyo (known for his work with Suspect) pops around – him and Kadiata are going to be making some music this evening with Jesse James Solomon, who is also on the way. So I wonder what Kadiata likes best: producing for himself or for other people? “It’s hand in hand, it’s art. As a producer, sometimes my voice isn’t the right colour to paint with, do you get what I mean? Sometimes it’s Jesse who is the right colour to paint over it. As a producer you’re assembling bare different things, innit. So I look at it as a painting still.”
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