Bristol's K*Ners straddles the line between ragga and hip hop, with a pair of albums to his name and a video just released for new single 'Celebrate'. We spoke to him about getting started with sound systems, developing a taste for hip hop and his latest work.
I knew if I could rock a crowd in Jamaica I could rock a crowd anywhere on God’s green Earth.
First up, tell us bit about yourself - what first got you into music?
Music was a medium to get out my frustrations. You know when they say you have to turn negative energy into something positive? That was me and music 👌🏾.
Were there any particular bands or artists you took inspiration from when you were establishing your sound?
Rodney P, Roots Manuva UK-wise, and I listened to a lot of reggae so was heavily influenced by the likes of Bounty Killer and Beenie Man.
Why the name K*Ners?
It was a nickname spun from my name Horaine. It rhymes with hurricane, Then it got shortened to Kane. My city of Bristol is known for it’s strong country/ farmer accents so the Kane evolved into Kaners. They said there was already a big rapper called Big Daddy Kane so I couldn’t be called that. Lol.
How would you describe your style?
I have an easy-on-the-ear style where I’m more or less having a conversation with the listener. You will find the odd yardie patois slang in spots though. Lol.
You started out as a ragga MC on a sound system. Which sound system were you affiliated to?
Sounds like Unique Star had dubplates from myself and, when I visited Jamaica last, I did a live performance on Killamanjaro’s sound system, which went very well.
How did that experience set you on the music course you’re on now?
Jamaica is known for their honesty to music. If you’re rubbish they will throw bottles after you to get off the stage. If you’re good they would shout from the roof tops to show you their appreciation. I impressed them, so I knew if I could rock a crowd in Jamaica I could rock a crowd anywhere on God’s green Earth.
You’ve infused hip hop into your style, what’s the genre’s significance to you?
Hip hop I can express my true thoughts into. When I was doing reggae/ dancehall music at the time it was more taking about guns, politicians and women. That wasn’t my life at all, so when I heard a Nas song ‘It Ain’t Hard to Tell’, that was the moment I fell in love with hip hop.
You’ve released two albums: K In Da Flesh and Voice of the City. What response did you get for them?
Both albums did well with songs getting supported by 1Xtra’s playlist and by the likes of Charlie Sloth and Trevor Nelson, as well as radio abroad.
Tell us about your new single ‘Celebrate’. What’s it about?
‘Celebrate’ is a song to say you should celebrate your achievements. This music game is a tough one with lots of competition. A lot of people get disheartened when they don’t get to where they want to be, whether it be a Charlie Sloth fire in the booth, or slot at a festival. It doesn’t mean your rubbish, just means it’s not your time yet. So persevere and celebrate what you have done.
The video has just been released, who worked on it?
My video was shot by Stormzy’s #Merky’s Kaylum Dennis. He did a good job, I feel.
What are your hopes for ‘Celebrate’?
I’m working on a ‘Celebrate’ Remix so look out for that one.👌🏾
What else have you got in store for 2018?
I have my label K-Star which I will be releasing an EP Feat Elliot Jr, Vcd & Dr Eith… so look out for that. We have a lot of things in the pipeline.
*Watch the video for 'Celebrate' on YouTube below. For news and tour dates [follow K*Ners on Twitter](https://twitter.com/k_ners).*