Rising Manchester grime star Two4Kay is about to release ‘2 2 Badmind’. Written and produced himself, it’s a dancehall and afrobeat-influenced tune inspired by his family roots. We caught up with Two4Kay to find out more.
Everything that’s happened has shaped me, and this is who I am.
Tell us bit about yourself - what was it like growing on Moss Side in Machester?
Well I’m Two4.. Two4Kay, born and raised in Manchester, Moss side to be exact. I’ve been really stuck on this music thing since I was 13, it’s actually crazy to think more than 10 years ago I came across fruity loops!
Growing up here has been a madness in a good and a bad way. At a time it was real rough but the music was popping at the same time. This was before we were on the social media hype.
What was the first style or genre of music you really got into?
The first genre of music I actually got into was RnB, unintentionally. My mum and my auntie would sit there all night album-after-album, 702, Brandy, Monica I could go on forever. But the genre I started creating myself was grime. I always loved RnB and wanted to do it somehow but with me having a mad grime reputation, living in Moss Side and trying to live up to this name and kind of ‘bad man’ front I didn’t dare to!
Was their a particular song or artist who inspired you?
To be honest my inspiration was very close to home. My older bros and cousins formed a group called RawT and they were signed to Mr Manchester Tony Wilson RIP. When I look back they were doing bits mate and I was seeing this first hand as a kid making beats in my bedroom.
How do you set about writing songs? Is there a common starting point?
Well firstly, I don’t actually write songs I kind of hum them in the air. I have my own lil studio so I have that freedom to just relax and let the vibe come naturally rather than picking up a pen or my phone and being like ‘yeah I’m going to write a song’. I have a sick team of musicians around me like Tobi Sunmola, LiTek, Gemma Moon and ROAM who are like my ‘bouncing off-ers’ when I’m working on a song.
I’ll sing a bunch of different riffs and say all sorts of phrases and one of them will pick up on something and then I’m off. Sometimes I’m on my own and it just happens, ‘2 2 Badmind’ being a prime example. Funny I started with the bass pattern it’s mad simple, but once I got that down everything came to me very quickly.
Tell us about your new single ‘2 2 Badmind’. What’s it about?
The chorus says it all really. I guess I was witnessing a lot of bad mind things around that period of time and I was putting it out there that I don’t want any of that around me. I think everyone doesn’t want any bad vibes around them, right? So instantly people can relate to it, even bad-mind people sing along to it.
You wrote and produced the track yourself. What challenges did that present?
Like I said before, this song just came to me once I got that bass pattern in. I think the main challenge for me was refraining from layering and adding too much to the song.
Your Caribbean roots can be heard in the track, how does that sound influence your songwriting?
It just kind of gives me a pass to throw 2 2 Yard talk in the song, lol, meaning Patois. It also gives me more ways to rhyme.
What are your hopes for ‘2 2 Badmind’?
To be honest, I’m so happy with what it has done already, man. This Christmas gone I did a little PA at my Mum’s house and I swear it’s probably the best PA I’ve done of that song so far, seriously. Seeing my family and friends support it and genuinely like it is enough for me, but I do think it can go all the way at the same time definitely.
You’re opening for Popcaan on his UK headline tour kicking off in June. How did that come about?
It’s sick because Popcaans manager is my manager so he just told me dead casually and I’m just there like ‘are you for real’?
What can we expect from your sets on the tour?
Greatness! Straight like that man. Well, that’s if I can actually get to plan my lighting and have my pianist with me and stuff. Me and my team give performing that full on attention it needs for it to be a real show.
Are there any further live dates coming up for you?
Yesss, I think the one I’m most excited about doing is Dubai, BritJam! Never been to Dubai so I can’t wait and it’s a great feeling to know my music is allowing me to go places I’ve always wanted to see.
What else is coming up for you in 2017?
I’ve got loads of music already recorded, projects already put together all done before I even got into management. Me and my team understand that this is just the beginning of a long road, so I guess we’re not expecting too much to happen this year. With me saying that, look at what has happened already off one song, the possibilities are endless!
Finally, if you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, when would you go back to and what would you say?
You know what, it’s a bit boring but I wouldn’t change a thing man. Everything that’s happened has shaped me, and this is who I am.
Watch the video for ‘2 2 BadMind’ on YouTube below. For news and tour dates go to Two4Kay’s Facebook page.