Ones to watch: Declan McKenna and Kweku Collins

Brig Music recommends Declan McKenna and Kweku Collins as musicians of the moment.

Declan McKenna

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Photo: Chuff Media

by Amy Pollock

Declan McKenna is unlike any other 17-year-old musician you’ve heard of. Instead of pulling a Shawn Mendes and whinging about his first heartbreak, Declan’s first self-released song ‘Brazil’ took a completely different approach by tackling the FIFA corruption scandal. Since that 2015 debut, he has continued to astound eager listeners with his mature lyricism by commenting on further intense topics and encouraging them to become vital talking points – including the media’s misrepresentation of transgender teenagers in ‘Paracetamol’, as well as touching on his thoughts of religion and war in ‘Bethlehem’.

After winning the Glastonbury Festival’s ‘Emerging Talent Competition’ last year after the release of ‘Brazil’, there was no mistaking this kid for a one-hit-wonder. His new single ‘Isambard’ comes just weeks before heading out on an eleven-day UK tour alongside Blossoms at the end of September.

Declan explains: “The idea of Isambard is basically about this right-wing, Fox News-type TV presenter trying to justify things like police brutality and xenophobia, and using cases for backwards political gains, but completely fumbling over his words and not really knowing what he’s talking about.”

Excuse me while I go find a ‘Vote for Declan’ t-shirt ASAP.

Declan will be supporting Blossoms @ Glasgow’s 02 ABC on 1st October.

Kweku Collins

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Photo: Mass Appeal

by Mark Cruikshank

Paving his own way in the hip-hop scene, Kweku Collins will soon become your favourite indie artist. Growing up in a family of musicians saw Collins focus all of his energy into a career in music from the age of 15 – after also being inspired by Kanye West to take up rapping. Four years later, he has a few EPs under his belt and has recently released a self-produced project titled ‘Nat Love’, which gives a nod to his local Illinois hip-hop scene.

Collins matches a slow tempo with a relaxed style of rap in a way that not many other artists can. His obvious understanding of music is evidenced in his track ‘Stupid Roses’, in which he is not afraid to use unusual patterns in both the backing track and his vocals to create a dreamy work of art. He is pegged by many to cause quite a stir in the music scene very soon and if his latest project is anything to go by, then his future work could really put him on the music map.

‘Nat Love’ is available to listen for free on Spotify and Soundcloud, or to purchase for £5.99 on iTunes.

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