Kwabs is a name we’ve sorely missed hearing.
To bring you up to speed: the vocalist’s incredible single ‘Walk’ became a hit in 2015, following by a universally acclaimed full length record. The next 12 months brought his profile tour spots, a Disclosure collaboration, and a Stormzy sample, before his emphatic Radio 1 Live Lounge spot went viral.
But then he stopped.
The seeming disappearance of Kwabs only added to his potency, with the soulful voice silenced by his own volition.
New single ‘Hurt A Little’ finds Kwabs stepping back into the light, and it addresses his seclusion. A song that discusses mental health in the music industry, it’s a poignant, vastly personal listen, with a lyric that touches on disconnection, despair, and the search for meaning.
A message from the heart, ‘Hurt A Little’ is simple, stark, and honest – the unvarnished truth, spoken by a soulful voice. As he puts it: “This song ‘Hurt A Little’ is one of the few I recorded for my second album that I felt comfortable to listen to after pretty much completely disconnecting from music (I didn’t really listen to much music for years.)”
Discussing his decision to leave music behind, Kwabs adds: “The industry is challenging because business and art clash; but it’s not trying to make hit records that I found problematic. It was the lack of capacity the industry had to recognise and limit the harm it does to its artists…. My decision [to leave] was part of a wider philosophy and part of my life story. It runs deeper than what happened during the time I was an active artist.”
Out now, ‘Hurt A Little’ is a magnificent return, mature in its execution and bold in its scope. Is this part of an ongoing project? Can fans expect more from this reclusive voice?
He explains: “I want to be well enough to come back to performing forever but I have no real answer for when I will be. I want to use the extraordinary privilege that has come from being an artist to actually be happy, rather than just chase it.”
Check out ‘Hurt A Little’ below.