Kwabs – Love + War: Exclusive album stream

Have a listen to the Londoner’s soulful debut album ahead of release and let us know your thoughts

Kwabs says he’d always envisioned writing a debut album that he “could sing from a mountaintop”. His vocals are certainly big enough for such a location, although it would have to be a summit set up with an impressive range of technology. Because what makes Love + War stand out is the contrast between soulful emotive and inventive, synth-led production.

Certainly the electronic setting helps make the 24-year-old stand out from the plethora of MOR soul singers currently clogging up the charts. Featuring appearances from the likes of SOHN and Dave Okumu, Love + War tops a year that has seen Kwabs appear on the BBC’s Sound of 2015 longlist, score 200m streams for his hit single Walk and guest on Disclosure’s forthcoming second album. It’s an album aimed at the pop mainstream, but also one on which the London-born singer gets personal at times, especially on Father Figure and the closing track Cheating on Me.

“My story’s quite mixed up,” says Kwabs, acknowledging a journey that has taken him from growing up in social care to discovering his Ghanaian family roots to winning a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music. “And my influences are quite mixed up because of my background. Whenever I try to explain that to people, they find me hard to categorise because they find it unfamiliar. I question it sometimes – should I be something more familiar to people? But I like it, I like being the product of several different weird parts.”

Have a listen to the results of this mix using the player below and let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Contributor

Guardian music

The GuardianTramp

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