Stephen of Kent is a South African singer-songwriter, rapper, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. He is also, along with Michael Taku and David Weru, the founder of the lifestyle collective and creative firm, “ThisIsArt”. He takes influences from contemporaries like Childish Gambino, Bon Iver, Frank Ocean, Kings of Leon and The XX while still being able to draw from the music he was raised on such as Outkast, Prince, TKZee and Pink Floyd. Kent has often noted Kanye West as one of his greatest musical influences. Kent’s music aims to explore the human condition and express it in its rawest form. He makes use of unconventional melodies and cadences and has the rare gift of self-producing elaborate, lush, maximalist beats.
Stephen Of Kent has since then dropped a joint EP with 2leeStark called “There May Be Wolves” which made waves in the industry and took them on a countrywide tour alongside big brands such as Jägermeister, even headlining at an Oppi Koppi Festival stage and Marquees at the Durban July. Shortly after that, he went on a solo path, putting together some unreleased music and taking us on a musical journey with the “Neo Sapien Experience” EP. That then led to Stephen collaborating with various artists in the industry from both ends as a producer and artist. Working with the likes of Sho Madjozi, Tresor, Lady Zamar, Reason & DJ ZanD just to name a few.
Fast forward to after the singles Luz Kontrol, featuring Patrickxxlee & 4Am featuring Reason, which created more of a buzz for Stephen Of Kent & Blank Space Records’ first Number 1 on the Apple iTunes Chart, a banger called “Dollar,” produced by the man himself. The single is the third instalment of Stephen’s “Brad Reputation” single release series which has surpassed 30k streams on Spotify within only 2 months. This is a result of his fanbase which he refers to as Fight Club Members coming together and supporting the upcoming artist.
In this magnum opus, the artist delves into a nuanced conversation about money, the song speaks about the struggles of not having money and the difficulties that surround the day-to-day process of trying to acquire it. Dollar is a catchy, experimental, and lyrically dense pop song that explores new formats and instrumental intricacies with a vibey kwaito sound, it has a beautifully sung hook with cascading arrangements.
The latest single, which also debuted at number 1 on the Hip Hop Za iTunes chart has the ambitions of being imagined as a modern Pop-Kwaito manifesto. The anthemic release is the first release of 2021 by the young artist. The song boasts an infectious hook with a nocturnal drum groove that reminds people of the funk sensibilities that made them fall in love with Kwaito in the 90s. The lyrical content in the rap verses tells a story of struggle as a budding artist and entrepreneur that many African millennials can relate to. The song is as personal as it is relateable. It is a maximalist project with high ambition that seeks to carve the artist’s sonic imprint on the radio waves.
Stephen Of Kent has been putting a lot of work with his single releases and has more to come with rumours of compilation project coming from Blank Spaces and their artists and other unreleased music. Be sure to look out for more news and updates from Stephen Of Kent as he reveals his next move.