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Matterz Interview: Kojo

Hi Kojo, Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us. 
You didn’t want to release any music until Tony Ram convinced you, what was his selling point in getting you to release new music again? And what was your reason for not wanting to release any new music?

Not many people know this but i was once part of a boy band in the caribbean called New Creation.We were successful to gain the attention of Superstar ‘Eddy Grant’ and record an album at his studios in Barbados.We received awards for being the BEST R&B Group in the Caribbean and toured with Uk Artists at the time Ant and Dec. Not many bands have evolved since from the caribbean and that was still many years ago.However that all ended with a terrible car accident taking the life of one of our dear members and that dream was over.I’ve never got over that.Thus being successful in music is an idea i struggle with a lot as the idea of what you can lose totally scares me,The last time i reached for it resulted in the death of a friend so i’ve never wanted to release any music.

However i’ve never lost my love for recording, performing,singing and writing but i just got accustomed to doing it in the shadows  whilst working in A&R or just as a music exec whenever i could.I was doing  social media work for Tony Ram and his lingerie company ‘Syn Lingerie’ at the time and he mentioned to me he used to be a musician so we related well on things like former musicians do.The mistake i made was i let hear him some of the music i wrote, as writers do but when he heard ‘Loved Up’ He went nuts behind the song and he said ‘Whatever it takes’ i had to release it. I Stressed to him this was not an easy task.

He didn't care.’Whatever it takes’ he said and he was dead serious. It’s been the only song he plays in his car ever since then.He convinced me the song had at least a fighting chance of getting to the top.I’ve never seen someone more obsessed about something i wrote. He said he heard a lot of number 1 singles and this was a number 1 as far he was concerned. It needed to at least get a chance.And he was going to give it that chance. Up to that point he didn't yet know my co writer on ‘Loved Up’  Winston Sela had at least 8 NUMBER 1’s to his credit.Which could help.

What was your inspiration behind the song?
I love great R&B chords and Producer K Warren really nailed it when he played the track to me because i just fell in love with the track and it just felt so romantic which is what i kind of love working with .The chorus just spoke to me and i naturally just wrote it.I kind of have to be in a nice place in my relationship to write great songs so i can thank my woman for that as she’s sometimes behind the romantic stuff i come up with. Winston Sela was a pal at the time so i asked him to come hear the demo i made with K Warren and let me know what he thought.He loved the track and offered to help me make it great.We re wrote it at least twice before we got it to where was then we said ‘this is it!’

You also worked as an A&R scout Mark Hill. Did working in A&R change your perspective in music?
It did, no discredit to Mark though but as a scout and then A&R Manager i had to discover artist’s, then gain their trust and guide them towards the label as i looked after both interests,the label and the artist. My perspective changed as i saw the efforts i made to get a team of people to all work together cohesively to make a record with an artist they all believed in,watch the dream fall apart as the recordings never came out. I loved A&R but if i didn't have to power to fight for the the artist to get to the end goal then i felt like i wasted the teams,the artists and my time if the record we all fought to make, never got out. That was disappointing. Adding to my perspective of not wanting to release any music.

You’re from Trinidad, how important is it for you to incorporate elements of your home town into your music and why?
I love soca and calypso music which is the sound of my home country Trinidad, it makes you so happy and upbeat,however they don’t do romance quite well as the chords are so far away from R&B and it was very rare that you get a track like Kevin Lyttle’s TURN ME ON, Rupee’s TEMPTED TO TOUCH or Drake’s ONE DANCE to do the things that i wanted to express in music.I found myself very at home with reggae which was Caribbean but more soulful which i had to realise that is who i am.Caribbean and Soulful. Soul and R&B is what makes me write the best songs and where i express what i feel best.Unlike my little Brother Kambon Rigault who is very successful writer in Soca music.I tried many times to write a soca song and it just doesn't work for me as it does when i attempt write to an R&B or a reggae track.However my sound is just one big experiment with caribbean elements and R&B Ideas so i’ll keep trying. Maybe i'll get the mix right one day. As they say,never give up right?

You’ve had success in remixing certain artist such as Shikira, Sean Paul and David Guetta. Is there anyone you haven’t worked with that you would like to and why?
Me Remix Shakira,Sean Paul and Guetta? Wish i did, that would be my Remixers on ‘Loved Up’ Dot inc. They’re young, hot on the scene being signed to Sony/ATV publishing at the moment and just working with about everything that’s GRIME related but i never expected them understand my reggae vibe and do a hot remix on it. I can thank my co hort Winston Sela for that.He was working with various producers at the time and recommended them to me for remixing the track.Me on the other hand i’ve produced tracks but I’m just a fledgling producer at the moment no hits yet i’m afraid and none of my production will be on my upcoming album as my skills can’t match the team of producers i’m going to be working with. I haven't worked with anyone yet but Who i’d love to work with, Nicki Minaj,Rihanna, Shakira and Alicia Keys would be my top artists,then on the boys team Sean Paul, Busta rhymes and Boyz 2 Men and Bruno Mars.

Can we expect more summer jams this year?
That you can.Tony Ram will see to that as he’s already chose my next Single. Summers gonna be hot.
Thank you so much again. Any last words to the readers?
If you got as far as this point then i have to thank you for being interested enough to read about my journey through music. Lot of lessons learnt, lot of people burnt. Life goes on, keep loving what you do,love as hard as you can as life is short and precious and don’t stop believing in yourself. It’s never the end until you say it is and thanks for your support. Love you all!

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