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Quick chat with...Ras Kwame


A CITY that has recently hosted two of the world’s biggest events, the Olympic Games and the Notting Hill Carnival, there is no place quite like London, according to BBC Radio 1 Broadcaster Ras Kwame.

Despite being such a bastion of culture, London is hardly ever praised in musical form, but that is about to change thanks to a new song London City, created by Kwame and electro-swing team Whojax.

Sampling Trinidad’s iconic calypso singer Lord Kitchener’s 1950 hit London Is The Place For Me, Kwame is confessing his love for the city and resurrecting the music of the late great calypso star, all in time for Trinidad’s 50th year of independence.

Life & Style caught up with the Urban Music Award winner to speak about why feels it is important to represent London.

What was the inspiration behind creating the song London City?

The original song was a record that I played when I was in Ghana broadcasting for Radio one and Lord Kitchener’s London is the place for me was the last song I played when we were coming back home.

That was in 2009, but I’ve had the song in mind and I wondered why anyone hadn’t remixed it as a modern day celebration of the city. I got countless records in my collection calling out New York, Brooklyn, this place and that place and I’ve probably got one It’s a London Thing.

Why bring out the track now?

Obviously with the Olympics it was the ideal time to bring out a song that celebrates the city. And I thought it was an opportune time to celebrate Lord Kitchener himself, an artist that I had gotten into a lot over the years, and being that it is Trinidad’s 50th year of independence.

Is being black and British something that the younger generation really own now?

It’s really weird, when it comes to things like football matches and stuff, that’s when the tug-of-war begins. Naturally, as member of a minority community you gravitate towards your cultural background. But for the new generation of people, like myself, I’ve grown up loving being a Londoner and being in Britain.

But there is a strong, no hold barred connection to my heritage, I’m Ghanaian, because obviously we are all British. Unlike my parents who feel more Ghanaian and less British, it was seen as a colonial thing to be British in their days, where as with my generation it’s natural.

London City will be released on iTunes September 17

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