Kano On ‘Made In The Manor’, His New Album And Documentary

From Thursday March 17 to Tuesday March 22, adidas Originals is taking over the BL-NK venue on Curtain road in east London and creating futurehouse: six days of music, film, talks and workshops with Wretch 32 & Avelino, Blossoms, Kano and more. Tickets are available from myfuture.is. Prepare to be inspired.

On Sunday night (March 20), Kano will play at the BL-NK venue on a line-up that includes Elijah & Skilliam and Seani B. Earlier this month the grime icon released ‘Made In The Manor’, a brutally honest album about the east London MC’s journey so far. He’ll perform tracks from the record, show a documentary about its making and speak on a panel.

What’s the ‘Made In The Manor’ message?
“It’s just my story. It’s me telling my truth. It covers the last 10 years, from my start in music and even further back from that, from when I was a kid. My upbringing and my family. All my experiences growing up have worked their way into this album.”

Did you worry about giving too much of yourself away?
“I think that’s an artist’s job. Everyone feels comfortable at different stages of their life to open up, and mine is just now. It’s a living, breathing thing, this album. I’ve had people call me since the album was released saying ‘I didn’t know you felt that way’ and we’ve started speaking again.”

Wiley, Giggs, Jme and Damon Albarn appear on the album. How do you choose who you work with?
“Firstly I need to be a fan of them. I looked up to Wiley when I was young. I’m a good friend of Giggs and I’ve got a close relationship with Damon – I respect him as a musician. It’s also about who I could create something good with. Collaboration makes things exciting.”

Explain the ‘Made In The Manor’ documentary to us.
“I wanted to put some visuals to the story. I mention 69 Manor Road [his childhood home] on the album, and I wanted people to see what this place that means so much to me looks like. It helps bring people closer to the story.”

As a first-wave grime artist, how do you feel about MCs like Stormzy and Novelist coming up?
“I feel good – I feel like I’ve played a part in creating what grime is today. I feel like we’ve got a strong identity; we’re in a good place. This is the first generation that’s grown up to our music and it’s inspiring – I’ve inspired them and they’ve inspired me back. There was a time when everyone wanted to be somebody else and looked to America but these kids growing up now look up to Wiley and Dizzee and it’s amazing.”