Ahead of his show at Stage and Radio on 22nd April, I caught up with Konny Kon to talk Children of Zeus and Record Store Day.
How’s things going at the moment, I’m seeing your name posted around a lot, must be a good thing?
Konny: Peace, yeah it’s a great feeling! Been at this thing under various names/groups since I left school but this one feels like when I started putting records out, it’s all a bit new again. For me, getting a good reaction from people listening to music you’ve made is probably about 70% of why I do this, the other 29% is travelling and then 1% is free trainers
Tell us a little about Children of Zeus? Seems to be going from strength to strength, how did it come about and what makes it different to other projects you have been involved?
Konny: children of Zeus came about when I met Tyler (Tyler Daley) in about 2004, when his group, Body Roq and the group I was in, Broke’N’English, had a show in France.
I’ve been round the world from music and put out records for years with my past endeavours but honestly one of my favourite moments last year was doing a small Children of Zeus show in Manchester
We got on and we both liked each other’s music so when we got home I went to Tyler’s and he played me all his hardest beats. I’d say they were stoney faced until he ran out of hard stuff and started playing me some soulful shit and he realised I was into that. We recorded that track called Coming Home to You, which is still online if you search for it.
Fast forward a good few years and I wasn’t doing much musically and Tyler really wanted to produce an EP for me. Once again played me some chill beats and the more we spoke the more we realised as much as we both loved hiphop we both had a strong history of listening to soul music on pirate radio and shared pretty similar taste. I put my verse on Still Standing and we decided let’s make a few more like that. So it started more of a hiphop project with Tyler singing a few hooks.
At some point we decided to separate it from everything else and make soul music, to disrupt the whole ‘Manchester is only good for bass music/dnb/grime’ etc. I brought beats, Tyler brought beats and then we started recording. I think what really makes it special is Tyler. I play my part most defiantly but that guy is a level above us all.
Been a pretty hectic past couple of years for you music wise? What have been the highlights of the past 12 months?
Konny: Like I said I’ve been round the world from music and put out records for years with my past endeavours but honestly one of my favourite moments last year was doing a small Children of Zeus show in Manchester.
It was the first time people sang along to the songs and the vibes was too much! I watched the videos back the next day and genuinely felt emotional. Apart from that just accolades from people whose music inspires me, Jazzie B, Goldie, Large Pro, Chase and Status, Dres from Black Sheep, Marc Mac of 4Hero, Zed Bias etc
What are you plans for the future? Any projects, collabs or releases we should be keeping an eye out for?
Konny: The plan is to finish the album and tour enough to finance just making music all day. Hopefully have it by the end of the year! Tyler is all over Goldie’s album and there’s a couple other collabs that will surprise people in the works that should drop this year too!
The night we are plugging is on record store day, always a good day out in the city. What are your thoughts on the idea behind it?
Konny: I’m mixed about it. People queue up to buy a record they will just post on Instagram and never go back in the shop until the next RSD. Also labels can’t press up records around the time due to all the plants pressing limited edition Barbie Girl picture discs. On the flip of that anything to keep people in record shops and buying vinyl is a good thing.
Where have been the best record shops in Manchester over the years?
Konny: Everyone has favourites but personally mine has to be King Bee, Fat City, and the guy that looked like the dad from King of the Hill who had a shop in Afflecks Palace.
What other cities do you rate for record shopping?
Konny: I like Rarekind in Brighton currently and over the years I used to like going to places like Oxford where the Uk Hip Hop records seemed to fly out but all the good US Hip Hop stayed in the crates and I got em cheap
What about your own record collection, how long have you been collecting for and what does it consist of?
Konny: As a kid I bought tapes. I started buying records when I left school, mainly for instrumentals to rhyme over.
It’s mostly hiphop/soul/rnb/reggae/funk/jazz but with some other random stuff slipped in between. There’s people with bigger record collections than me but mines solid. I’d like to think I have got rid of all the bullshit and kept the decent records. Between 2011 and 2015 I moved about 5 times and had to get rid of a big chunk of it. Nobody needs 9 copies of the first Broke’N’English 12″
The night on 22nd April at Stage and Radio, it’s quite an intimate venue, do you like playing at these sort of shows?
Konny: yeah I just like shows that the crowd get involved and we feed off the energy. We’ve done some huge shows where the crowd don’t know who we are and by the end the fully fuck with us and some intimate jams where the whole club is singing along. As long as there’s a vibe I don’t care about the numbers.
Soundwave Festival Launch Party
Saturday 22nd April
£7 early bird
£10 on the door
Physical tickets now available from Eastern Bloc Records, Stevenson Square.