Brickcellphone’s Underground Rap Radar: KEYAH/BLU

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Welcome to BURR. Brickcellphone’s Underground Rap Radar.

In this series, Brighton hip-hop DJ, Matt ‘Brickcellphone’ Leppier, is chatting to some of the underground rap talent on his radar. It’s as simple as that. Follow him @brickcellphone and listen to him spin some of these artists on Friday afternoons on Platform B.

BURRWHOLEPNGKeyah Blu interview.pngFrom the shallows of South East London, KEYAH/BLU is a rapper, singer, and founding member of the independent record label, Set Count Worldwide.

She started making music in late 2015 and has recently dropped a short demo tape of her first experiments, with her debut EP still pending. I was lucky enough to catch her at The Great Escape festival in Brighton earlier this summer and no less than 562,085 people have been lucky enough to see Keyah do her thing on Colors, too, alongside the inimitable Denzel Himself.


I really enjoyed your set at The Great Escape with your bro, Denzel Himself. What’s your favourite part of performing?

Thanks, man, performing with D is always sick, the energy that guy brings to a stage is crazy – super honoured to be a part of it! My favourite part about performing in general though; free beer!!!!! Lmao (half joking) – I think being on stage is one of the few things that forces me to be present in the moment. I’m pretty away with the fairies most of the time so performing is almost like meditation to me – I love it.



County Grove Demos is very sick. When was it recorded? Are you working on anything else at the moment?

Thanks, man. Dropping that was actually a really impulsive decision on my part.

I was working on an EP for like half a year but decided to scrap it cos it didn’t really sit right with me anymore. I thought it might take a while before I release some of the other stuff I’ve been working on so decided to pull together some old demos I recorded at my mum’s house in autumn 2016-early spring 2017.

I kinda just wanted to hone back in on that lo-fi/bedroomy vibe that some of the newer stuff I made steered too far away from. Currently, I’m working on another little project that’ll be ready by the time the trees start to undress. 


Keyah:Blu interview.jpg
KEYAH/BLU x Hackney steam services LTD

Who are some of your biggest influences?

I wouldn’t say I have any “biggest” influences because I think there are soooo many that sort of play an equal part. I grew up with my mum listening to a lot of neo-soul, so like Jill Scott, Robert Glasper, Erykah, Lauryn, etc. My dad would be banging out The Streets, Craig David, a lot of bossa nova and jungle/garage.

Then, there’s my own idealist romantic 14-year-old self, soaking up the likes of Bon Iver, Iron & Wine, etc. So idk really, it’s a big mix of great stuff, in which I think I’ve just found my own little vibe. I kinda just make what sounds good or makes sense to me in the moment. 


You are lucky enough to have a Colors show, how did that opportunity come about?

I manifested it. Kinda like Jim Carey.


In the spirit of Offie Mag, what would you say are your three most bought items from an off-licence? 

Bottled water, Raws and 3 Buzz sweets for £1 (word to dANNY tRA$H).

Keyah Blu


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