- Words Notion Staff
In the third instalment of Pizza Express' 'Behind the Base' series, rapper Kofi Stone chats about the importance of feelings behind music and gives an exclusive performance.
Birmingham rapper Kofi Stone joins Pizza Express Behind the Base host Mike in the third episode of the series, where musicians whip up tasty pizzas and get real about their journey, life, and perform one of their tracks live in the restaurant.
Kicking things off in the kitchen, Kofi jumped in the deep end by making his first-ever pizza. Whilst they prepped the dough, the rapper spoke about the early musical influences that lit a match within him. The album ‘Illmatic’ by legendary hip-hop artist Nas was noted as one of the first records Kofi heard, and he said it shaped the way he rapped.
Diving into his creative process, Kofi shared that his music is quite autobiographical, so he goes away to “do some living” in order to gather inspiration. “It’s really important to be present in the moment and take things in”, he said.
As a pescatarian, Kofi whip up a variation of the Giardiniera in the Pizza Express kitchen, layering artichokes, olives, onions, and mushrooms on his pizza. Kofi tells Mike that rap has always been a way to air out his feelings and speak his truth, saying that “it’s been quite therapeutic”.
Kofi doesn’t shy away from difficult emotions and experiences in his music, often traversing topics such as male mental health and fragility to love, loss and grief. The song he later performs in the episode, “Hugh”, taken from his album ‘Nobody Cares Till Everybody Does’, is about the tragic loss of a close friend and Kofi’s shock about his passing. They also chatted about the meaning behind Kofi’s popular song “It’s Ok To Cry”, featuring South London rapper Loyle Carner. “I think it’s important that we do speak about these things and we allow people to feel free in their life and what they’re going through”.
As the pizzas cook, Kofi reveals an unforgettable night out he had with Mos Def, Migos and ASAP Rocky in Mayfair, opens up about his key jazz influences, and what is on the horizon for 2022 (psst…it’s a second album!).