Notion gets to know Afroswank superstar Kida Kudz. We talk about blending backgrounds, fatherhood, life in the spotlight, and much more.

KIDA KUDZ wears DAILY PAPER

Unlike most of our lockdowns, Kida Kudz kicked off the year with a jam-packed schedule. From music videos to promoting his new mixtape and daddy duties, Kudz had just jetted back from Nigeria and seemed happy with sitting still for a moment in anticipation of his upcoming mixtape, ‘TOP MEMBA’.

 

In January, Kudz went to visit his hometown in Nigeria where he filmed two music videos – “Ball Till We Fall” and “Animalistic” – quite impressively in one day. As most of us can agree, the UK lockdown could be at times uninspiring, with a lack of motivation to say the least. At this point, Kudz put his foot down and decided flying to Nigeria would be the best option in order to bring back the heat, and based on what we’ve seen so far, it most definitely has been a success.

kida kudz
  • Necklace Kida's own
  • Daily Paper Lilo Blazer
kida kudz
  • Index Finger Ring O T Thongthai courtesy of Browns
  • Daily Paper Lotan Puffer Jacket

Kudz grew up in Ibadan, Nigeria, and moved to Kent with his dad when he was 14. He has been constantly back and forth for the past 11 years, between his new home in the UK and family in Nigeria. Initially, London was a culture shock in comparison to his home and Kudz found it hard to readjust. One month in, he had already run away and decided to live out in East London with his auntie. Eventually, this became a more comfortable environment as he could draw comparisons to Nigeria. He described East London’s likeness to the busyness and noise of Ibadan, specifically the barbershops that were filled with Nigerians, which ultimately was the game changer and allowed him to fully settle into the UK. In terms of the switch up from African music to the UK, Kudz found the change relatively natural as he already had a large repertoire of western music. He’s a huge fan of Lil’ Wayne and there’s no surprise his personal GOAT is Kendrick Lamar. His dual background compliments the music he now makes, Afrobeats with connotations of UK rap and hip-hop.

  • Daily Paper Laaziah Blazer
  • Daily Paper Lavam Balaclava
kida kudz
  • Daily Paper Lamar Jacket

Having spent most his youth in the spotlight, Kida Kudz’s recent success comes as no surprise; the ups and downs of a musician’s lifestyle come as second nature. His natural on-stage and camera presence can’t be taught. The charm, style and confidence he exudes comes from a seasoned artist. “In Nigeria, I was the neighborhood superstar. Everyone knew who I was, even in my school. I was on TV 10 times”, Kudz revealed. He appeared on Peak Talent Show, which he went on to win as the youngest contestant. “It was like an X-Factor show over there, so I became a millionaire when I was 14 years old”. He describes his experience on the show as sad at times. Similar to the UK X-Factor, the contestants were separated from the public and their families, which naturally came as a shock for a 14 year old. The whole experience was hugely intense, but Kudz ensured he didn’t take it too seriously and above all was having fun. “There were people that were way older than me that needed this for their life, and I was just there, doing what I love which was entertaining people”.

kida kudz
  • Daily Paper Laresh Pants
  • Trainers Converse via Exposure PR

Whilst on the show, his chosen genre was rap accompanied by dance. At school, Kudz took part in the choir, singing tenor vocals for the Christmas choral all whilst dancing for a gospel artist. His range and experience were vast before becoming a teenager, preparing him for his career ahead. Growing up in Nigeria, Afrobeats music was constantly surrounding him, and this inherently integrated into the music he began to release as a signed musician, and probably what he is most known for now.

 

After living his young adult life in the limelight, it was time to take a step back and start college. Of course, Kudz didn’t veer too far away from music as he left school and studied media production at Newham for a year, swiftly moving onto film production, audio engineering and finally settling in the music business. He found the experience motivating and insightful, and as it so happened, whilst he was in class learning about music contracting, he was offered his first record deal.

kida kudz
  • Ring O T Thongthai courtesy of Browns
kida kudz
  • Daily Paper Lotan Puffer Jacket
  • Daily Paper Lilo Blazer

Kudz has found an immense personal progression from the music he once made as a younger artist to now. After his huge breakthrough with, “Issa Vibe” in 2017, interest really began to pick up. “I got people sending me emails and I didn’t even really know what Spotify was or things like that”, he tells. This then led to a collaboration with Afrobeat king, Burna Boy. “When we did the remix of ‘Issa Vibe’, that wasn’t planned. I was at a show, I think it was a Boiler Room, and Burna came. He said, ‘do you wanna come studio and gave me the verse for the remix?’”.

kida kudz
  • Daily Paper Lilo Blazer
  • Daily Paper Lotan Puffer Jacket

Slowly but surely, Kudz began to build up more UK collaborations, including big names like JK, who he happened to bump into on a train without realising who either of them was. All the while, both of their managers were already arranging a record to be made between them. Kudz also DM’d Chip for a feature on “Red Flag”, which was more of an organic collaboration with both artists taking the reins and sending verse by verse back and forth to each other.

kida kudz
  • Daily Paper Lair Long Sleeve Shirt
kida kudz
  • Silver Claw Knuckle Duster Dominic Jones
  • Silver Teeth Eternity Band Dominic Jones
  • Other Rings O T Thongthai courtesy of browns

Like many couples in lockdown, Kudz welcomed a baby boy. Alongside his many projects, he was also prioritising fatherhood but impressively has managed to pump out a mixtape, music videos, and an upcoming album too. When it comes to managing family time and work, his outlook was to not overcompensate and allow things to happen naturally. He believes that as long as he can establish a presence for his babies, whilst ensuring he employs enough energy into his projects, a formula that works will come without saying. Kudz also hinted that we will have a lot to look forward to for the rest of this year, resulting in more family time for him and excitement for us. “I’ve already got two more things for the end of the year ready as well, I think I kind of cheated it so that’s why I can have a little daddy time”, he hints.

 

Dancehall and Afrobeats have a certified presence in the UK, yet there seems to still be a barrier to break through in the US. Burna Boy springs to mind as one artist who has done this incredibly successfully and someone that Kudz looks up to in the industry. When it comes down to measuring personal success, he refrains from comparing to others in the same field. “There’s something they say in Nigeria – you can never look at another man’s clock, so judge your own time”. For now, Kudz is seeing where his journey takes him. The next goal could be a Grammy, and based on the friends, producers and artists around him, the doors are open now more than ever.

kida kudz
  • Daily Paper Lilo Blazer

There are a number of exciting features on the tape for diehard fans. Fela Kuti’s grandson will be playing sax on one of the records, a nod to the pioneer of Afrobeat. Kudz also mentioned that there will be a collaboration with two Jamaican artists, Bobby 6ix and Daddy1, who are blowing up right now in the Dancehall world. Hopefully, if things get better over the summer, we can expect a tour within Africa, definitely by the end of the year at the least. Plus, after a successful alliance with Daily Paper, Kudz hinted there might be another fashion collaboration due.

kida kudz
  • Daily Paper Lair Long Sleeve Shirt
  • Daily Paper Leeto Long Jacket

“I want to make another album that can top this one. Eventually we’re going to get to it, we’re going to get to the promised land”.

Stream Kida Kudz's music below:

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