10 Questions with Kamal, The 18-Year-Old Musician With a New EP ‘War Outside’
How does it feel to be an 18-year-old with a song that blows up, out of nowhere, whilst the world’s up in flames? Ask Kamal, the London-born-and-bred musician whose ode to being a recluse, “Homebody”, became a viral smash through the pandemic, currently standing at over 14 million streams on Spotify.
Raised on the listening habits of his parents, Kamal was exposed to the likes of Erykah Badu, D’Angelo and Maxwell from an early age, going on to play a range of instruments throughout his adolescence. He’s currently soundtracking teenage bedrooms across the globe with music he’s making from his own chamber, juggling school work and all the boring stuff that comes with growing up whilst, at the same time, he’s bringing in 1.3 million listeners each month.
His intimate lyricism and lo-fi soundscapes come to a head on his new EP, War Outside, dropping this Friday – led by the brilliant single “Lose”. Ahead of the release, we caught up with Kamal to chat London, love songs, and hot chocolate.
1. What’s the best thing about living in North West London?
“The community. I feel lucky to have grown up somewhere so diverse.”
2. How did you celebrate your 18th birthday?
“I got drunk in the park with a few of my peoples.”
3. How does growing up in London seep into your work?
“It influences everything. The city is a part of me and vice versa.”
4. What artists did you have on your first iPod?
“It was all my mum’s music. So there was bare Bruce Springsteen.”
5. If you describe your sound as a scent, what would it smell like?
6. How was the recording process for your new EP?
“I loved the early stages, but finishing songs can sometimes be draining. I’ll be thankful to finally release it.”
7. How did you react when Dave asked you to sing on his track, Mercury?
“I was gassed and got to work straight away. I’ve been listening to his music since secondary school, so it was a mad feeling.”
8. In your opinion, what’s the best love song ever written and why?
“Untitled” by D’Angelo. Just a perfect song in so many ways.”
9. If you could only eat starters, mains or desserts for the rest of your life, which would you pick?
“The impulsive part of me would say desserts, but the logical part says it would have to be mains, just so I could stay somewhat healthy.”
10. What’s your favourite track on the EP?
“It’s between “Curfew” and “Duvet Interlude”. I love the vibe of “Curfew” musically, and the interlude is just a proper intimate song. They both mean a lot to me.”
Stream Kamal’s ‘War Outside’ EP this Friday, June 11.