UK-based multi-hyphenate artist Kadiata has always been an enigma, drawn to a vast array of genres since his move to London at age four. “I’ve always had a dual approach to listening to music,” he laughs. “I’ve had the approach that listens to music in London. Then there’s what my mum and dad brought back from Angola.” Obsessed with top 40 radio, Kadiata grew enamored with the orchestral elements of Robbie Williams’ “She’s the One”. “I can’t really explain it, but I was so drawn to the sonics.”


Fusing his love of commercial pop, with more relatable tales akin to his Pimlico-realities, it was Wiley’s 2004 ‘Treddin’ On Thin Ice’ that elevated Kadiata’s fascination with music, to a bonafide yearn to be a part of the artform itself. “One of my brothers put me on to the album and I heard it and was like ‘he sounds like me, I wanna try it myself’.” Quickly, he wrote freestyles over classic grime beats, surpassing his friends abilities on the playground, earning a reputation for his concise, humorous, but distinct penmanship. “I felt proud of having my first lyrics, I knew that I wanted more,” he asserts. 


Marinating his sense of identity across his teenage and early adult years, Kadi has been able to craft an undeniable palette within the UK’s experimental hip-hop landscape, using his acquired childhood tastes to continue concocting a worldly sound that always straddles a multitude of genres. Take one of his inaugural singles ‘Art Hoes’ for example; the ambient, electronic, trap and hip-hop seared production, placed Kadiata in his own, exultant universe. He soon realised that ‘Art Hoes’ in particular broke through with his core audience in a more meaningful way than prior singles.


 “People would message and tell me that ‘Art Hoes’ did something spiritual to them.” With over 600,000 streams to date, the single pushed Kadiata to pursue music full time and bet on his talents as a producer, lyricist and rapper/singer. Three years later, Art Hoes garnered international appeal, scoring a placement on season four of HBO’s award-winning comedy-drama ‘Insecure’.


Following up with a plethora of releases, Kadiata incorporated his tongue and cheek approach to story-telling, connecting with listeners through his charisma and natural charm wedged in-between his worldplay. “I try to reflect on the deeper stuff in life in a light-hearted way,” Kadiata reveals. Citing Kanye West as a foundational figure in the development of his penmanship, he only hopes to grow in being able to convey this concept clearer over time. Together, this has allowed his name to grow throughout the latter-half of the ‘10’s, gaining the attention of Hypebeast, GRM and BBC’s 1xtra. 


But it’s Kadiata’s craftsmanship as a producer — detailed in his ‘Produced by kadiata’ playlist —  for others which has begun to build on his notoriety as one of the most promising acts in the city in 2021. While balancing and developing his own musicianship, Kadi has aided in the construction of Che Lingo, Sam Wise, Miraa May, Jesse James Solomon’s careers by producing a number of singles for them, as well other artists nationwide. 


“I’d say as a producer, I’m super laid back, because it’s [that artists] vision,” he reveals. His range allows him to tailor aspects of his sound to suit a more melodic Miraa May for example and on the other side of the spectrum, an elastic Sam Wise. His signature sound however, resides in his drum-patterns, whether producing or a front of house act. “It’s the way I sort [the drums] out, people can even recognise it now.” As a feature artist, Kadiata has also lent his playful flow to some of the aforementioned artists, as well as Taliwhoah, Knucks and Jords, the latter of whom he joins on the Masego-assisted recent single “Enemies”.


Upping the ante, Kadiata is also diversifying his own holistic offering into the form of seasons. Having already released ‘Blind, this summer’ at the start of the global pandemic last year, the Pimlico-native, bit into a flirtatious fling, even growing up in the process. “I can’t give you my energy, it’s above me now,” he sing-talks to an old romance on the drowsy “Delete My Number”. The cathartic “Blindside” that follows details Kads’ prioritisation of himself, evading the fun and games for something more. 


On his series’ next installment ‘Lost, this winter’, Kadiata submerges himself further into his introspective beginnings, with an abundance of humouric and diasporic references guiding his way. “I ain't a stranger to pain, I burnt plantain last night,” he whimpers on the EP’s introductory offering “Toxic Toxic”.  Ideating throughout 2020’s winter lockdown — for the most part — Kadiata shares that he found it harder to cope, using music as his ultimate safe-haven. “We couldn’t communicate as much as before, so I focused on work,” he details. There’s even onomatopoeic odes to Corona-colds throughout “Toxic Toxic” also.


When it comes to arrangement, Kadiata leans into another teenage love of his found in afro-pop, as ‘Lost, this winter’ progresses. Strong west-african veered hand-drums (and wider percussion instruments) feature are used throughout the EP, serenading Kads’ sometimes pensive thoughts. On “Deeper One”, it's used as a part of a soothing, vintage arrangement, transporting fans to a much needed paradise away from turbulent contemporary world-affairs. Again crediting his brother, Kadiata lists P-Square as a maiden afrobeats influence in the household. “I’ve always liked afrobeats, but it’s now that I’ve allowed myself to make it my own.”


Plunging himself even further into ancestral-nods is the coruscating, yet coltish “Mamacita”. “Mamacita, I’m tryna’ give you all your wants and needs,” Kadiata sings on a collision of string-led and xylophonic melds. He refers to his original home of Angola and the creation of their party, community-centric genre of Kizomba for “Mamacita”, with a knee-jerk burst of excitement on the songs mention. “It’s a slow whine kind of genre, I grew up on that genre the most. I understood it well to be able to showcase my home, in my own way of course,” he chuckles. 


Garnished across the latter-half of the project is Kadisms — Kadiata’s own way of enunciating words. “Playing Widja” is self explanatory in this schema. Unapologetically, Kads uses his verbiage, locomoting the tango-infused beat, warning of his persuasive ways with the opposite sex. But slurring is something that is integral to both London slang and the Angolan way of formulating sentences the wordsmith assures. Shrugging, he accepts that “It’s just a way of life” for him now. 


At 28-years-old, Kadiata is more informed than ever. Aware of how to toy with his realities, cognisant of the lessons in the jokes, he’s able to manufacture a refreshing, tangible bite of millennial experiences in his lyrics, pairing each and every dose of nostalgia with tantalising, organically idiosyncratic soundscapes, commanding the ear of listeners in seconds. As he ascends — debuting a series of headline shows this year too — he’s committed to taking his wider-communities with him, through his back-of-house work, lifting as he climbs. “My peers and I are coming through,” he declares. “For me, we’re doing things in a new approach, building our own movement.”