Red Light Management


March 9, 2021

Kojaque has today premiered brand new single ‘No Hands’, alongside a moving video available now. It’s the latest teaser of his upcoming debut album, which was introduced by ‘Shmelly’ (as debuted on COLORS) and ‘Coming Up’, which received additional support across Radio 1, 6Music and 1xtra. Having recently produced for April and the NiNE8 Collective, toured with slowthai and released a collaborative mixtape with fellow Soft Boy alumni Luka Palm (‘Green Diesel’) last year, watch out for more news on Kojaque’s debut album very soon.

Watch ‘No Hands’ here / Listen here

‘No Hands’ is a further window into the chaotic, cinematic but also deeply personal world at the heart of Kojaque’s hugely ambitious upcoming project. The track, writes Kojaque, “is about growing up. I wrote it on my 21st birthday so it’s a couple years old. I think I was just reminiscing on my childhood, trying to recount old memories. There seems to be a pretty universal feeling when you’re young and that’s wanting to make your parents proud. At least that’s what I remember, searching for approval, wanting that reassurance, the track for me say’s ‘look at me now, look how far I’ve come, imagine what else could happen’. My childhood wasn’t exactly like everyone else’s, at times I really felt like an alien but it was happy, it’s all I knew. We lost my dad to suicide when I was a child. Although the song is about that loss of potential in my dad’s death, I’ve learned to see the potential in my own life. It’s something I’ve very much come to terms with, for me it’s a very hopeful song.”

Kojaque’s upcoming debut album follows his critically acclaimed concept tape, ‘Deli Daydreams’. Ostensibly a piece orientating around a week in the life of a deli worker – but loaded with heartbreak, tenderness, and side-angle views on masculinity – the project became the first of its kind to be nominated for the prestigious Choice Music Prize in Ireland (following an outcry from critics and fans alike at its initial eligibility). Emerging in 2015 with a literally breath-taking performance piece for ‘Midnight Flower’, Kojaque co-founded the hugely-influential Soft Boy Records with Kean Kavanagh: a hub for genre-bending Irish hip-hop, jazz, and already the subject of its own Boiler Room documentary. Few contemporary artists, after all, can claim to have toured with the likes of slowthai, Lana Del Rey, become an award-winning film-maker (for his ‘Love In Technicolor’ film) and been invited to talk at Trinity College’s Philosophical Society, or develop work in residence for the RHA gallery. With Kojaque, however, music, film, humour and at-times visceral storytelling all go deftly hand-in-hand.

It’s this incredible DIY foundation that Kojaque continues to build on with ‘No Hands’, and his much-anticipated debut album (more on which soon). He is part of a new wave of Irish artists flooding the world with blistering and sophisticated literature, film and music – ideas and work that emerged from a social revolution stonewalled by late-stage capitalism. Kojaque’s is the state of mind where riding with no hands is the only option.

“Hints of Odd Future and its offspring…Kojaque is not your average rapper” i-D
“Dublin’s hip-hop community are making waves right now…an intimate introduction to the world this bold artist inhabits” Clash
“Social realist rhymes set to silky hip-hop” NME
“Likeable and funny” Trench
“The Dublin MC forcing us to face real life; both the gory and the glory” Wonderland
“Ireland’s freshest hip-hop hope, Kojaque, serves “soft hip hop” with a side order of poetry and performance art” Notion