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23rd May 2021

Photography: Shot by Kieran

Words: Owen James Vincent

An upcoming young rapper you need to watch out for is Keanan. Keanan is a LGBTQ+ singer and songwriter based in Gloucestershire. He's been releasing songs on Youtube and streaming platforms since 2016 where they've become hugely popular.

We got to sit down with Keanan about his music, his experience singing at the Black Lives Matter Protest last year and how he feels being a rapper in the LGBTQ+ community. 

Hey Keanan. Thanks for doing an interview with ReVamp Magazine. How has 2021 treated you so far?

Hey ReVamp! It is my pleasure. 2021 has definitely been less challenging than 2020, that’s for sure. But it feels good to see the world opening up again.

You’ve got a new freestyle song which is a remix of ‘Crocodile Teeth by Skillbeng’s featuring Nicki Minaj’. How come you wanted to do a remix on this song? 

I was a fan of the original song anyway, but I saw Nicki recently remixed it and it made me love the song even more. Everyone knows Nicki inspires me, so I had to add my own personal flavour too it! So, the words just came to me one night and the rest is history.

Which artists inspire you?

Of course, Nicki is one of my biggest influences in terms of rap and style. But so many artists have influenced me. Artists such as Lady Leshurr, WSTRN, Ariana Grande, Stefflon Don, Stormzy, and so many more! It’s really hard to name them all. I’m really enjoying Dua Lipa at the moment also.

What’s been your favourite song to write?

I wouldn’t say favourite, but my most recent single 7:22 was just a moment for me in terms of grieving my Mum. It felt just the right moment and came so naturally. I really found peace in the process and is definitely my most special track so far.

You performed in Cheltenham at the Black Lives Matter protest. How was the experience for you?

It was such an honour to be able to perform at the event. As a mixed-race man, I’m very connected to my Kenyan roots and I believe it is so important to represent all people of colour and to show solidarity. The experience really made me feel proud, seeing everybody come together during a pandemic to show support was really incredible. It is a shame racism still exists, but moments like that give me hope for the future.

How does it feel to be a rapper as a member of the LGBTQ+ community?

It has definitely been a difficult path for me. Not everybody in the industry, especially within the rap scene are welcome to the idea of a ‘gay rapper’ for multiple reasons. However, it is something that needs to change and will change. Sexuality plays no part in my work as a musician, and it shouldn’t hinder me. But, I want to be the one to break those walls and create a space for myself and others in the industry who are different from the ‘norm’.

Will we be getting a new album soon?

No comment. Haha! Right now, I’m just focusing on myself as an artist, exploring new sounds and having fun. There will be new music this year, but you will have to keep those eyes peeled...

Check out the video to 7:22 by Keanan below.

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