New Wave Backstage With A2, Greentea Peng & Kasien At The Emerge Festival
Updated: Aug 24
Friday the 27th of September saw the stage set for the In Future showcase, curated by Flo-hio and hosted by Livity UK. The event presented stellar performances from 'Emerging' artists at various stages in their careers take the stage. Artists such as Elheist rocked the stage with her vibrant presence and interaction with the crowd as she performed her records to the delight of the growing crowd. Kasien would take the stage shortly after, beginning his set by pacing back and forth, seemingly cultivating the mindset and energy that gave the crowed one of the most energetic performances of the night.
The tempo of the show was then mellowed out by the enchanting vocals of Greentea Peng, performing alongside a live band and giving the crowd a smooth vocal performance with various highlights. The well-renowned artist that is A2 closes off the show by running through classics from his projects from prior years up until his most recent release All Spills.
New Wave had the privilege of catching up with some of the artists before and after their shows, read parts of our discussions and view some of the shots taken by Derrick Odafi on an amazing night of live music.
Interviewer Arenma Ahonsi
Photographer Derrick Odafi
So we’re outside at Emerge Festival, Kasien has just shelled it and I was in the crowd with my purple trousers fanning out bare. What are you telling me Kasien how are you feeling?
Kasien: I’m just out here fam, just chilling. Bit tired because man just came off but it was good energy, good vibes.
Where is the best place you have gone to perform?
Kasien: I won’t lie the best place I have been to was Tokyo this year. I went to Tokyo in February that was my first time being there. Last minute with my boys Places + Faces and we just went out there, shelled it. It was good vibes. That wasn’t the best crowd but that was the best place because it was like jumping into SEGA megadrive.
So what crowd has given you the most energy?
Kasien: I had a show at KOKO last year and I had just put out ‘6ft Under’ then and it was crazy. Japan was nuts but best energy was probably KOKO.
Electric Brixton, I supported Comethazine in June and I had never crowdsurfed before that was the first time (I crowdsurfed) so it was mad.
Were you shook before you jumped into the crowd?
Kasien: You see what happened I must have jumped on to the barrier and I was turning up and then I slipped and fell then they (the crowd) caught me and I was like “it’s lit” and we just turned up. That was live. It was by accident because I’m scared to do that shit.
What’s the worst fuck-up of your name that you’ve gotten?
Kasien: So I’ve given in the rider, I’ve given in the invoice, they know my name and I have gone to the show and on the board they spelt my name wrong on my dressing room (door).
How did they spell it?
Watch our 'After The Stage' Interview with Kasien here:
So right now I’m backstage at Emerge Festival with the very colourful, inked up and talented Greentea Peng. How are you?
Greentea: Yeah man I’m good I think for me personally there have been lots of changes and I’m getting used to new ways of living and communicating and expressing myself. It’s been a crazy summer to be honest lots of new experiences which is always good. I’m excited to drop my new project (and) I think once I’ve done that I’ll relax a little bit. But yeah I’m good can’t complain. It’s all blessings isn’t it.
You mentioned you expressing yourself earlier. Besides music how else do you express yourself?
Greentea: I definitely express myself with my clothes, my tattoos, I like to write things down and take photos. Mostly, I’m teaching myself how to express myself in music so I’m working on that right now.
So your project; I don’t want to label it but are we talking a long project or just a few songs?
Greentea: It’s an EP it’s 6 tracks so a long EP. I’m fucking gassed to drop it to be honest, its like a year after my first EP so that’s good.
So what experiencing have you done in the last year between your last project and this one?
Greentea: Lots of shows, lots of different countries, it's been mad really.
What are you trying to tell the universe with your outfit today? It’s sick by the way.
Greentea: Thanks! If I’m being honest with you brothers, it’s the first day of my period and I thought let me wear red and embrace it. I’m feeling very strong energies today, I’ve had a mad week and I thought let me go with it and let me embrace it.
Great performance today, the crowd loved it! What have been some of your best shows?
A2: They’re all a blur man I swear to you but KOKO was mad. XOYO was the first mad one because that was the one where I was like “Alright cool, there’s no live band it’s just me and the DJ”. Me and my DJ Hacko it was just us two. But XOYO, KOKO; I even had one in Birthday’s because I like intimate venues where we can get messy.
You mentioned having your own personal accolades that you need to achieve. What are some of those personal accolades?
A2: Everyday I need to get better. Everyday I need to feel like I have written a verse that I can’t top (that’s how I feel). Sometimes I write verses off the rip and I don’t feel them because I know that I can do much better. That’s why I stopped smoking because when I stopped smoking I was constructing lyrics mad but in the smoke state you get into a certain pattern. So now I am trying to get back into the artistry, I’m constructing these words crazy.
What songs have we heard that you wrote sober and what are some songs we have heard that you wrote under the influence?
A2: Everything prior to 2015 (or around that time) was mainly under the influence. Holograms was under the influence. I was drunk on my phone and the producer sent me a beat. I checked it and thought “this shit’s dope” so I took my bredrin’s phone and started mumbling some shit. I didn’t know what the fuck I was going to say but I was going to say something. Oxymoron and most things off the ‘7’ EP (was also under the influence). My friend had a flat and that’s where it was just unruly we can drink, smoke, stay up to 5 in the morning that was the vibe then. But then I eased off because we sipping purp just getting in the zone that’s why that music sounds so different. I was young, I was wide eyed so as I get older I take more things into account (like my artistry) but those times it was whatever.
What’s the one instrument that you can’t play that you wish you could play?
A2: The harp. That shit sounds beautiful. Anytime you hear a harp it sounds beautiful no matter what. (They) taught me in music theory that there’s only two instruments that you can hear forever and it doesn’t sound mad and I think it’s a guitar and the piano; everything else will start to get to you. So if you flip the piano it’s a harp init.
Look out for our video interview with A2 out this tuesday via our youtube channel. Subscribe here now