Artist Spotlight: Kieron Boothe

Throughout this month, the UK has seen a slew of high-quality releases across the music industry. Amongst the very top lies London’s own Kieron Boothe, fresh from unleashing his highly-anticipated six-track project called Views From The Bottom.

Having emerged onto the scene in 2012, Kieron quickly became renowned for his honest and relatable lyricism, dropping “The Silhouettes Project” with single “No Peace” being the pick of the bunch, now boasting over 3 million streams. Surrounding himself with a close network of like minded people, Kieron has already catalogued a series of collaborations with high-profile UK artists including the likes of KeepVibesNear, ebdl, Nikhil Beats and Morgan Lorelle to name a few. Aiming to keep things fresh, his latest project is no different.

The brand new tape follows three successful singles, “Out Of Sight”, “Phone Down” and “No Regrets”, each showcasing the London-rapper’s innate ability in crafting some of the most exciting music to date and further cementing his stature within the UK rap scene. Packed with heart and soul, the project highlights Kieron’s versatility — collaborating with six different producers throughout (including Tye Green, Cotton, Nikhil Beats, Harvey Whyte, Srigala and Morfius). Prior to release, we managed to catch up with Kieron to talk about his brand new release.

Hey Kieron, how’s things with you? How are you feeling ahead of your new project? 

Hi guys. I’m doing well you know. Right now has been a crazy time with scheduling the singles to shooting and releasing but honestly it feels great to  have new material out. I think creatively things are moving in the right direction and I’m getting to a place where the visuals & sonics are all being made to a great level even with minimal spend.

How would you describe your overall sound to a new listener?

I always find this a hard question to answer because I never put too much thought in to it, it’s always up to the listener to describe it but I’d say chill, smooth and honest.

Raised in Newham, East London — how much has the area influenced your overall sound and sonic output? 

I went to Langdon, the same school as UK legend Kano and during 2005-10, so grime and channel U culture was one of my main sources of inspiration growing up. Once I got to college, most of my influences became US based but one thing in the back of my mind was that I needed to keep my unapologetic East London accent because I noticed a lot of artists were imitating the states too much. I think.

Your new project ‘Views From The Bottom’ is a beautifully smooth listen.  What’s the meaning behind the title?

‘Views from the bottom, tell my brothers I got ‘em’ were the opening lines to “No Peace”, my track on the Silhouettes Project with Morgan Lorelle. It’s ended up being my biggest song so far with over 3 million streams and propelled my career to a larger audience. I felt like it was a bit of a relaunch for me so after ‘The  Stoned Age 2’ I wanted to make a solo project that really showcased my skills. I feel like I’m only at the start of my journey and what I have to offer so the only way is up.

You blend a range of genres on the project including Alterntiave Rap, Lofi,  Jazz and Trap. How important is it to keep your audio palette open and not refine yourself to one sound? 

I listen to a variety of sounds and tempos depending on my mood and I also want to express myself in the same way. I think as long as I’m making music and immersing myself in the culture I’ll always be blending genres. We live in London as well which is such a melting pot of different communities and growing up alongside the internet, the inspiration never stops. 

Tell us more about the new project. What are the main influences and inspirations behind it? 

Originally the project was only going to have two producers; Srigala being the main one but as time progressed and I was having sessions with a range of producers I felt it was best to showcase that on the project. In 2019 I met The Silhouettes Project and seeing how they co-ordinated a project with 30+ artists was inspiring to me. They made something timeless, unique and beautiful in my opinion and going forward I wanted to explore music in the same way. I’ve got around 50 songs on my hard drive that I feel need to see the light of day so expect a run of projects like this next year.

You’ve just released “No Regrets” and stated “There’s no gain without pain”. What’s the track about and what do you have to say to someone going through a difficult journey right now? 

That everything is temporary and it’ll pass. There were so many times I’ve felt like I’ve ran out of ideas, or said my best lines and maybe I should just quit and do something else. Seeing not only the growth but the quality of what I’ve been doing the last two years has made me laugh that I even used to think like that. But when you’re in it at the moment and nothing is making sense, it can feel like a lot on your mental health.

Which track on Views From The Bottom was the most challenging to produce, and most rewarding when finished? 

I’d have to say out of sight which was actually the first song that I made for the project back in 2019. The chorus and the melodic parts aren’t something I do all the time so it took a while in the mixing phase to get it sounding good. I’m not someone that uses a lot of effects on their vocals either I like to try and keep things as raw and organic sounding as possible but Outrageous Claims who has been mixing my tracks since No Peace, has done an amazing job.

You constantly surround yourself with some really exciting artists such as KeepVibesNear and NikhilBeats. How important is it to work with other artists to keep your sound varied and fresh? 

It’s the most important factor for me when creating music; making sure I’m listening to fresh artists as well as working with them. Trends are also set by the youth, so it’s important to be open to everything and make sure you evolve with the times in the right way. What I’ve realised since being around The  Silhouettes Project since 2019 is that collaboration is music is vital and I find myself exploring sounds I never thought about previously.

You’re renowned for your wonderful graphic design talent too. What have you been working on recently and any collaborations of note? 

This month I am taking part in a challenge with some other London based creatives called ‘playtober’ it was created by an artist called ‘Komikamo’ who is an amazing illustrator/designer/producer. The project is 31 days and there’s a word prompt and colour palette to work with if you’re a visual artist and there’s a beat/samples to work with if you’re a musician. Its a great challenge and it’s fun surrounding myself with other kinds of creatives. I’ve also been working on my first hardback art book. 120 pages of full colour art from sketches to finished product which has been really fun to put together. 

How do you balance art and music?

If I’m being totally honest, right now I don’t have much balance. I still work a full time job and I self manage my careers so it can feel like a lot. I’ve learnt in recent months to really schedule rest time because it’s easy for me to get caught up in the loop and feel like I’ve got to take all the opportunities presented.

On this note, where do you see yourself in the next 10 years? 

I’m hoping to be doing exactly what I’m doing now but just on a larger scale. As I become a better visual artist I’d love to work on a game or animation/film project. Watching guys like Donald Glover, 50 cent and RZA be successful across fields as their careers have grown has definitely been an inspiration for me.

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