Prince Kofi – an RLGT Up-Next Artist – is a jack-of-all-trades, and apparently a man of all states – the Texas born artist saw himself grow in Washington, DC, before settling in Los Angeles, California. Prince Kofi has a passion and love for music that is rare to come by. A storyteller, an artist, a man with a full heart – Prince Kofi is on his way to becoming a King.
RLGT PREMIERE: PRINCE KOFI PRESENTS “INFATUATED”
Prince Kofi is an up and coming star, with several stories to tell. Growing up, Kofi was always surrounded by loving family and the sound of music, and two very different musical sounds at that. Kofi has always drawn his influences from the music he grew up on. His mother, from the south, would play the soulful sounds of Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Earth Wind and Fire and The King of Pop, Michael Jackson – giving Kofi a mixed background of jazz, pop and soul. His father on the other hand – from Ghana, but specifically the Ashanti Tribe – would bring his heritage into the life of Kofi, exposing him to culture and sounds of West Africa. Together – along with the influence of the music industry as he grew, Kofi was able to fall in love with not only one but all genres of music, appreciating the differences that each carried.
When Prince Kofi was eight years old, his mother – who always enjoyed singing – noticed him humming and singing around the house, and soon after enlisted him in their local church choir. “Music was always around, be it inside the church or at home,” says Kofi. Although nobody else in his family has a background in music, his whole family has come to appreciate music for what it is – a vibe that impacts’ someone for the better. “When I was around music, I felt like a fish in water, it just felt … right,” Kofi adds. Prince Kofi would age, writing poetry for both himself and his friends, “I would always write poetry for the homies, whenever they wanted to send their crush a love letter. I’d charge them a few dollars and they’d give me few things they liked about their crush. In fact, one of my friends ended up marrying one girl I wrote a note for.” He says. At the age of thirteen, Kofi wrote his first verse. “It was trash. I’m not afraid to say that now. Of course, at the time, I thought it was fire,” he says. Yet, it was that first verse that kicked things off for Kofi – he would start recording remixes to his favourite songs, slowly discovering himself and his flow. He would continue to develop his skills all through college, where he won several competitions and opened for like likes of Gorilla Zoe, Ludacris and several others – all while mastering his voice.
I’ve always had a passion for music, which I’ve expressed in several of my posts. I love speaking with others who share this passion and Kofi is one of those people. I asked Kofi what music means to him. For me, music is an escape. You see, in life, everybody has their thing; for some people, it’s cars – they know an engine inside and out – for others it’s playing an instrument or video games. But for me…it’s music. Music is the thing I know the most about, not so much as a performer, but as an experienced listener. Discovering new music, hearing new releases – it’s one of my favourite things to do. Prince Kofi had a very similar view when it came to the topic of music. “It’s important to me,” Kofi began before expressing how he viewed music as a universal language that everyone can understand in his or her own way, “You can express, teach, and feel with music. It can bring people together, it can heal you, it can aide you. It surrounds you and accepts you.” I had to agree with Kofi, one hundred and ten percent. “Without music, I’d be a different person, I probably would have chosen to go left instead of right, and for that I’m thankful for music,” he says.
So, why is music so important to Kofi? I totally understood why he appreciates the music, but I had to know why he decided to get involved in the music industry; what changed his passion from listening to music to making his own? He had a very simple explanation for me, a reason that would make me appreciate Kofi’s music so much more. “It’s about sharing,” he began, “I get to tell my stories while fusing my music with the stories of others. I can take a person’s day and turn it completely around after hearing one of my songs – turning a bad mood into good.” Kofi made it clear his mission was to share music, spreading the language to those who may not be overly familiar with it. “It’s all about motivating, inspiring. I want to heal, spread love and give people a feeling they’ve been missing or have always wanted. I want someone to feel the moment or catch the vibe if they’re listening to me,” says Kofi.
I dig the passion, I dig the music – Kofi is one hell of an artist, but the name ‘Prince Kofi,’ left me guessing. Being a Kendrick Lamar fan, every single time I come across the word “prince”, I always remember his lyrics from To Pimp a Butterfly. “From a peasant, to a prince, to a motherf**king king.” So, I had to ask – why the name Prince Kofi? His reply was inspiring to me in several ways, “I used to go by several other names, I mean I do still have a few other alter-egos. I decided on Kofi because it is a middle name that I share with my father. It sort of pays homage to my bloodline. My father, he is the King, he’s the oldest in the family. Eventually, I’ll change it to King Kofi, when the day comes that my father passes on,” he explains. I really was inspired by this decision to keep the name in the family, a constant reminder for Kofi about the support that he has backing him. “I want to tell stories of my forefathers, I want to tell stories about the journey I’ve been on to become a prince in my own right,” he stated. It’s all about family, life, love and working hard. It’s about staying humble, and Prince Kofi intends on doing just that.
Now that I was getting to know Kofi – it was time to talk music. Being a massive Chance the Rapper, Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar and Frank Ocean – I can recognize, and appreciate all different kinds of music. The question was, what kind of music did Kofi recognize and appreciate? So, I asked him – “What’s your favourite piece of music?” His response, “You know, I have so many influences, I’m an enigma and a melting pot all at the same time. I take influence from people I see, speak too, relationships, stories I’ve heard – I can’t really choose one piece of music I really vibe with. If I’m feeling emotional – I usually will listen to old school R&B, or something to put me back in a good mood. Alessia Cara, Alina Baraz, Sampha are some names I listen to. On the other hand, I like The Migos, Kodak Black, Kendrick Lamar, YG, Teddy Pendergrass and the list goes on. I enjoy a lot of UK music also, so anything to set my mood straight.”
I love music, I love learning about the musical interests of others – but I also enjoy learning of the ambitions and goals of others. For Kofi – it was all about music. It wasn’t about the money, or the fame – his goal is to make his music popular enough that he can teach people to speak the language of music. “I want to be able to sit down with those who my music has touched and learn their story,” he says, “I want to be able to travel the world, bringing people together at shows who wouldn’t have shared an interest if it wasn’t for my music. I want the ability to create bonds in people with the language of music.” And that’s what it all boils down to, an elderly script that runs through several other languages.
Now that you’ve had the opportunity to get to know Prince Kofi, just as I have – I suggest you get to know his music. Kofi plans to release another 3 or 4 projects this year, along with as many visuals as possible. “I’m working on a project for Cinco de Mayo, and a summer project called ‘IV’ influenced by my first four years in Los Angeles,” he announced. You can check out all that Kofi has to offer on his Soundcloud.
Prince Kofi’s most recent EP, Intentions, is a project that projects the life cycle of love in this day and age. It all begins from the moment you confess your true intentions to the time you form a bond with a partner. It accumulates to the final moment, when you know you’ve accomplished those intentions and need to reinvent new ones. Check out the World Premiere of Prince Kofi’s “Infatuated” video below, and all the rest of his music on his Soundcloud!