Premiere: Closed Sessions Newcomer Kweku Collins Spreads the Love with “Your Song”
Kweku Collins comes from a family of musicians, and he’s been fine-tuning his craft since the eighth grade. Freshly tacked onto the Closed Sessions roster (the indie-label home of Alex Wiley, Boathouse, and Odd Couple), the easygoing emcee will be continuing his journey alongside Chicago’s finest.
“I was really into Chicago hip-hop, and Closed Sessions are those dudes,” says Collins. “If you’re down with Chicago hip-hop, you know Closed Sessions. Those are the OGs; you gotta respect them. As I developed as an artist and started getting more confident in my sound, and getting attention, I thought, What’s the next step? My first thought was Closed Sessions.”
He’s been on the label for just over a month, but he’s been hustling, already churning out his reggae-infused single “Start A Fire.” Now, Green Label presents Kweku’s newest offering, “Your Song.”
“‘Your Song’ is that song for people that are going through anxiety, depression, and feeling really lonely,” Collins says. “It’s me telling them they’re not alone. Chances are most of the people listening to it have never met me, but it’s me saying like, ‘Yo, you have me.’ If you ever see me on the street, you can approach me and I’ll give you a hug or something, you know? This was writing from real experience; up until recently I was struggling with that and it was really hard, and I know that if I’d heard this song while I was going through that, it would have really helped. So now I’m trying to do that for other people.”
A few months ago, Kweku unveiled his Worlds Away EP, which would be the project to earn him a spot on the CS squad. Now, as the 18-year-old gets ready to receive his high school diploma, he’s working on some more extensive projects to release in the future. As he moves forward, he’s carving himself a distinctive spot in the eclectic landscape of Chicago hip-hop.
“Chicago’s like the melting pot of hip-hop right now. We’re the origination of drill music, but then you listen to other people like Joey Purp, Saba, Mick Jenkins, you can hear the influence from the South, from New York, from the West Coast, everything. It just becomes this Chicago sound where you know it when you hear it but it’s hard to put your finger on it.”
In a city filled with greats, where does Kweku fit in?
“The thing about Chicago hip-hop is that there aren’t any niches. You make your own spot. There doesn’t have to be room made for people; it’s open for everyone. So I think my spot is just me being me.”
Image: Andrew Zeiter