Very few creatives are as understated as Kojo Funds, the platinum-selling singer, songwriter and rapper from London. Describing his sound as “unique and different”, as well as “one of a kind”, tracks such as “Dun Talkin’”, “Warning” and “Who Am I”, his latest effort with Bugzy Malone, have seen the Canning Town native go on to sell over 2 million singles, making him one of the most successful UK acts of this generation—and all at the age of 23.

Mixing iconic heritage with super-cool innovation (see: the UKG-inflected “Who Am I”), the idea of the old influencing the new is a big part of Kojo’s DNA, explaining to TRENCH that “throughout the years, the likes of Sean Paul, Popcaan and Aidonia have played a major part in influencing my style.” Often regarded as one of the pioneers of the ever-growing Afroswing movement in the UK, Funds has helped turn those influences into something new, and is now preparing to release his debut mixtape, Golden Boy (Sept. 28), before going on tour later this year.

Together with Timberland, we roamed through the areas of East London that played a key role in making Kojo Funds who he is today. “I’ve experienced a lot in this city and it means a lot to me," he tells us. “It’s shaped me as a person, and as an artist.” In the video above, Kojo Funds explores his community, showing it proudly to the world—from a local studio to a barbershop—as well as sharing stories and banter with childhood friends at Freemasons Road.

We get to see a side to Kojo that we might not be used to seeing, but these layers are evident in his music if you look closely enough, with songs such as “Fine Wine” with fellow Custom House resident Yxng Bane, and his feature on Mabel’s “Finders Keepers” the clear standouts.

When it comes to fashion, though, Funds describes his style as “clean,” adding that he likes “to keep the wardrobe fresh so there isn’t one thing that I can’t live without, but I would say I put the most thought into my footwear.” So expect to see him rocking his Timberland Cityroams on the road when that tour comes around.

Posted on September 03, 2018