While in the middle of doing his laundry at his home in Canada, Kheaven “k-os” Brereton, took time out to chat to Helen Herimbi.
Tumble dryer on pause and powdered soap pushed to the side the rapper/singer/instrumentalist spoke about how he came to be a headline act in the 2007 Arts Alive Festival, his apparent musical shift and Rihanna.
“I’m washing my laundry right now, which is cool, because I’m at home so I don’t have to live out of a suitcase.”
k-os is glad to have his home comforts back after a lengthy nationwide tour in support of his recently released third album, Atlantis: Hymns for Disco, but is more ecstatic about coming to perform in South Africa.
Over the phone it sounds like he’s beaming from ear to ear as he starts: “I’m excited about South Africa. I’ve never been there, but I know it’s going to be a whole other experience.”
How he became one of the headline acts for the Lockdown Festival, which includes Tumi, Zubz and Zuluboy among others, is rather interesting.
“I got involved through my former manager, Chris. All his artists ended up going to SA because his girlfriend at the time was from there and so he visited often.
“He asked me if I was ready to go and we made it happen within a week.”
While getting to our shores was easy, convincing fans that he’s still the thought-provoking rapper from his debut, was not.
For one thing, k-os has been labelled as “soft” because he sings a lot more on Atlantis than on the past two albums.
Lest you think he is turning into Outkast’s Andre 3000, k-os sets the record straight.
“Truthfully speaking I just got bored. My albums Exit, Joyful Rebellion and Atlantis are a trilogy I call the Crucial Trilogy because it refers to how it is crucial for me to find my voice as an artist.”
And that’s not all, he claims he has “singled myself out to kinda be more free and try more crazy things with my music. I just feel like I have to speak with my own voice.”
Does that notion extend to his voice on other people’s songs too? As if in gossip mode, k-os suddenly shoots out “I’m thinking of remaking Umbrella by Rihanna.”
“I heard it on radio while I was in a coffee shop recently and thought ‘who is this?’ It blew my mind. And so I told my friends and they were like ‘dude that song is so old’. I got goose-bumps after hearing it and was like ‘I’m redoing this song’,” he says. “I want to make my own statement with it.”
This article appeared in the Tonight on 26 September 2007.