This season we’ve been lucky enough to work with a group diverse individuals – artists, musicians, DJs and creatives who all stand for something. At Dr. Martens we don’t just make shoes, we’re born out of innovation, creativity and lashings of punk attitude so we like to work with people who share this ethos.
Kojey Radical is one of these individuals, the name says it all, he’s a modern day renaissance man refusing to be pigeonholed into any profession, genre or scene. Coming up through an art background, this born and bred Londoner has turned his hand to design, fashion, music and now documentary-making and there’s no signs of him slowing down any time soon.
Describe Kojey Radical for the uninitiated…
I’m an artist. I don’t limit myself to one part, so I create poetry, art and music. Art is one thing, all aspects are conducive to the others, I never saw a difference between any of the creative arts. I just feel a need to express myself.
Where does the ‘Radical’ part of your name come from?
It’s a bit of a weird one actually, and it might not sound too cool. But I started drawing this comic book cover one day, I think I’d read The Amazing Spiderman and got inspired, so I drew a cover where I was the hero. I called the comic ‘The Escapades of Kojey Radical’ and that’s where the name comes from. Kind of an alter ego for me.
You’re making waves with the ‘fashion crowd’ recently. What does fashion mean to you?
I was a weird kid, I used to get dressed 6 or 7 times a day. Like I’d dress up, then go back upstairs, get changed. Repeat. I’d kind of dress in the mind-set of different characters and personas, so I think the way I dress has always been a creative outlet for me, and it’s part of the way I express myself. Always has been.
Did growing up in Hoxton [a trendy part of London] influence your style?
You don’t really notice growing up that you live in this really influential place, also it’s a big area – where I grew up it wasn’t really the fashionable bit. As I got older – 15 or 16 – I’d go into Shoreditch and see all these artistic people which definitely did inspire me.
You’re starring in our latest campaign, rocking Doc’s. What was your first pair of Dr. Martens?
The first pair I bought myself was a Supreme collaboration pair – they were sick. I’ve still got them. Dr. Martens are a classic item, I feel like everyone has got a pair and can wear them in their own way.
What projects have you got coming up that you’re excited about?
I’ve got new music on the way, I feel like it’s been a long time coming. But it’s me who’s been holding it up, I can’t blame anyone else. I’m an independent artist so it’s all me. I’m a perfectionist so the time is right to release the music now. I’ve also got a lot of collaborations coming up – fashion, art, music. And I’m getting back into designing too.
You also recently worked on a documentary for Sky Atlantic, can you tell us about that?
Yeah, I flew out to LA to meet Frieda Pinto who stars in the new TV shoe Guerrilla with Idris Elba. I interviewed her, met some original Black Panthers and ended up making a tune using all those experiences. It was mad and so interesting to learn about the Black Panthers.
Do you think it’s important for artists to share their political views?
The whole world is political. Everything is politics. I think that’s something a lot of people who say they don’t care about it don’t realise. This conversation is everyday and people shouldn’t just engage with politics when they’re annoyed about something. If there are issues on my mind, then I’ll make a song about it. That’s how I engage in politics.
Sounds like a busy year. With so many strings to your bow, how do you find time to relax?
I feel most comfortable just chilling. Being in a candid moment of escape. London is so fast-paced that it’s rare to be able to take a moment and relax. Just to have a conversation, enjoy a moment. Even if I’m in the studio working, I’ll make that effort to have little moments of peace and silence.
Finally… what do you stand for?
Creating without inhibition.