Ian Kamau is not a man of many words. He tends to let his art speak for itself. Initially a member of the hip-hop collective Pangea Project, he has since released a series of solo mixtapes, with 2010’s Love and Other Struggles being the most critically acclaimed.
Kamau hopes to top that success with his highly anticipated debut album One Day Soon, set for release on Oct. 7. “One Day Soon is about hope. One day soon things will be different. One day soon some of these problems will not exist anymore. One day soon, we’ll be free,” he says.
Freedom of expression is an ideal to which Kamau holds strongly. While touring Europe and Canada with k-os and The Roots, he decided to drop out mid-tour to study fine arts and graphic design at York University.
“I’m an artist, and I enjoy making music among doing a lot of other things,” he says. “Opportunities came to me and I took the ones that made the most sense. The next thing I knew, I had a record out and I was touring. The experience of having a glimpse of the music industry, sent me in another direction and killed a lot of my inspiration.”
That inspiration was rediscovered during the recording of Love and Other Struggles when Kamau was given free reign to explore his creativity at k-os’ studios. After the experience of working in solitude, Kamau built a home studio and in 2008 began recording One Day Soon. “I had to be willing to explore things that were hard to explore. I wanted to be more honest and more vulnerable than I had ever been before. I think there’s more strength in being vulnerable than appearing stereotypically strong.”
‘Kamau’ is a Kenyan name that means ‘quiet warrior’, and this warrior’s mission is clear: “I want people to think about themselves. I don’t think this album is going to change the world but I want it to spark conversation.”
For more, visit www.iankamau.com