It took some persuasion to get Kano to perform a pair of shows to celebrate his debut album Home Sweet Home last year. It was the tenth anniversary of the game-changing album, and sounded profoundly relevant when he eventually gave in and took to the stage to perform it in it’s entirety. “I’m just not really a look back kind of person,” he explains of his initial reluctance. “I didn’t really want to dwell on the past. It wasn’t until speaking to people that I realised how much that album means to them, and Wretch was one of those people.” The press release for the show had referenced a phonecall from Wretch 32, which was a catalyst in making the show happen. But from Kano’s perspective, he was more focussed on looking forward than looking back.
Fast forward three months and we’re discussing his imminent fifth studio album Made In The Manor, which hadn’t even been announced at the time. His previous record Method To The Maadness was six years ago, and he’s spent half of that time – on and off – preparing for his latest opus. We should have known something was coming. As well as the anniversary shows, Kanowent on a small tour in support of his double A-side ‘Hail/ New Banger’ last Summer, burned down stages for Eskimo Danceand by the end of the year you couldn’t go to a rave without hearing ‘Garage Skank Freestyle’.
“I think it was important for me to get people’s attention,” Kano says of his decision to warm up to album time with a string of bangers. “‘Hail’, when you just hear that first beat it was just like a slap in the face, to wake people up. And then dropping ‘Garage Skank Freestyle’ and ‘3 Wheel-Ups’, I knew they would get people excited. I know people like to hear me spit that way, and the energy… it was about bringing that energy back.” The last track we’ll hear before the full album lands is ‘Endz’, an hyper-real painting of Kano’s native environment and his present mindset. It’s a reintroduction to a side we haven’t heard for years now, and is more representative of what fans can expect from Made In The Manor. This isn’t a record that’s aiming for some mainstream crossover glory, but an authentic one that wears its heart on it’s sleeve and people will relate to. As Kano spits on ‘Endz’: “This one won’t chart that’s for certain, but I know that Giggs would say that I was murkin.”