Scott Verill, aka kwassa, says he loves sad songs, but isn't interesting in singing them
Fresh off the release of his latest wonky pop single 'Sad Songs' on March 1, Scott Verrill aka kwassa gets candid with MEAWW about his journey
British singer kwassa is clearly making a mark for himself on the music circuit. From kicking off a musical journey while he was still at school to creating an ever-growing audience online who connected with his musical daydreams about life and love, Scott Verrill has come a long way.
Fresh off the release of his latest wonky pop single 'Sad Songs' on March 1, the artiste, who boasts of being at the forefront of catchy youthful melodies and zeitgeist lyricism, gets candid with MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) about his journey and what makes him a force to reckon with in the global soundscape.
Recalling his evolution from making music with bands in school to etching his sound mark on his own, kwassa says he's been glued to a guitar since he was just six. "I played in bands from when I was about 9. In one of them, through some stroke of luck, we ended up playing at Glastonbury when I was 15. Even just going to Glastonbury is inspiring, so being a kid and getting to wander around the backstage and tech side of it was the best — I’ve been gagging to play there again since."
After that, he spent the last four years developing his sound under the name KYKO. He independently released two EPs that earned support from The Line Of Best Fit, Wonderland and Clara Amfo at BBC Introducing as he racked up a total of 15 million streams and resulted in him selling out London’s Omeara. Scott says evolving into kwassa marks “a new chapter” in his musical journey.
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The journey, he says, has been exhilirating. "The first release I did under 'KYKO' feels so long ago now, but yet, in this new stage, it feels so early on! I have loads of songs lined up and now that the singles are out and broken my long phase without releasing, I cannot wait to share these new tunes with everyone."
Looking ahead, kwassa hopes his music takes him around the world in the future. "I’ve always wanted to travel to as many places as I possibly can and meet as many people as I can — and to do that through my own music would be a dream."
His name takes inspiration from a Vampire Weekend song and said, "It’s a nod to their song ‘Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa’, which is one of my all time favorites."
Before he launched 'Sad Songs' that digs deep into a fresh slice of glimmering pop, offset by a backdrop of laid-back wonky beats, kwassa dropped the music video for 'Moonwalking', his previous single, that showcased a very intriguing single shot video element.
Recalling the effort, he says, "Me and Max (the Director) wanted to keep it really simple and focus a lot on color and font — so a one-take dance shot let us put a lot of thought into that. ‘Moonwalking’ is in its most simple form about a relationship, so it made sense for it just to be a dance between two people and one leading the other around (and me attempting to learn a terrible moonwalk)."
While he's always been one to write direct and personal songs, kwassa points out that every song has some sort of meaning. "'Moonwalking' is just one of the first songs I’d written for the new stuff that was more romantic — a lot of my other stuff is more about traveling and life. This one’s about someone making you feel things you didn’t know you could feel, and 'Moonwalking' is just a fun way of expressing how high you can get off that."
It was only a couple of days before 'Moonwalking' that kwassa took his new name avatar. "I really didn’t know what to expect. Obviously, some people were attached to the older name because of songs and memories, but I kind of really appreciate that. Everyone seems to be over that now, though, and happy to invest into some new tunes!"
When asked what is the one most important thing he wants his listeners to take away from his music, kwassa says, "I really love the idea of soundtracking a trip or a summer, somewhere people create memories and do fun stuff. I try and keep all my music uplifting, but that kind of comes out naturally when I write. I love sad songs, but I’m not interested in singing them, and I know a lot of people that do them better — that’s not my lane."
When he's not putting his heart into making music, kwassa dabbles in fashion, co-running Hundred Club — a DIY fashion label with a 12k-strong Instagram following which sells t-shirts and tote bags that he designs, paints and prints in limited edition runs of 100 pieces.
We asked him to tell us more about his fashion adventures and he said, "I've always been interested in clothing but never even considered getting involved in producing it. I've always been massively into art and have always doodled. So when Gabby ( the co-owner) started up Hundred Club, putting those doodles onto tees as the first products made total sense. I really need to be doing things outside of music to keep me passionate and inspired to make music, and making clothing definitely takes up a different part of my brain, which is great."
Check out kwassa's latest track here.