Kwes: My Firsts

Kwes on His First Pet, First Car, and Earliest Instrument

Sep 21, 2012 Web Exclusive
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My Firsts is our new email interview series where we ask musicians to tell us about their first life experiences, be it early childhood ones (first word, first concert, etc.) or their first tastes of being a musician (first band, first tour, etc.).

For this My Firsts we talk to Kwes. Kwes is a British singer/producer/musician who was born and raised in East London. He has worked with the likes of The Invisible, The xx, and Damon Albarn. Earlier this year he released the Meantime EP on Warp Records. He is currently also performing in Bobby Womack's band, along with Albarn and Richard Russell. Tonight (Friday, September 21) he will be performing with Womack on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Read on as Kwes discusses his early obsession with Martian mice, his first trip to the hospital, and his earliest movie theater experience.

First pet?

It was a stuffed polar bear from Hamleys, a fantastic toy shop in Central London. I got it just before Christmas at the time.
First time you had to go to the hospital?

Asthma attack at age one I think. I actually don't remember the experience, was told by my mum.

First movie you saw in the movie theater? 

Disney's Jungle Book. It was in an ABC cinema in Catford, London. Unforgettable experience.
First TV show you were obsessed with?

Biker Mice from Mars. Throttle was my favorite as he had the rectangular glasses and commanded without having to raise his voice, archetypal noble leader. Modo I think had my favorite bike. I had the toys.
First car you owned?

Micro Machines pink wind-up truck from a McDonald's happy meal. Hours of fun had.
First computer?

Dell Inspiron laptop. I made my first two "pre albums" on it, which I have on CDs, but will never ever see the light of day.
First roommate?

Fiona De Hoog. She's a fantastic person.
First book you read outside of one assigned for school?

The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend. I loved how it read like diary entries.  
First instrument?

A VTech Small Talk telephone. It had a keyboard in the key of C Major.
First recording device?

A Cascade double cassette tape recorder/radio with a built-in microphone. Definitely one of my favorite birthday presents. I may have to find it; I left it at my grandparents'.


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