Londoner Kane Robinson has put the personal touch into his latest record.
Better known as Kano, the rapper and grime star has opened his heart on his latest album, described as “his most important body of work to date”.
“You have to know where you’ve come from in order to know where you’re going,” he says about Made In The Manor, described as “a love letter to his East End roots”.
The 30-year-old, from East Ham, says: “I’ve always been honest in what I have chosen and what I have spoken about, but this is the most honest I’ve ever been on an album. It’s not that I wasn’t being honest before, it’s just that I wasn’t speaking about things this personal before.”
“It’s about stories from when I lived there, people I have grown up with, It’s my life and my upbringing, that’s what it’s about.”
He admits it can be hard to write about things so personal, but it was not has hard as he expected.
“It’s easy and hard,” he jokes. “It’s been harder reflecting on it afterward.
“I’ve been putting in lyrics things I wouldn’t talk about with my brother or my mates. Somehow it comes out in the music.”
Despite the sometimes tough personal memories, Kano was confident his friends and family would love the album ahead of its release earlier this month.
“It’s not negative toward anyone,” he says. “It will bring smiles to a lot of people, because they were there.”
He admits being 30 made it a lot easier to talk about his younger days.
“It’s a lot to do with maturity,” he says. “On my first album, there’s a track I made when I was 15.
“A lot of the time, the stuff I am talking about is relative to my age. I am 30 now, I have experienced a lot more.
“My last album was five or six years ago, so maybe it is being more older. I’ve grown up.”
The title Made in the Manor reflects his upbringing in his East London manor, where grime music really began.
“My mother came over when she was a youngster from Jamaica and moved to the East End, to Canning Town,” he says.
“East Londin is a big part of my musical influence – it’s where grime really started – and Jamaican music is a big influence, Elephant Man etc.
“It’s music I grew up with and love and it’s reflecfed in my body of work.
“I love to listen to different artists who have got a sense of who they are and where they’re from, such as Eminem with Detroit in 8 Mile.”
For now, though, he is concentrating on his UK tour promoting the album, which includes a show in Sheffield this weekend.
“I like to give people a good show,” he says, “there’ll be a lot of energy.
“I will be performing new tracks, but also going through the catalogue.
“If you’re a long-time fan, or new, you will enjoy it,”
Kano plays Plug, Matilda Street, Sheffield city centre, on Easter Saturday, March 26.
For tickets, priced from £15, visit www.the-plug.com