A rapper from Cabra who’s been making waves in his genre has been named as one of 11 artists worldwide to be selected for a prestigious YouTube music programme.
Kevin Smith, better known by his stage name Kojaque, has been selected for YouTube Music’s Foundry programme. The initiative aims to help musicians bring their sounds to new audiences, and to help them develop lasting relationships with their fans.
Kojaque has made a name for himself on the Irish music scene in the last 12 months with the release of his debut project, Deli Daydreams, that has led to the Cabra rapper selling out shows across Ireland and the UK.
Speaking the Foundry programme, Kojaque said: “My mentality towards music has all been DIY; independence when it comes to creativity is key for me. My YouTube channel has given me the opportunity to showcase that output to the world without interference.
“Having the support of YouTube Music Foundry means I can continue to create art with my friends exactly the way we want to make it.”
He co-founded independent label Soft Boy Records, through which he releases his own music.
The musician has worked with several notable Irish producers such as Wastefellow and JarJarJr, with his own influence on Ireland’s hip-hop scene steadily growing.
Kojaque has become known for his poetic lyricism, taking Dublin life as a main inspiration for his music. Most recently, he played to a packed-out audience in Whelan’s to celebrate a year of the release of his debut project, as well as making his way to the prestigious South by South West festival in Texas.
He will also head off on another heavily anticipated tour of the UK and Ireland this May.
Inductees into the Foundry programme will receive marketing promotion and education on the best ways to engage and grow their audience on an international scale, in addition to guidance on how to develop their music and visual content.
As well as Kojaque, acts selected by YouTube for this year’s programme include US based guitarist Omar Apollo, Tokyo rock band Ace Collection, Brussels based rapper ICO and iyla, an R&B singer from Los Angeles.
Former inductees to the Foundry programme since it’s beginning in 2016 include global pop-star Dua Lipa, rising Spanish hip-hop starlet Rosalia, American sister singer songwriters Chloe x Halle and UK breakout rapper Dave – meaning the future certainly looks bright for Kojaque as one of this year’s artists.