How to Experience London’s Creative Scene According to Kwaku Asante
We’ve partnered with Squarespace to highlight the businesses that are changing the cultural fabric of four key cities: from London to New York via Paris and Berlin. Here, we have Kwaku Asante on his favourite cultural spaces in London.
The north London-raised singer-songwriter grew up around jazz and gospel. From a young age, he was surrounded by music in his household and played the piano. At school, he joined a choir. These musical leanings are rooted in his family. You don’t need to trace this back far either. Just a few generations back, his grandfather founded Ghana’s first record label in 1954. Music, then, and a penchant for vinyl was naturally interwoven into his life but it wasn’t until 2018 that he released his debut single The Way That You Move – a release that became the catalyst to Asante deciding to pursue music professionally. Fast forward to where he is now and music has become his calling. Citing D’Angelo and Frank Ocean as some of his main influences, he’s previously described his own sound as modern gospel, pulling in elements of Motown, blues, pop, R&B and beyond to create emotionally resonant, soulful tracks. He’s been featured on platforms such as ColorsxStudios and shared a slew of notable releases, including his 2020 EP Honeycomb and the album Wanderlust in 2022.
As someone who’s born and raised in London, Asante is tapped into the fast-moving pulse of the capital city. In his travel guide, he curates a list of cultural highlights. They’re mainly based in east London, an area that’s known for housing many creative businesses in the city, and his picks range from wellness picks to fusion restaurants. One particular highlight is All My Friends, a restaurant that combines barbecue with Chinese cuisine. It’s also a vinyl shop, allowing music and food aficionados to congregate in a multi-purpose space. “There’s so much to do in London,” he says.
“There is something for everyone whether it be food, activities and music. It being a multi-purpose space with fusion food available shows that it’s a collaboration of interest and different spaces giving this space a cultural identity.”
The format of the space is important, he notes. “There needs to be places in-between silence and party with a communal feel,” he adds. “Where people can have conversations about music not on their phones but in a purer form, [such as] vinyl.” As for the range of vinyls on offer, Asante says, “The spectrum of genres available is very eclectic, like my own music taste.”
Check out his full travel guide here.