Rising young rapper/producer/artist Kojaque is poised to have a breakout 2021, and today has announced his debut album Town’s Dead, out June 25 on his own Soft Boy Records label via [PIAS]. Kojaque has toured with slowthai and Lana Del Rey, performed at Glastonbury and Pitchfork Paris, made his COLORS debut this past summer, and the record label he co-founded has been the subject of its own Boiler Room documentary. Kojaque first started writing Town’s Dead when he was 19, and made it mostly on his laptop in his bedroom and on tour busses. From spewing rage to tender ruminations, he confronts a broken system, the out of control gentrification of Dublin, toxic masculinity, the loss of his father, and more, all in the pressure cooker claustrophobia of a hometown.
Town’s Dead is an expansive concept album that unravels over 16 tracks, documenting a tumultuous love triangle that unfolds across New Year’s Eve, with results that are both cinematic and deeply personal. Through breakups and breakdowns, Town’s Dead teeters on the brink, spilling from the mind of a singular talent onto streets scaffolded by a broken system but still suffused with love.
“Town’s Dead comes from the potential that I see in Dublin and in the people I’m surrounded by day in and day out. There’s nothing but talent and ambition among young people, I’m constantly reminded of that through the art and music that I see being made but I think so often the city grinds you down, it takes your hope and your ambition. I know that it can change because so many of my friends express the exact same wants, desires and frustrations with living in Ireland. If so many of us are on the same page then I know that things can change, there just needs to be some sort of catalyst to kick start that change and for me that’s always been art and music. Time and time again, amazing art continues to be made in spite of the struggles and setbacks that are presented when living here. The title track and the album is a fight against what can sometimes feel inevitable, it’s a rejection of what people tell you is your destiny as a young person in the city, Town’s NOT dead it’s just Dormant.”
Musically Town’s Dead spans an impressive gamut, charging through rap, punk rock and jazz-flecked mellow moments to create an atmosphere that’s equally chaotic and reflective. While Kojaque created the bulk of the album itself, it includes contributions from his Soft Boy label collaborators Brién and Kean Kavanagh, with production from slowthai producer Kwes Darko and guest appearances by Biig Piig, Celia Tiab and Maverick Sabre.
Kojaque has previously shared singles from the album including “Shmelly”, “Coming Up,” and “No Hands,” which was just released in February.
Few contemporary rappers can claim to be an award-winning filmmaker (for his ‘Love In Technicolor’ film), have been invited to talk at Trinity College’s Philosophical Society, or develop work in residence for the RHA gallery. Kojaque is part of a new wave of Irish artists making the world sit-up with blistering and sophisticated art – ideas and work that emerged from a social revolution, stonewalled by late-stage capitalism. Welcome to Town’s Dead, where it is – despite everything – New Year’s Eve, the countdown to midnight is on, and Betty’s fella’s got a gun… Pre-order Town’s Dead (available on Digital, CD, 2LP, 2LP deluxe, & Cassette): https://kojaque.ffm.to/towns-dead