The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Top Brass: Theon Cross' Baker's Dozen
Stewart Smith , October 4th, 2023 08:19

Ahead of a special performance at Kings Place’s Luminate festival later this month, London jazz outlier Theon Cross takes Stewart Smith through his 13 favourite records, from Stevie Wonder to Kano via Miles Davis and Lauryn Hill


Kano – Hoodies All Summer

Another great artist. On a personal level, someone I've had the privilege to actually tour with. It’s a great album that speaks to the times, speaks to racism over here. And musically, this has other palettes of things that represent my own identity like grime, a bit of garage, reggae, a bit of dancehall energy. It really stands out as a British rap album that was significant and powerful. And it shows the maturity of where grime is at, particularly his school of grime, how the young energy is now pushed into saying something really powerful and speaks to Black Britishness as a whole. And I think that's one of those albums that has definitely, definitely done that.

That’s as well as it just bringing back good memories of being on tour performing some of that music before we went into lockdown. I'm not on the actual record. But the tuba has its uses in some of this music and I think it's because it's got that natural power, it's awesome. It's got a kick to the front of the sound that we matched up with subs. It’s monstrous. And between Kano and Blue May, who's the producer and MD, it was a real pleasure to see them witness that because a lot of rappers shy away from the live band thing and he's someone that's really embraced it and pushed it.