Home Team • Kweku Collins

Photo by Allison Gretchko

Age: 19 •  Neighborhood: Evanston, IL •  Follow: Twitter // Soundcloud

Late 2014 into early 2015, a teenager from Evanston named Kweku Collins started to build momentum around the Chicago area. Going from a couple thousand plays to six or seven thousand may not seem like a significant leap forward for the casual music fan, but for those with a talent for identifying up and coming artists, this is a factor that would pique most's interest. In January of this year, the rise in fan interest was far more significant following the release of Collins' Worlds Away. Now, garnering attention of tens of thousands of listeners, Kweku also caught the interest of Alex Fruchter and Mike Kolar of Closed Sessions, a Chicago indie label and management group that have become a staple in the local hip-hop community. 

Essential Listens

With Kweku's refreshing brand of positivity and bright sounds, the young emcee already had something going for himself, but once Kewku and the Closed Sessions team linked officially, both brands' stock rose tremendously. From recording in his bedroom to having a proper recording studio at his disposal at any time, Kweku's situation was improving; the opportunity to express his feelings through music became that much easier. Anyone from any industry knows that having the proper tools at your disposal is essential to get the job done, but very rarely can someone traverse this music industry all by themselves. While being a skilled emcee/producer while having the ability to jump in the booth whenever he wants is important, having the support of experienced professionals like Kolar, Fruchter, and label mates Odd Couple and BoatHouse is without a doubt a reason we're seeing Kweku elevate his brand so quickly. 

Just seven months with the Closed Sessions family, Kweku has almost doubled his existing catalog. Loose singles, feature verses, production credits and even the release of his solo CS debut EP Say it Here, While It's Safe, have played their part to help Kweku make a mark on Chicago and beyond. This month alone, we've seen images surface of Collins in the studio with respected Chicago artists like GLC and Malcolm London. The Evanston native is just getting his career under way, but not many people can claim to have had such a productive breakout year.