King Kofi talks to MCO
Working Hard Doesn’t Mean Making Yourself Unhappy, Quite The Opposite
It’s been a long 12 months or so. For some, longer than others. As a musician, I think the hardest thing for me was not knowing when I’d next be able to release my next track. That might sound a bit silly, as we live in an era where we can release pretty much anything we like at the touch of a button. I felt that I worked very hard on my music the year prior, and after talking with several major records labels about my music over the spring/summer of 2020. It seemed like a waste to just ‘release something’, without the backing of someone who had more money or contacts than I had. That might sound a little superficial, but I like to think that the reason why it took me so long to eventually release some music is because I wanted you to hear it.
You might be happy to know that I released a new single a few weeks ago. I now have a distribution deal from Relentless Records and I was recently on MTV, as well several other publications that you might see on your way to work. And even though I’m not entirely where I want to be yet, it’s definitely a massive step forward compared to where I was a year ago. So it’s safe to say that the patience was necessary. And the hard-work is indeed starting to pay off.
If you live in London and you haven’t come across my music on Spotify or YouTube, there’s a high chance you could have met me in person over the last couple years while you wandered through Camden Market. Over a year and six months I spoke to over 20,000 people and sold over 5,000 copies of my debut album. I did it mostly everyday, walking down to Camden Market in the early afternoon and then Primrose Hill in the evenings, sometimes taking two or three days rest when I needed it. In between doing this, I was often in the studio tweaking and perfecting my next project. I spent almost every penny I made in the studio and what I didn't spend on making new music I spent on Facebook Ads. It was tough, yet, I always felt that there was no alternative. I felt that I much rather be talking to strangers in the street and sharing my music with them than doing anything else. I was passionate about it.
We live in a world where being happy and working-hard are presented to us as two very different things. The stigma is that people who work-hard sacrifice the things that make most other human-beings happy - time with friends, family, sleep, going to your favourite restaurant etc. It’s the narrative that’s given to us in countless self-help books, blog posts and infographics. I consider myself an ambitious person, and because of this, I often find myself ‘working a lot’. While there have definitely been times where I have overworked myself to the point of complete despair; for the most part, what many have described as ‘hard-work’, or ‘admirable’ has been me acknowledging what makes me happy.
I think the stigma of hard-work resulting in less happiness simply comes from people not doing what they’re truly passionate about. While many aren’t lucky enough to have discovered what that passion is, I’m also fully aware of the amount of people who don’t do what makes them happy due to pressure from friends and family to stay within the boundaries of the life they’ve created for themselves, or simply down to fear of failure. I saw it first hand. I spoke to a lot of people who would say something along the lines of ‘I love what you’re doing, it’s so brave’ or ‘I would be too afraid to do something like this’. It saddened me, and I think as we begin to enter a post-pandemic world, we should start to think about the things that truly make us happy. In a time where many of us will have to work extremely hard to get back on our feet again, it makes sense to concentrate on things that we’ll feel fulfilled by in the long-run.
Listen to my new single White Boys here