London singer-songwriter Kwaku Asante releases his highly anticipated nine-track project ‘Blue Solstice: Volume 2’, highlighting the complexities of modern dating, unreciprocated feelings, and attempts from his love interest to take the relationship to another level. ‘Blue Solstice Volume 2’ is the follow-up to his acclaimed 2021 3-track EP ‘Blue Solstice: Volume 1’ which was a shift sonically for Kwaku who has been synonymous with emotive and vulnerable music.
So ‘Strawberry Skies’ is the opening track for this project. With the strings, I wanted to give it a real grand feel, like an introduction to the project. ‘Strawberry Skies’ is about what comes with the territory of being an artist, dating in today’s world. Wanting to get to know their psyche, wanting to actually get to know them emotionally, and that’s what the first verse is about. The second verse is the more fun side. I wanna have a bit more fun and see where this goes, but it always seems to be that problem when you want to take something seriously, they don’t take you seriously for reasons of like, you’re an artist. And then the other side, is that someone takes you seriously when you don’t want them to. So, it’s just that kind of push and pull.
I used to work at a bar in East London, and it was a café as well. A lot of times, beautiful women would walk in, and my mind would just wonder. You know, when they’re really nice to you when they come to the counter, and you just create this fantasy of how it would be. That’s just me expressing myself about someone I actually don’t know, but we knew of each other. I thought, “Wow, you’re amazing,” so I kind of wrote that and turned it into a song. She made everything more colourful, everything seemed to move in slow motion. So that’s what ‘Inside Out’ is about. It’s a love song about somebody you barely know.
Until The Morning
I feel like in this day and age, everybody is so busy. The person I was seeing—I’m really busy, she’s really busy—and I just wanted a moment in the morning when she’s getting ready for her to stay for an extra 10 minutes, just to have a bit of extra time. I wanted to show my appreciation for her, regardless of how serious our relationship was because she’s a cool girl. She’s respectful, she gave me the time of day, she let me vent to her, and I let her vent to me. It was a good time. She was an amazing individual.
So, this is about when people say at the start of a relationship, “Oh, this isn’t serious, this isn’t going anywhere.”
I literally said this at the beginning of this dynamic, and a few months in, the person gave me an ultimatum and got really emotional; she got really angry with me. And then I was just like, “Oh no, this isn’t what I said it was going to be. And I didn’t have communication to start off with because she was not from this country; she was flying back. I was going abroad and stuff, so what’s the point in getting into something if we can’t maintain this? So, I was just like, ‘let’s just have fun and see where it goes, but this has an expiry date.’ Long-distance relationships aren’t for me, so I just thought I’d make a song about it.
I just thought it would be funny to make a little, cool interlude, and then maybe make a call centre at some point for people to call . I like interludes like this; they’re quite smart and just quite witty.
You’re in the dance, drinks have been flowing, and I set the scene. I’m a guy in the bar, I see this woman out with her friends. I buy some shots for her and her friends to ease the mood, to let them know that I’m an ally. But sometimes, when you’re speaking to a girl, they may be your love interest for the evening and hopefully beyond that. However, sometimes, you say more than you should, your guard is less up, and you may show your cards more when there’s alcohol involved. Sometimes that can make you feel like you like somebody even more. The rum is getting to your head; you’re just saying the first thing that comes to your head, which may come off as a bit lovey-dovey or a bit forward. But I feel that most of the time, it works.
‘Free Spirit’ is about a girl that I felt I could learn a lot from. She was an amazing woman, an amazing black woman. I won’t disclose the industry she was in, but it’s a very competitive and cutthroat one. She was always super confident, she walked into every room like she knew her worth, and it’s quite admirable watching her wear many hats. I found it inspiring that she was outspoken, she was beautiful, and it was amazing. It wasn’t too deep.
This song just stems from the I’m fine, I’m peaceful, I have a stress free life, from music and stuff, but when people come into your life to cause mayhem for no reason, you just have to wonder why. Lack of communication, being hot and cold, saying they want one thing but wanting another thing, and it bamboozles you and makes you move like, ‘Hold on. You’re trying to manipulate and confuse me’ – and it’s annoying. That means all what we had before, that time has been wasted. So that’s what that is. Cost of living man, you’ve got to be careful where you spend your powers.
The Real Thing
The funny thing about the ‘Real Thing’ is that we actually sampled ‘Love Crimes’ in ‘The Real Thing’, which is pretty cool.
‘Love Crimes’, the theme of that song is like after you’ve been through that, you know what you don’t want. I know what I want is the real thing, which is that I’m not really giving myself for anything less, not at this age. Time is of the essence; not everybody has free time. Everybody has other commitments, priorities, responsibilities, and the only way I’m willing to put that time aside, with my already full life and everybody else’s life that’s full, it’s got to be very genuine, very real, very empathetic, even so much so that it cuts through my paranoia or the fact that you tend to get options.
The whole thing of the project is that it’s not very deep, it’s not meant to be. It’s not meant to be very reflective or very thought provoking. It’s definitely meant to evoke feeling, but it’s not meant to make you look in the mirror and be like, “Ah!”.