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    8 MIN READ

    Introducing Korby, I’ll explain later


    It’s easy to be misled by a thick London accent, and to miss the unsuspecting amount of mindful charm concealed beneath it. Hailing from London’s North-west, 24 year old Korby is well versed on the matter of embodying authenticity as an asset in the city’s busy music scene. Beyond that, his curiosity for understanding humanity weaves deeply through his music and vastly into his life, with the artist steering his creative choices from thoughtful questioning of the roads frequently travelled: where do our decisions ultimately lead us?

    Amidst his reflective debut EP release, I’ll Explain Later, songs like My Garden set the precedent for a tracklist designed to accompany people further into the folds of their own life. Bringing his own recounts of the beautifully mundane, fortified by his neuroscience degree, Korby works to stimulate the emotional textures of the human experience that society has less time for. Where the sentiment itself is deeply moving, across 7 tracks fusing RnB style hooks with bare-chested piano lines, listeners can expect to feel held in whatever passage of reality they find themselves traversing.

    How old are you?

    I’m 24.

    You’re 24? That’s kind of young, really.

    I thought I was a big grown up.

    Where did you grow up? In London?

    Yeah, London. Northwest London. I’ve lived here my whole life. Haven’t gone anywhere else.

    How long have you been writing for? Was that something you always felt really encouraged to do?

    Um, not really. I’d always enjoy writing poems. When I was in school, I wouldn’t say I knew I was good at it, but I knew it’s something that I was inclined towards. I was always better at writing a poem than doing a maths problem kind of thing. So, yeah, it wasn’t something that was particularly encouraged, but I was always interested in it.

    Only until maybe five years ago when I went to uni – no, six years ago– when I actually started realising I like making my own, like, beats and songs. That’s when I actually decided, okay, I want to write my own songs as well. And it kind of took me going back into that state where I was like, all right, I can write poems. I can get creative. From there is where I properly started to write my own music.

    I was listening to My Garden the other day, and it literally made me cry. So thank you for that.

    Yes, I want that song to make people cry. So I’ve done my job well.

    That answers one of my questions. But for me, there was something super visceral about the language and the metaphor that you used in that song. And even watching the video clip, it really took me back to my childhood in the UK. I wondered, was there a real place that you had in mind when you wrote that song? Is there a memory or some sort of essence that the song is pointing to?

    So, originally, it was literally just about my garden in my house. Like, my back garden. And it was from there, it grew into the metaphor of somewhere where you feel safe and you can just let loose. Okay, so as a child, when I was in my garden I felt like, this is my world. This is my area. This is my space. Like, I can run around here as fast as I can. It wasn’t a massive garden, but I could run around here. I can dig a hole over here. I can hide my favorite toys in this corner. I can play football with my brother over here. Like, my garden is my amusement park. This is my area. This is my space where I feel completely at home, completely safe. And I would love to share that.

    The song is basically saying, I’d love to share that experience with someone who might not have it or might have lost theirs or might not have their own garden in that kind of way. And, yeah, the language as well. It wasn’t intentional either. But as I’ve listened to it about 200 million gazillion times, I’ve noticed that the language is really, like, not boring, but just plain. I didn’t try to use any big words. I didn’t try to make it too clever. It was more just telling a true story or a few true stories at the same time, which kind of overlap to tell the same story. Which was quite nice for me and for everyone else who’s told me that they’ve listened to it. It kind of had the same effect for them as well. So.

    It’s a really beautiful piece of work.

    Thank you.

    Someone told me that you’re studying neuroscience, is that correct?

    Yeah, I did that at uni. I studied that for three years.

    Was there any link for you or a pathway through neuroscience towards music? Obviously, they’re intrinsically linked because they both involve the brain, but which of those kind of came first?

    For me, it was like two sides of the same coin. Music was always like my love/passion and like, interest. I’d always loved music. I always loved music. But then neuroscience came a bit later where I was like, hmm, what does this even mean? Like, what is this feeling that I get from music? And then okay, beyond that, the feeling and the emotions that I experience in the wider world – what is all of that?

    That kind of sparked the interest of the fact that this is all my brain. Like, my brain is telling me this information. How does that work? Eventually it became kind of the same thing for me. Music is me, kind of understanding how my brain works and what I’m drawn to and what I’m not drawn to. And then studying neuroscience specifically just gave me the science to understand it. Like, the actual biological pathways and understanding what actually happens with the chemicals in my brain whilst I’m thinking this or whilst I’m experiencing this.

    I did go on to study a master’s as well in music and neuroscience actually putting them two together. That was just after my uni, and it kind of just glued it all together in an alright way. But nothing is better than just actually making the music and living life to understand life and understand music.

    Is there anything that you think people might be surprised to know about the human mind and the link to music?

    So there’s a thing called neuroplasticity, and that is basically saying your brain is moldable and malleable just based on the input you give it.

    Listening to certain types of music can literally change your brain. Like, literally, literally, literally change your brain and change your whole personality and your whole makeup.

    Does that then come with you into the way that you write and record? Like, are you that conscious of what you’re doing to other people’s brains as a result of your study?

    Not even intentionally. It’s just become more of a part of how I live my life. Like, I live my life knowing that, yo, my brain is super vulnerable. Like, as much as I don’t think it is, every pattern and every habit I pick up during the day is becoming ingrained.

    I imagine it like a massive hill, and you start at the top, every thought is like a sled that goes down. And as you do that, as you go over that thought over and over and over, the tracks and the snow become more ingrained. And then even if it snows over, there’s still a little dip in the snow where you’ve been, like, sliding down that same pathway.

    When I came to that kind of understanding, I was like, alright, cool. I just have to be more conscious of which direction I’m pointing when I’m sliding down the hill. Or like, what’s my objective when I’m thinking these kind of things? And what’s my objective when I’m taking these kind of actions? And then beyond that, when I get to the bottom, who’s there and who am I going to bump into if I carry on in that kind of way? So it kind of affects my music, but just mainly my whole life and how I go about everything, really.

    That’s an incredible tool and skill to have that perspective.

    Thank you.

    When you were making the EP, did you have an ideal scene in mind that someone might listen to the music in?

    Uh, every day. From your garden to your room to your way to work, wherever you are, I want it to be music that people just put on and listen to wherever they are, whatever they’re doing. And it will enrich the experience of whatever they’re doing in that moment.

    That became the goal. It wasn’t always the goal. When I started making music, I had no idea what I was planning to do. As it got closer to the end and finishing stages, the goal became more to just put out music that I want people to actually just live their real lives to. And hopefully make it, I wouldn’t even say a better experience because I don’t want to have that responsibility, but just to deepen whatever experience they have whether it makes you cry, whether it makes you happier – just to literally make you feel something.

    Funnily, the EP was going to be called ‘Music to feel Something To’. That was what we were going to call it first. Well, that was the name I wanted to call it initially, but it was just too many words.

    The marketing team says no.

    Right. Literally, Sam said no.

    Hey, Sam. Sorry (laughs). So when you’re sitting in your day to day life, who do you listen to typically?

    A lot of everything. Recently, it’s been a lot of Bob Marley. My girlfriend’s mum was a vinyl dj, so she had loads and loads and loads and loads of records. So she had a few Bob Marley ones. When she was getting rid of her collection, we inherited, like, hundreds of vinyls. Over the last year, I’ve just been going through them. And then we stumbled across one Bob Marley one which I can’t stop playing, every single day, anytime I get the chance, that’s what I go to put on.

    What else? Mk.Gee. He’s a guitarist and singer. He’s really good. I’ve been listening to a lot of Mk.Gee, Venna. I listen to a lot of Venna. But, yeah, I’d say right now, Bob Marley.

    I might have to give him a spin again. He’s been in the dust a while in my life.

    You know what I’d even recommend? Put on a Bob Marley live performance. He has quite a few online that go for like an hour or so. Just put that on and just, like, vibe out. He has one where he’s wearing a navy denim two piece. If you see that one, watch that one.

    I love getting new music from interviews. It’s actually one of my favorite parts of the job. What’s it like breaking into the music scene, especially in London? What are the challenges, but also the highlights of that process?

    In London, you’ve pretty much bumped into everyone in the music scene at some point, or been in close proximity to them, which is nice because it kind of makes you remember that these are all just people. They have friends, they have things they don’t like, they go to eat, everyone’s just a person. And whether conscious, intentionally or unintentionally, they have found themselves with some sort of popularity. 

    It’s not some abstract thing, I've come to realize. It's not some new and crazy magical spell, that they went to a witch with a cauldron to say make me a musician. It wasn't that at all.

    Understanding that has made me realize that you can just be free, just do your thing.

    Beyond that as well, there’s a nice sense of community because you do bump into people enough times to build friendships and actually have some sort of connection beyond the fact that you’re in the same industry.There are a lot of activations and parties in London, where you bump into people enough times and then they would just become your friend. And when you meet them, you have a cool chat with them and you get encouraged, inspired, and it is quite close knit to an extent.

    But also, it’s kind of annoying, the fact that everyone is so close in some ways. Just the fact that you can’t avoid anyone, even if you’re trying to.

    A big, small town.

    Yeah, exactly. But it is nice. London is a nice city to be creative and more recently, a lot of different initiatives are popping up where they wouldn’t have been. Even a couple years ago, there weren’t as many avenues to actually just showcase yourself and be in a space of like minded people. So London is a great place to be a creative, especially now, and I think it’s only going to get better.

    My final question is, what’s one hope you have for yourself and then also the world at large that you hold on to?

    I’ll start for the world. My mission is to make… is to not make (I don’t want to make people do anything). But I’d love for people to understand and feel new emotions that they would sometimes maybe block out or just not allow themselves to feel. Or that they haven’t been given the stimulus or the encouragement to feel. For example, just this first EP I was just exploring all of the new feelings and emotions I was having throughout that year, in that period of hours while I was making it.

    I’d love to share that journey and adventure with other people and for people to go on their own kind of journey, wherever it leads them – hopefully somewhere nice. This EP kind of all spins back to the garden idea where it’s like that journey of adventure kind of led me to realize I have to just cultivate my own garden.

    I have to grow my trees how I like it, I have to lay the grass how I want it to be laid and, like, overall, make it a lovely place for me and everyone else who's around me to be in.

    And that’s what I want my music to kind of be the soundtrack to. That’s what it is at the moment. I might change when I turn 25 or 26 and become an actual adult or something. I don’t know.

    When you get really old. Yeah. And then what’s your hope for you when you get there?

    You know what? It sounds so cliche, but I’d love to actually just be peaceful and enjoy my life, have all the things that I want to have and spend time with people that I want to spend time with. Not have to do anything out of necessity or obligation, but just do things that I want to do and spend time with who I want to spend time with. Do things that I love and things that fill me with love and I can share with people. That’s my goal. And drive nice cars. Yeah, that’s actually it.