Low Key Source is very proud to present the debut album by Children of Zeus -‘Travel Light’.
It’s been a long road leading to this album for Tyler Daley and Konny Kon.
From early, they were educated & inspired by the soundtrack of their parent’s car stereos and the noises transmitted from Manchester’s pirate radio stations, growing up on a wholesome diet of soul, hip hop & reggae. They first embarked on their expedition into the music game two decades back -Tyler entered the scene as a songwriter, producer and vocalist, originally under the moniker Hoodman, whilst Konny began MCing, DJing and beat-making for hip hop crews The Microdisiacs and Broke’n’£nglish, along with DRS & Strategy.
Children of Zeus first met in 2005 whilst on tour in Paris, though it wouldn’t be until 2016 that they would release their debut single,‘Still Standing’-now widely considered a British soul classic. A compilation EP comprised of tracks made by the duo over the last decade dropped late last year, entitled ‘The Story So Far…’, which garnered praise far & wide, and was named record of the year by numerous DJs and tastemakers.
Children of Zeus are finally at the stage where they are releasing their debut album proper; the over-riding ethos of which is about keeping their eyes on the road ahead, whilst shedding the baggage they’ve accumulated over the years -‘Travel Light’. Thematically it touches on several things; persistence, disenchantment, growth and balance.
This is exemplified in the opening track, ‘The Story So Far’, named after their EP release and elaborating on all that has come before, whilst ‘Hoodman2ManHood’ sees Tyler candidly let people know where he’s come from, and where he is now. ‘Kintsugi’ eloquently explains the theory behind the Japanese art-form of the same name; that nothing is really broken, you just need to find the beauty in it, while ‘All On You’ illustrates the importance of self-belief. ‘360°’ is a slinky but hardcore love song touching on relationship issues, whilst the more apologetic track ’The Heart Beat’ gently meanders from contemporary R&B to spoken word. ’Respect Mine’ is a no holds barred hardcore hip hop cut that demands exactly what it says on the tin, whereas ’Fear Of A Flat Planet’ sees the crew take on a positive feel-good approach to what has been, and what will be. The recent trap-tinged soulful single, ‘Slow Down’ serves as a reminder to the ravers to go easy on the pedal, whilst ‘Daddy’s Car’ is a nod back to where it really all began. Finally on ‘Vibrations (Divine Signature)’, Konny breaks it down quite simply – “high frequency means that you travel light, so get lifted yo, we’ll live gifted”.
Features are purposely few, mainly coming from Manny family; newcomer [ K S R ] & former Broke ’n’ £nglish spar, DRSon the rough-but smooth strut of ‘All On You’, and the skills of LayFullStop on the upbeat stepper, ‘Fear Of A Flat Planet’. There’s a few extra special ingredients on this album too, along with their trademark hip hop soul hybrid. Reggae music has always been an integral piece of the CoZ sound-system ethic, so we see Tyler putting on his lover’s rock hat for ‘Hard Work’, and they invite in the remarkable talents of soul queen Terri Walker to join them on the fierce low-slung duttiness of ‘Sling Shot Riddim’, while the album closes out with the epic K15-produced jazz-bruk opus, ‘Vibrations (Divine Signature)’. Guest production also comes in the form of Switzerland’s Sebb Bash,Nottingham’s Juga-Naut, and London’s Beat Butcha, and guest musicians include Metrodome (Levelz) and your favourite DJ’s favourite DJ, Mr Thing, slicing up the turntables on two tracks.
Long as the journey has been, the time for looking back is over. This is about the present and future of Children of Zeus. A shining light in Manchester’s now-school, and rightly heralded by many as the best new act to emerge in British soul music in the past decade. Aside from the above features, this project is written, performed and produced entirely by Tyler and Konny, predominantly at The Balance studio in Manchester. An album largely consisting of the inimitable sub-heavy, rhodes-laden fusion of hip hop and soul they’ve been crafting, nurturing and mastering for many years. This is a perfect illustration of the duo’s songwriting ability, and their finesse behind the boards, as well as on the mic. The depth of sonics and genres displayed throughout this album were a careful consideration, and a testament of respect to their original musical foundations. Since the crew first took flight, the end destination has never changed, the aim remains the same -to create timeless music, in their own unique style, without compromise, irrespective of industry and life distractions.
The moral being this – travel light.