Novelist (MC)

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Field Day 2016 Saturday Novelist 2.jpg
Novelist performing at Field Day 2016
Background information
Birth name Kojo Kankam
Also known as Mr Tetris
Born (1997-01-20) January 20, 1997 (age 20)
Origin Brockley, London, England
Genres Grime
Occupation(s) MC, producer
Years active 2010–present
Labels XL Recordings (2014-16), NoHatsNoHoods (2014-16), MMMYEH (2016)[1]
Associated acts The Square, Mumdance, Tugg Set, Vision Crew, Skepta

Kojo Kankam (born 20 January 1997), better known by his stage name Novelist, is an English grime MC and producer from Lewisham in South London. He was a founding member of The Square crew and was nominated for Best Grime Act at the 2014 MOBO Awards.[2] He has been called the "new face of grime"[3] and was described as "the poster child for the first generation of real grime kids" by DJ Logan Sama.[4][5]


In 2013 Novelist clashed with Wiley's younger brother Cadell for the grime DVD Who's Da Boss and began to garner attention from the UK underground music scene for his regular appearances on London pirate radio stations.[6] Novelist was featured in a BBC Radio 1Xtra documentary broadcast on mother's day called Grime mums focusing on the role parents played in the careers of prominent grime MCs.[7] After an instrumental track called Sniper began to receive airplay on London underground radio stations Novelist was signed to produce an instrumental EP for influential grime imprint Oil Gang.[8][9][10] He recorded a song entitled Take Time in a studio session with experimental producer Mumdance in October 2013,[11] which was later signed to Rinse and released as a single in the summer of 2014.[3]

In early 2014 Novelist's music began receiving regular rotation on radio stations including BBC Radio 1Xtra and Rinse FM. He recorded a guest set for DJ Cable's "Sixty Minutes" mix, which was broadcast on MistaJam's BBC 1Xtra show on 28 May 2014,[12] he featured on Cable's Sixty Minutes mix again latter that year recording a second guest set with The Square.[13] In late 2013 Novelist began working with NoHatsNoHoods.[14] In mid 2014 the label signed his crew The Square, their first release on the label The Formula came out in August 2014.[15] In 2014, Novelist signed to XL Recordings and has recorded a track with Jamie xx for his forthcoming release on the label.[16] In September 2014, Novelist received a MOBO nomination in the Best Grime Act category.[17] In November 2014, Novelist was named on the longlist for the BBCs Sound of 2015 list and XL Recordings announced that his debut release on the label would be a collaborative EP with Mumdance.[18] The EP, entitled 1 Sec was released on 20 January 2015, the same day he turned 18.[19]

On 1 September 2015, Novelist left The Square with the stated intention of furthering his solo career.[20] On 17 October 2015, Novelist supported Major Lazer at Alexandra Palace, London, during their European tour. In early 2016 he featured on a Baauer single called "Day Ones" and appeared on Skepta's album Konnichiwa with "Lyrics".

In August 2016, Novelist was dropped from XL Recordings. He subsequently announced on 23 August that he is launching his own label to release his own music along with his friends. His label is named MMMYEH Records.[1]



Title Details
Sniper EP
  • Released: July 2014
  • Label: Oil Gang
  • Formats: Vinyl, Digital download
1 Sec EP
  • Released: 20 January 2015
  • Label: XL Recordings
  • Formats: Vinyl, Digital download

With The Square[edit]

Title Details
The Formula
  • Released: 25 August 2014
  • Label: NoHatsNoHoods
  • Formats: Digital download
Lewisham McDeez
  • Released: 23 April 2015
  • Label: NoHatsNoHoods
  • Formats: Digital download

As featured artist[edit]

Title Details
Take Time (Mumdance featuring Novelist)
  • Released: 16 June 2014
  • Label: Rinse
  • Formats: Vinyl, Digital download
Flavour and One and Only (Monki & Friends EP Vol. 2)
  • Released: 18 August 2014[21]
  • Label: Red Bull Studios
  • Formats: Digital download
Bigger Man Sound (London Bars Vol. IV) (Chase & Status feat. Novelist)
  • Released: 26 November 2015
  • Label: MTA Records
  • Formats: Digital download
Lyrics (Skepta feat. Novelist)
  • Released: 6 May 2016
  • Label: Boy Better Know
  • Formats: CD, Digital download


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ Hannah Ellis-Petersen. "Mobo awards 2014: Sam Smith and Krept and Konan lead nominations". the Guardian. 
  3. ^ a b "RA Reviews: Mumdance - Take Time on Rinse Recordings (Single)". Resident Advisor. 
  4. ^ "Mixmag - TIP: MUMDANCE & NOVELIST". 
  5. ^ "Daily Discovery: Meet Novelist, the Young Grime MC Who's Already Worked With Jamie xx". Pigeons & Planes. 
  6. ^ "Interview: Novelist, Grch 2013". 
  7. ^ "BBC Radio 1Xtra - BBC Radio 1Xtra's Stories, Grime Mums". BBC. 
  8. ^ "Mixmag - DUBSTEP & GRIME: FEBRUARY". 
  9. ^ "RA Reviews: Novelist - Sniper EP on Oil Gang (Single)". Resident Advisor. 
  10. ^ "18 record labels to watch in 2013". FACT Magazine: Music News, New Music. 
  11. ^ Dummy. "Mumdance introduces Novelist". 
  12. ^ "BBC Radio 1Xtra - MistaJam, Angel is Inbox:FRESH!". BBC. 
  13. ^ "BBC Radio 1Xtra - MistaJam, 20/08/2014". BBC. 
  14. ^ "Life At 140: No Hats No Hoods Special". Clash Magazine. 
  15. ^ "South London grime crew The Square - Novelist, Lolingo, etc - announce debut mixtape The Formula - FACT Magazine: Music News, New Music.". FACT Magazine: Music News, New Music. 
  16. ^ Joseph JP Patterson. "Premiere: Listen to Novelist's "10 Out Of 10"". Complex UK. 
  17. ^ "The MOBO Awards finally introduce a grime category: Big Narstie, JME, Novelist and more nominated". FACT Magazine: Music News, New Music. 
  18. ^ "XLRecordings - Novelist x Mumdance - Listen To Shook".  External link in |work= (help)
  19. ^ Pattison, Louis (16 January 2015). "Underage against the machine: why labels are desperate to sign teens". The Guardian. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Listen: Murlo x Novelist - 'Flavour'". Clash Magazine.