UK Gospel Drill Pioneer Konola Drops ‘Christian Walk’ Album & Signs with Gospel Hydration
Konola, aka Mr Shing Shao, is without a doubt one of the hottest prospects in the UK Christian Rap scene. The 20-year-old, born and raised in Tottenham, London, has been influential in pioneering the emerging UK “gospel drill” movement.
But he won’t allow himself to be pigeonholed by the genre. In fact, he even pushes back against the “rapper” label, preferring to describe himself as an “evangelist, not a rapper.”
There’s no doubt that Konola has been blessed with bucketloads of musical talent, but it’s the maturity of his faith and the gospel-centered content of his lyrics that really sets him apart. Here’s what he had to say about his music…
“There’s not enough people putting the gospel, revelations, and their experiences as a Christian on beats, without watering it down. When you see me, just know that you will always hear about the Lord Jesus Christ, biblical scriptures, and everything else the church may or may not say. I do not compromise. Ever.”
On Sunday 21st June, Konola dropped his highly anticipated new album Christian Walk exclusively on SoundCloud. It’s a 20-track project giving him the space to experiment with a wide variety of different genres and sounds.
By Thursday, Christian Walk had passed 20,000 streams on Soundcloud – which is huge when you consider how little promotion Konola has actually done for the project! He’s blessed with a very loyal fanbase who have generated a lot of organic buzz on social media.
At the time of writing, the four most-streamed tracks are; “Finnish” (featuring Zelijah), “Battling,” “Fantastic” (featuring Keelah), and “Blessed” (featuring Likemikes). Another standout track is “Feelings,” which presents a much more introspective Konola over a chill trap beat.
“This album is very special to me and I’ve been working on it for 14 months. It takes you on a journey through my own walk with Christ and allows you to feel everything that I have felt. From adoration and praise to happiness, righteous anger, spiritual warfare, and repentance. This album has it all.”
Unsurprisingly, Konola has come to the attention of a number of Christian platforms and music heads. One of those is Derrick Tchie, CEO and Founder of Gospel Hydration.
Konola’s latest music video “No Designer” was uploaded to Gospel Hydration’s YouTube channel towards the end of May and has already clocked up over 10,000 views.
On Tuesday 23rd June, Konola signed to Derrick’s Hydration Records label. This partnership should be exactly what Konola needs to take his music and his reach to the next level.
I asked Derrick why he chose Konola to work with.
“Konola is an exceptional storyteller through his music! When I first heard him his lyrics really connected with me. He was able to communicate the gospel in such a raw and vulnerable way. Konola’s style and rap ability really drew me in. Straight away I was like to myself, ‘The world needs to hear this. How can I support him more and get his content out there to reach more people?’ That ultimately led to my decision of signing him to Hydration Records. After speaking with Konola and hearing where he is looking to take his music I couldn’t turn down an opportunity to be a part of that journey. What others can expect from this partnership is more meaningful/connecting music with relatable and high-quality visuals. We will be making sure we are consistent with his sound and reaching a much wider audience.”
The rest of 2020 is looking very promising for Konola and it’s likely that he will break out in a big way in 2021. Remember where you heard him first! And make sure you check out his new album Christian Walk on Soundcloud.