Skepta is ringing in the new year with by announcing his first album in five years, Knife and Fork, on Monday (Jan. 1). The first single, “Gas Me Up (Diligent),” will arrive on Jan. 26.
“It’s been years since I dropped my last album and I want to thank you for all the love during my hiatus. I’ve seen the messages, tweets and Tik Toks, I’m truly grateful that my music is still resonating with the world even in my absence,” he wrote on socials. “I’m happy to announce my next studio album #KnifeAndFork is loading, the first single #GasMeUp (Diligent) will be out January 26th. Can’t wait to see you all @ Big Smoke Festival – Happy 2024.”
Skepta released his last album, Ignorance is Bliss, in 2019 via Boy Better Know. It reached No. 2 on the Official U.K. Albums Chart. Ignorance is Bliss is the follow-up to the U.K. grime rapper’s critically acclaimed 2016 album Konnichiwa, which won the 2016 Mercury Prize.
In November, Skepta announced he would host the inaugural Big Smoke Festival. The one-day, two-stage festival will be held on July 6, 2024, at Crystal Palace Park in south-east London. One of the stages, the Más Tiempo Stage, is named after the house music record label Skepta launched alongside fellow U.K. grime MC and Boy Better Know member Jammer last year. Tickets are already on sale here.
“I’m gassed to finally announce that Big Smoke Festival is official…. I’m so excited, it’s been a wild one to do this. I just want to say thank you to all the supporters, it’s been a couple years that you didn’t see me on a stage…. I know a lot of people have been wondering when they’ll see Skepta at a festival and I really wanted to save all that energy and put it into something that was for us, by us,” he said on Instagram Live at the time. “There’s going to be a live stage with all your favorite acts – anyone you know that’s affiliated with Skepta. There’ll be a live stage on one side and the Más Tiempo stage, which will also be a full lineup. I might bust up one stage, fly over to the other one and link with Jammer. It’s gonna be crazy.”