“I don’t fuck with weed, only Disaronno,” declares Kaner Flex in his new Chinks Doe-assisted single, “Desi & Deezi.” Though he’s relatively fresh to the New York rap game, previously releasing “Ascension” and “Dear Lana,” the 21-year-old autistic Londoner is a professional dancer, best known for performing alongside FKA Twigs in the singer’s spring ’16 Calvin Klein Jeans campaign and “Glass & Patron” music video.
His sharp, angular moves are inimitable, best viewed when juxtaposed against his fiancé Mela Murder’s own, like during Nicopanda’s SHOWstudio film, Open Up, where they dance freely in an abandoned parking lot. The two have a baby on the way, which thankfully hasn’t stopped them from creating art together, regularly sharing their powerful performances on Instagram, as Murder’s changing body adds depth to their body-conscious work.
Where Flex’s performances are challenging and avant-garde, his music provides a more effortless, feel good escape, as he raps above chill hip-hop production with a lyrical flow for fans of “Wavey” St. Paul emcee Allan Kingdom. As Flex proudly endorses his favorite drink on the track, Doe expresses her love for Sour Diesel Kush—”Marijuana language, I speak fluent,” she raps. “Look at my eyes, lookin’ hella low.”
Listen to “Desi & Deezi” and learn more about Kaner Flex in our interview, below:
When did you first start dancing?
I began jerkin at 15 in school, which was just a summer phase. After the summer, I quit jerkin and went to college, [where] I saw a dancer, Robert Muraine, on YouTube [and] immediately was mesmerized. I watched every dance video he had [and] got so consumed that I quit college to chase my dream [of being] a professional dancer. I developed all my interests with dance on YouTube, watching and revising moves all day in car reflections or any place that had a window to perfect the moves. Gradually, I started to create my own style by everyday living.
How’d you meet FKA Twigs?
I met Twigs dancing on the street. She saw me dancing in Central London [and] chilled with me and my friends until like 3 AM. At the end of the night, she took my number and the rest is history. I’m very grateful for her.
Chinks Doe & Kaner Flex Wearing Snowy Wilderness
Your fiancé is also a dancer. When did your relationship begin?
We met on Instagram. At first she saw me on Twigs’ Instagram and followed me. That same day, she went to her best friend’s house where he told her to watch a music video of some guy dancing and it turned out to be me. He told her to DM me, so she did—me not realizing that we DM’d each other the same time. She was coming to London to screen her film GANG and I was going on tour to New York. She came to London, we met and [have] been together on and off since. I am very excited to be a father. Nothing is better than to create life.
Why have you decided to venture into music, now?
I grew up on all types of music—hip-hop, reggae, rock—so it’s always been a part of my life. When I was younger, I used to write poetry for fun, but never really took it seriously. It was only when I came out to New York that I explored my interest being in the studio with friends, fucking about [and] not forcing anything—just everything being organic, which I love. Dance and music go to together. You can’t have one without the other. It’s like a marriage—they were both meant to be.
What’s the story behind your new track, “Desi & Deezi?”
This track is about Disaronno, my favorite drink, which is an amaretto-flavored liqueur made from Italy. Nowadays everyone raps about lean and weed, which I can’t relate because I don’t smoke weed or drink lean. I make sure every time I write that it’s 100 percent real. You have to be careful on what you say these days. When people listen to this, I just want them to try Disaronno, dance and have a great time. That’s what it’s all about—having fun.
Chinks Doe & Kaner Flex Wearing Snowy Wilderness
You just won an Autism Hero Award. What does this achievement mean to you?
To get this award was a great achievement [and] proves to me that autism isn’t a disability, it’s an advantage. I wear autism on my sleeve [and] I am proud of who I am. It’s so crazy how many people hide it. I guess it’s just the conditioning others get from doctors or partners that are disabled. I just dis-abled that title, as I am special, I am autism, I am Kaner. The example I am going to set is to be real. I am not a role model, as I don’t play a role. I will let others see me cry, see me happy, see me angry, see me stressed. I am confident of the man I am [and] I don’t believe in role models. It’s all fake, [but] I am going to [be] realistic and inspiring to others.
What’re your plans moving forward?
No plans, just living life. I like to live in the moment and not places where I can’t control. I don’t live in the future, as it gives me anxiety if I don’t achieve my goals in time, and I don’t live in the past, as I don’t want to dwell or regret anything I have done. Only now [is] the most powerful position—now [is] something we forget. However, right now I am working on an EP with F. Virtue, Chinks and Mela Murder, [as well as] some projects with AOL, Músed and my own spoken word video. Got to stay grinding [and] working hard to change my world.