Kid Krono Wrote Music for Kanye West Between Classes
Name: Konrad Birgisson
Now lives: With his family in a converted loft in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Claim to fame: Mr. Birgisson is a high school student and underground music producer who, under the alias Kid Krono, has helped produce two buzzworthy hip-hop tracks: “Louis Bags” by Kanye West (an unreleased track dedicated to Virgil Abloh), and “Dead Wrong” by EST Gee and Future. His 11th-grade classmates at the Grace Church School in Greenwich Village are unaware of his extracurricular activity — until now, perhaps. “I’m not someone who really likes to be a loudmouth,” he said. “But, yeah, I probably should mention what I do to my jazz teacher at least.”
Big break: Mr. Birgisson grew up in a creative household. His mother, Elisabet Davidsdóttir, is a model turned photographer, and his stepfather, Michael Nevin, owns the Journal Gallery in TriBeCa. He learned how to play keyboard and use the recording software Logic Pro X at a young age, and uploaded his first amateur beat to YouTube when he was 7.
In 2020, when he was a high school freshman, he compiled a dream list of musical collaborators and messaged them on social media. Four months later, Bryan Simmons, an Atlanta producer who goes by the name TM88, used one of his melody loops on “Dead Wrong” by EST Gee. “Once you have that first breakthrough placement, a lot of people will start to want to work with you,” Mr. Birgisson said.
Latest project: Last year, via Instagram, Mr. Birgisson messaged the producer JW Lucas, who liked his sound and asked for melodies for a possible Kanye West track. That’s the last thing Mr. Birgisson heard until February, when he tuned into Mr. West’s “Donda 2” listening party. “About an hour into the livestream, I started hearing my melody being played out loud,” Mr. Birgisson said. “It was absolutely one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had.”
Next thing: Between homework and classes, Mr. Birgisson is working on “melodies, background drums and synth sounds” for Da Baby, Toosii and Tyla Yaweh. He has strong opinions about the state of mainstream music. “I would really like to go outside of the box and add an experimental aspect to hip-hop because I think hip-hop is so generic these days,” he said.
All that jazz: Although his focus has been on hip-hop and R&B, he wants to expand his sound to include pop and jazz rhythms he has picked up as the drummer in his school’s jazz band. “Obviously, hip-hop is inspired by jazz,” he said. “So I don’t really feel any need to limit myself to one genre.”