The Spotlight on … Kwame Asante

A serial podium-botherer in the “new act” competition finals and one of the circuit’s brightest young things, Kwame Asante, steps into the spotlight

Kwame_Asante2Where in London do you live?

I live in Camden. It’s a great for getting to gigs all over the place and I study in London too.

How long have you been gigging for?
Depends. My first ever gig was a school talent show in December 2007. In terms of actually gigging, only two-and-a-half years.

What do we need to know about you?
My parents are from Ghana. I was born and raised in south-east London. My family moved to Kent when I was 10. Medical student by day, stand-up comic by night.

What do we not need to know about you, but you’re going to tell us anyway?
It took me three attempts to pass my driving test. It was after my second failed test that I told my driving instructor I was a stand-up comic. He smiled and said “That must be why your driving is such a joke.” Not amused …

Who makes you laugh?
Too many people. I love to laugh! The first stand-up comedy I ever listened to was Jack Dee – Live in London. It was on a promo CD that came free with one of my parent’s newspapers. I love his dry sense of humour, and it got me into stand-up comedy in a big way. I’m also a fan of the American greats, Chris Rock, Louis CK, Eddie Murphy … Way way way too many people make me laugh. But that’s a good thing, right?

What do your family think of your act?
My parents were at my first ever gig, but haven’t seen me since. I was so nervous and all over the place; I think they were nervous for me too. I really want them to see me sometime soon. I’m much more relaxed on stage now and I think they’d enjoy it more. I always run new joke ideas by my little brother, as his sense of humour is similar to mine. He can be a very harsh critic, but when something makes him laugh, I know I’m on to a good thing!

Where are your favourite parts of London?
I really like the south-west; Hammersmith, Earls Court, Fulham. I have a handful of friends who live in that direction and it’s probably where I’d see myself moving to next, given the choice.

Do you have a celebrity doppelganger?
Some people think I look like 50 Cent. When I was 14 I think I would have taken it as a compliment. Nowadays I’m not so sure.

Do you have a secret talent?
I am good at sailing! I have a National School Sailing Association Silver award. I’m told that it’s not a very high level qualification in the sailing world, but I’m still proud!

Are you funnier off or onstage?
Probably onstage. Off-stage I’m too busy thinking about what I’ll next say onstage and so like to keep a lot of jokes to myself.
[youtube] You can follow Kwame on Twitter at @kwamedy

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