celebrity shopping

What Kano Can’t Live Without

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photo: Courtesy

If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair but the stain-remover pen and the tongue cleaner. We asked rapper and actor Kano, who recently partnered with the Duppy Share to launch the rum brand’s “100 percent Jamaican” rum, about the all-purpose seasoning, pool slides, and candle he can’t live without.

Diptyque does my favourite candles. I like this rich, spicy scent so much I have the candle on my rider, and it’s become the bane of my tour manager’s life making sure we’ve got one for my dressing room and on the tour bus. To me, having this candle is as important as having my Sennheiser microphone. It’s expensive, but I don’t believe in saving the candle for special occasions — we’ll cut back on spending somewhere else. My friend and Top Boy co-star Ashley Thomas, better known as Bashy, is into candles as well, and we’ve been sharing our favourite candles back and forth for a while now. He said to me recently, “We’ve got to find a cheaper option,” but I’ve tried loads of less expensive options from the supermarket, and they’re just not as good. Cheap candles don’t fill the house the same way, even if they’re bigger. Ashley actually gets someone to light his Diptyque in his trailer so it’s burning when he arrives, which has got to be the most non-rapper thing you’ve ever heard.

My mum swears by this seasoning, so I’ve known about it for a while, but what really sealed it for me was when I filmed a music video with [Jamaican artist] Popcaan in 2019. In the video, we were cooking for my family, and we went to East London to get ingredients from the fishmongers and other produce. When he realised he’d left his Maggi seasoning all the way in West London, he actually sent someone to go west to get it. I said, “Mate, why don’t we just get another seasoning?,” thinking it was no big deal, but he was insistent we needed this specific seasoning blend. It contains celery, garlic and onion powder, dried parsley, and paprika, and it’s useful in stews and casseroles. I like to put it in my pumpkin-and-butterbean curry to season the pumpkin before roasting it and to add to the garlic and onions when I sweat them down.

I’ve always worn Adidas slides. These are the new Cloudfoam ones, which are different than the regular slides. They’re way more comfortable than the originals, and I wear them every day. The only downside with the Cloudfoams is that you can’t get them as wet as the original — I used to wear my originals in the showers after I played football, but you can’t with these, as they stay wetter for longer. So I keep these for chilling in the house, on the tour bus, or backstage. A lot of my friends wear Gucci and Fendi slides, but I don’t see why you’d overspend on something purely functional. You can’t get better than these ones, trust me.

I haven’t been boxing long. I don’t really spar so much, but I train a lot. These are 16-ounce gloves, which are quite big, but I’m about to go down to a smaller size. I tend to train on pads, which are obviously cushioned, so I can go down to a smaller glove without damaging my hands. If you are fighting, you might fight in a pair of 12-ounce gloves. There’s no point training in 12-ounce ones, though, as you might damage your hands for no reason. These are the gloves I’ve been using, and they’re really comfortable. I like the way boxing makes you think — it’s a mentally draining form of exercise because you’re constantly having to focus on getting it right and learning. But it’s so good.

People think, as a musician, my home setup was always really good, but it really wasn’t. I heard about these speakers from a mastering engineer I worked with — a lot of them do consultancy work on audio products because they have seriously good ears. He told me about these speakers, and I trust him so much that I went out and bought one. Before that, I was using a small Beats Pill speaker, which is very good, but it’s designed for on-the-go use really — I actually take mine on holiday with me. What I really like about this speaker, though, is that it’s contained and relatively small. It looks slick. And the clarity is really there — the sound fills the house. It comes with an app, and when you set it up, you tell it where the speaker is placed, in a corner, for example, and it will change the output versus if you have it in the middle of a room. It’s now the only thing I play music from in the house.

I spend a lot of time searching for stuff online, so I can’t remember how I stumbled across this kettle, but before I got my current home, I was sort of looking for a moving-in gift for myself. And I knew this would be perfect. This isn’t exactly a convenient gift; in fact, it’s the exact opposite — it takes ages to boil compared to an electric kettle. But this is beauty, this is stunning, it’s aesthetically pleasing, and I love the whistling noise it makes. I also like that you have to really look after it. I get my copper polish out, and it looks spanking new. I’ve come to love it, even if guests are like, “Do you know how long it’s taking to boil?”.

I’ve been into rum for a long time, coming from a Jamaican family. We drank a lot of Wray & Nephew, but that’s a strong rum — you need to know what you’re doing for the next few days if you’re drinking Wray. I always thought there was a gap in the market for a Jamaican rum that wasn’t necessarily 63 percent. I went to Jamaica a lot growing up, and my mum was born there, so I wanted to bring in the flavours that reminded me of spending time in Jamaica. I knew Mum loved Julie mangoes — that’s her favourite kind — so I brought those notes into it. I took the design of the bottle seriously too. The left side features illustrations inspired by my family’s roots in Jamaica, while the right has references to Manor Road, where I grew up, and Stratford Rex, the club I first performed in. My old barbershop is even on there. I like to drink it neat, just over ice, as it’s very smooth, and that’s unusual for white rum. But I also drink it with Ting, specifically the pink-grapefruit flavour, especially if you can find the glass-bottled one, as that has the original recipe before they tweaked the amount of sugar in soft drinks.

The Strategist UK is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Read about who we are and what we do here. Our editors update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

What Kano Can’t Live Without