Up-and-coming five-piece BOKITO are set to explode onto the London music scene with their debut single ‘Better At Getting Worse’. The phrase ‘tropical indie’ has been coined for their superb genre mashup – which is handy, as we’re struggling to find the words to describe it, save from ‘Afro-funk on organs?!’. The London-Irish band, fronted by the excitingly versatile vocals of Moses Moorehouse, have already attracted critical acclaim from CLASH who have dubbed them ‘perfectly oddball pop’.
BOKITO have four shows coming up, including a much anticipated show on the 5th April at The Lock Tavern, Camden. It’s easy to get a flavour of how tantilising their live energy will be – a quick listen to the infectious calypso beat of ‘Better At Getting Worse’, and you’ll feel like summer has arrived early.
With GIGsoup pegging the band as an act to catch live in 2017 before they get big, we talked to the boys to find out a bit more about their debut single and get a sense of what’s coming up next.
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What’s the inspiration behind your debut single?
Moses Moorehouse, frontman – I was going through a big old bout of depression about three years ago and noticed that no one noticed. This is always something that fascinates me, especially with (well, just in my experience) Irish men. We are excellent at putting on what I think is the “stereotypical” exterior of positive spirited funny people but we’re like everyone else, lots and lots going on in our fragile wee heads. But the Irish, historically because we have to, are amazing at masking it all with a smile. And I feel we get better at it with age, hence the title!
What’s the process behind the song?
Jody, bassist – Moses had this song and it was entirely just organ, loads of layers of organs and a basic drum idea. We picked apart all the organ layers and there was a bass line there. We kept the main melody of the organ part but scrapped the rest of it. Joe added his different guitar parts and Tom did his thing on drums and then hold the phone Jerome we have a song on our hands!
You describe your style as tropical indie – can you tell us a bit more about your main influences and how your unique sound developed?
Moses – Haha I’ve personally never described it as that but yeah that seems to be what’s sticking! I’m a devil for compilation albums of different genres of African music so influence wise there’s no specific artist that I cling on for the Afro stuff. My favourite is one called Ghana Special- Modern Highlife, it’s full to the brim with Ghana funk and soul and its just delicious.
I find them a lot like the Irish because they bastardise and mould these different types of music and then make it completely into their own! Which is funny as a lot of these genres were inspired by African music in the first place! Saying that I’m a terrible typical modern lad who got into that music solely because of Paul Simon’s Graceland. Joe (Guitarist) is big into The Smiths. And our drummer Tom lives and dies for J Dilla so there’s a big old mixed bag! But me and Jody (Bassist) have been playing this kinda music in bands since 2008! Just love them beats!
Moses – It varies but regardless of either jamming something out naturally or myself or Jody coming in with a finished song, the funnest part of the bands process is finishing with a completely different sounding song! My favourite part of being in a band is tearing apart something you were quite attached to and having something come out far superior because you hang up your ego and let four talented people add so much more to it! It never ever gets old.
How do you put together a song like ‘Better at Getting Worse’?
Moses – Well I wrote the music for a play years ago because the director wanted something to sound like “one of those Zach Braff made movies from the early noneties” but since it never got used I decided to keep it myself. Then Bokito became a thing and with the introduction of Joe’s beautiful guitar and Tom’s savage Afro drums it became a completely new beast! So we recorded it in a day and threw it out there!
How do you see the future of your music and how do you see your sound progressing?
Moses – The future is exciting! Loads of new ventures heading out way. Currently we have just taken on our keyboardist Sam and he has just such an amazing ability to create sounds and that has installed a whole new lease on what we do! Ecstatic to start messing around with that ginger little tyrant’s talent! Right now though, we are just excited and grateful to be a part of the festival season this year!
You can catch BOKITO at one of their upcoming shows:
5th April – The Lock Tavern, Camden, London
22nd April – Tooting Tram & Social, Tooting Broadway, London
28th April – Whelans, Dublin, Ireland
20th May – The Great Escape @ Queens Hotel, Brighton
BOKITO‘s debut single ‘Better At Getting Worse’ is out now on Lost In The Manor Records.