Interview with Kololo
The Record Press in conversation with Kololo (pronounced KUH-LOW-LOW) are a charismatic 3 piece alternative pop trio, fusing together elements of electronic music and jazz. The electronic side of the music draws inspiration from rave culture from the past 30 years with driving beats, colourful risers and weird synths - whilst the jazz side of our sound plays with the experimental jammy side of jazz itself through improvisation.
The two instrumentalists label themselves as “pals”: Josh (guitar) Zeus (keys) and Danny (beats/percussion). Zeus and Danny met at university and formed a pretty solid friendship based off of a feeling that something was slightly off studying a creative subject there (definitely not the case with a lot of courses but we didn’t feel our course was particularly helpful or an insight into what the music industry is actually like!). A couple of years after they graduated, they started showing beats to each other, Josh came back home due to the pandemic and showed us some fire songs he’d been working on too - and they haven’t looked back since.
Who are your main musical inspirations?
For Josh it’s more chilled out stuff, neo-soul, ELIZA and Still Woozy. For Danny, it’s more hyped up, powerful beats and 808s. The world of Gorillaz is particularly inspiring as those characters are so cool, they don’t exist and it’s just the genius of Damien Albarn behind all the music. Zeus doesn’t really get inspired by any music, but is more of a fitness nut and gets inspired by those sweet GAINS, baby.
How have you nurtured your talent and independent endeavours whilst the music industry has been on hold?
We don’t really know any different. We formed towards the end of the 1st lockdown so, now that the music industry is getting back on its feet, we’re kind of hitting the ground running and doing everything we can. At the start of October, we have 5 gigs in 1 week I think, which is awesome. We haven’t had any independent endeavours; all the energy we have (apart from the energy put into our jobs to pay our rent) has gone into this project!
How do you prepare for writing?
We’ll send each other beats we’ve been working on and then get together, sit down and form the lyrics. Josh is an endless pool of sound making beats pretty much every day.
What inspires you to write?
Different experiences that have hit us in life. Our first singles lyrical content is about breaking out of addictions/bad habits and claiming your life back again. Our 2nd single is about how good sunlight feels and that vitamin D is the best thing ever. Bathe us in sunlight and we will crack out an absolute banger of a song in no time.
What does the future hold for you as an artist?
A mini tour around December. And a gig in York hopefully! If we can find another band (in collaboration with Waham Records) crazy enough to drive all the way down to Bristol then we will hopefully sort a gig swap scenario. And lots of festivals. Once our sound is fat enough we’ll be pestering as many festivals as we possibly can as we’re itching for it. We also want to keep on practicing the art of making music videos, as this is where we lack the most in skill and experience probably. Can’t wait to nail it as it’s a whole other process.
What’s your favourite genre of music?
Danny and Zeus play this 20 year old game called Old school Runescape and the soundtrack is incredible. There’s this one song called Sea Shanty 2 in the game that will melt your face off. We even named our (hopefully) fourth incoming single, Sea Shanty 3 out of sheer respect for the game and its quality music.
How do you go about writing a song?
Zeus and Josh will create different riffs and chord sequences and bring them forward.
I (Danny) am big on lyrics, but can’t start unless I get Zeus to give me a subject matter that he’s feeling for the song, which he’s great at. We all complement each other perfectly in that way.
Is there any style of music you want to see more of in the mainstream?
The soundtrack to Old School Runescape.
How important do you think the arts are within society?
The arts has more power than people think. In the early 1900s a couple of art schools rejected a particularly nasty man’s art and it led to the calamity of World War 2. Maybe he should've attempted making alternative pop music instead.
Do you come up with the artistic direction independently?
Sure, its’s us 3 artistically, Kololo inc. all the way. Although, our friend Ella did come up with us being clay sculptures in our music video to Bad Habit (thank you Ella!) and we draw inspiration from all kinds of things. Lots of inspiration from video games and the new Suicide Squad movie inspired us to get an artist to draw up a design of us fighting a giant jellyfish the size of Godzilla. Jellyzilla. And through that we now think we will go with a jellyfish as our official logo. Jellyfish are tight.
Where can we listen to your music?
You can find everything ‘lolo at kololomusic.com or by typing ‘bad habit kololo’ into Spotify. If you like our sound, be our hero and sign up to our mailing list! Thanks Record Press!