Get (more) familiar with London band Kero Kero Bonito in four minutes
While lurking around the streets of Austin, Texas for South By Southwest last week, our editor-in-chief, Datwon Thomas, literally followed his ears and stumbled upon London band, Kero Kero Bonito, at the Secret Songs Showcase at The Main. Here, the group’s lead rapping songstress, Sarah, spills the tea on how Kero Kero got together, her Japanese roots and latest co-signs.
VIBE: We were just passing by the venue and heard this amazing Japanese-inspired music. Peeped our heads in the door and stayed for your performance. Where are you all from?
Sarah: We’re from London. [The sound] partly comes from me being part Japanese. I lived in Hokkaido, the top island. I lived there until I was 13 for the first half of my life then we moved to London.
How did the band come together?
Well, Gus and Jamie went to school together and I met them through the Internet.
On which platform?
On the classified ad called themixfeed.com. They just put this ad for a bilingual rapper and I thought, “Why not?” (Laughs)
So you classify what you do as rap? ‘Cause it felt like trap beats with soul.
Well, we got three words for it: bilingual, school yard, dancehall.
Who are you influenced by and listen to?
Right now, I’m personally into Die Antwoord, a rap group from South Africa. Their raps are pretty tight. They are more renaissance hip-hop, not scary but more on it. I also listen to Young M.A from Brooklyn. I really like her.
Have you had a chance to listen to some of the more well-known hip-hop acts with new releases like J. Cole, Drake and Kendrick Lamar?
Not really. I’m kinda into what I like. Whatever comes my way, I take a listen.
For your performance, you incorporated a graduation cap, gown and a birthday hat. It was fun and the crowd got into the themes.
You can get them all on Ebay, a great place to get props! (Laughs)
How many albums do you have now?
We released one album last September called Intro Bonito. We released a new song called “Picture This” last Tuesday, which may be a prelude to something amazing that we can’t say right now. It’ll be very exciting.
What do you say to folks out there who haven’t heard your songs and can broaden their musical landscape?
Fun is the new cool.
Listen up to Kero Kero Bonito below.