Listen: Koi Child - Black Panda [Premiere]
Plus an interview.
oi Child are a bloody exciting young hip hop collective born from the earthy soil of Fremantle in our state's south in early 2014, and are already copping some serious heat - Rolling Stone premiered their debut single late last year, for instance. But along with Rolling Stone, they're garnering plenty of interest from all the right people, namely Kevin Parker of Tame Impala fame, who ever since catching them at a cafe has been keenly involved with the group. Along with Slow One, Parker returned to help the seven-piece with their second single and the one you're about to hear today - Black Panda. We're excited to premiere it, excited about this group, and stoked to not only share Black Panda with you today, but also a chat with the guys, and an effortlessly beautiful photo album from around the recording process by one of our favourite lensmans - Matsu Photography.
Hey guys! What have you been up to recently?
Oh you know… editing, rehearsing, gigging, eating, sleeping and working. It's a life.
Koi Child is often described as a fusion of different genres, what are your respective backgrounds musically?
We've all got pretty different musical backgrounds that intertwine in one way or another. Blake drums for Hideous Sun Demon and has been working with Yann for about eight years now. Tom's been at it with an amazing jazz-based trio called TALE. Jamie's worked with just about every band in WA and Sam's one of the most underrated producers in Perth under the name Scrapbook Sam. Cruz started rapping about four years ago after meeting Sam at an electronic music production course and roughly, that's how Child's Play was conceived before Christian joined a few months later. We're all pretty much into jazz and hip hop and many other genres. Most of us have some sorta musical training. One thing's certain, we're all very lucky to have such similar tastes. There are a lot of us and we all play a big part in creating something we all love.
Black Panda is quite different to Slow One, tell us about the influences behind this single - was the sound inspired by any artists in particular?
The song started off as a little joke riff we would play at rehearsals. Soon it developed into a partial song with a few lines figured out and finally after being left for a few months we finished it and squeezed some beef into it.
You've been working quite extensively with Kevin Parker on the production side of things, how has that experience been?
We've learned a great deal from working with Kev. He's a lad and we all have a good laugh. It was exceptionally educational to witness his lush techniques for recording and mixing. Definitely one for the vault.
Given there are seven of you, what's the writing process like?
Just as you would expect, seven composers offers a series of creative arguments. It also offers the potential to grow as collaborators while we learn to work with each other, accept criticism and ultimately reach a point of agreement. Progress is a battle won together. Here's how to compare a Koi Child song to a pizza:
* The initial writing of the groove with the “all killa, no filla” bass/drums/keys (the base),
* Developing rhythmic adjustments and feeling (the sauce),
* The huddle and break of the improvised then adapted horn lines (the cheese),
* The juggling of careful and mischievous keys/synth melodies (the toppings),
* Shannon hitting us with new rhymes he's written to take it somewhere we never could (cooking the pizza),
* Rehearsing the song, arranging, adapting and rewriting until playing it all the way through raises no eyebrows. Unless Tom fucks up... (free delivery)
* Recording and working on the track until we all agree it is ready to be mixed by Kev. (Waiting outside the house of the wrong address you gave, grabbing the pizza and legging it)
You also play a number of improvised jams around Fremantle, does any of that material make it into the recordings?
A few bits and pieces have creeped into the tracks from “koi member jams” around town. Sometimes the best way to write a song is to make it up in front of an audience.
Child's Play released an EP not long ago, what's next for the trio?
We've got a few things lined up with some very talented acts around Perth. We can't be too sure on when it might be as we're all quite busy with our own individual projects but we do plan to move a bit closer towards our electronic roots.
After the album is all done and dusted, Kashikoi will get around to recording an EP of tracks they've been kicking around for a while. It may take some time because the boys are quite picky however we're sure somebody will enjoy it.
As we wrap this up, what's in the pipeline for Koi Child over the coming months?
For one we'd love to release the album later in the year. Rerecording and producing is only half the battle when you're trying to do things properly and luckily we've got a manager (Harris Waters) who understands that better than any of us. He's done an amazing job at booking gigs, promotion and just being a good bro to all of us. With his help we're looking to play more festivals, get a bit more radio play and ideally do a tour of this beautiful country, hopefully towards the end of the year. These are very big goals considering we're such a new outfit but we're riding a good wave of momentum and with a lot of hard work and drive, we could make it happen.