Q&A: Have You Met… Kinkajous

Kinkajous group photo.jpg

How did you guys meet, and what drew you to each other?
We [Adrien and Ben] met many years ago when Adrien was looking for a new drummer for his band. As we played together, we started to feel the need for something else, a platform that would have more sonic flexibility, and would give us more freedom in our writing.

Although we were very much into jazz, we were really interested in electronic and system music. We also both come from a more orchestral background and it is something that we wanted to translate in our sound in some way. The rest of the band was formed over time to make up the lineup we have today.

You have quite eclectic, free-flowing vibe around your music, how do you work as a team to write?

A lot of the time, Adrien or myself [Ben] would come up with an idea, more or less formed, and we would start working on it together. We would keep on going back and forth, working on it individually then together again until we get to a point that we are both comfortable with.

The whole process is very free and open. Then we would take it to the band and fine tune it as a group. We try to play with different mediums, tools and ways of writing — it helps us to keep on challenging ourselves creatively.

Kinkajous NEW.jpg

Has music always been a big part of your lives?

We’ve all been playing from a very young age and we all studied music quite early on. Some of us have been brought up in quite musical families. When you play an instrument for such a long time, it eventually evolves from this thing that you do to become your way of life.

So you’ve had the opportunity to perform your music to a number, is there a performance that sticks out as being particularly special, if so why?

Each show is special in its own way. Our very last show in Nottingham comes to mind. We had just released our record and the spirits were very high. Nottingham being the hometown of our label, Running Circle, it felt like a big family gathering.

We were also joined by people that were heavily involved in the making of the album, some old friends and an incredible crowd. It felt like a real celebration. Music has this powerful capacity to bring people together and create this sense of community that is very precious.

Which artists or genres of music would you say most influence what you guys create?

It’s difficult to say how much of an influence they have on our music (if any) but there is quite a wide mix of artists we always go back to. Steve Reich is one of them, the way he works with rhythms, layers instruments together and his way of shaping sonic textures is fascinating. Floating Points and Flying Lotus always make their way back to our turntable as well.

A lot of jazz, spiritual jazz, and heavy electronic, orchestral music in many forms too. But although all of these influences might infuse in our sound in some way, our music is more of a patchwork of places and past experiences. This is something we’ve tried to embrace while writing Hidden Lines.

Outside of music, what do guys enjoy doing most?

Cooking, eating and good wine.

Finally, what can we expect from you guys for the rest of the year?
We have some shows coming up, and will be touring the new album. We also have an album launch party in September at The Pickle Factory in London, which we are very excited about. Writing this album has been a very inspiring and insightful process that opened a world of possibilities. We’re slowly getting back in the studio to explore it some more.

Kinkajous will be performing at London’s Pickle Factory September 5th, you can buy tickets via Songkick

You can buy their latest album via bandcamp, or stream on spotify:

Author: Kofi Yeboah

I'm a Music & Culture Journalist, and DJ from London. I worked in radio, events promotions, and content production. .

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