ASBO Meets: Kawala

Krazy for Kawala? With the arrival of their new single ‘Pure desire’, I sat down with Kawala to speak about all things from FIFA, being pelted with dodgeballs and more!

So I wanted to start on the fact that you both dropped out of Uni. What about uni just didn’t work for you?

Dan: We both went up to Leeds college of music and after being there for a year, it was all well and good but we kind of just got to a point where we wanted to pursue Uni a bit more seriously. It seemed like being at uni wasn’t the best place to go for it.

What was life for Kawala during lockdown?

Dan: We wrote ticket to ride like month going into lockdown, during lockdown we mixed, mastered. Now going into the second lockdown it went on FIFA.

Bouncing off that, after lockdown you became the first band to do a socially distanced tour. What was that like?

Dan: It was a great experience for us. We initially did it for ourselves because we had one show at the beginning of the year in Switzerland and then lockdown lost us 50 shows. Playing shows is our bread and butter, that’s where we pride ourselves. we just wanted to get out anyway possible to play music again. It felt right at the time, after coming out of lockdown and people hadn’t seen each other for a long time, despite the socially distanced crowds it felt really special.

FIFA games are glorified for their inclusion of indie songs. How does it feel to be a part of the game?

Dan: Well that’s the thing. I think that’s it, it’s the kid thing. Being a kid and listening to FIFA soundtracks since I was younger, there was always those one or two special tunes that were so memorable. A funny thing is, I feel we’ve had some very lucky, special experiences but the minute you get on FIFA, suddenly everyone’s like “bro you’ve made it” and suddenly were being taken seriously by our friends.

Jim:  All of a sudden people who I haven’t spoken to in ages are messaging me saying “Yo man, I’ve just heard your track on FIFA your blowing!”. But yeh also its about making our mates proud. My older brother he bangs FIFA a lot, it’s the first time he’s been properly proud to say his brothers in a band.

So, I guess we are using FIFA has a unit of measurement of success?

Dan: Haha, yeah, I guess so.

Jim: We’ve officially made it

Tell me about your personalities. How does that influence your music?
Jim: As a singer, I would say we all have an independent voice of our own. I wouldn’t say im a technically good singer, but I think that benefits me in a way because I sing like me, I don’t sing like anybody else. Also, at live shows, I think by dancing is very unique because im terrible at it, but I think that kind of influences the whole vibe as well. I think it makes people feel comfortable because we just like having a great time which reflects in our music as well.

So, let’s talk “Pure Desires”, what was the inspiration behind this song?
Dan: It’s a about exactly what it says on the tin in a way. It’s just about the want and needs to achieve, over coming goals and getting past boundaries to achieve something. Obviously in that sense when making a music video our minds naturally moved towards a game of dodgeball against five monsters (the satire).

Speaking of your new songs. The fans, the ones that listen to it, How important are they in all of this?
Dan: Our fans are everything really, they are the reason we are able to do what we are able to do

Jim: Our fanbase it also really loyal. We have a really dedicated fanbase. If we locked down for a year, we could guarante we would have a fanbase waiting for us on the other side of it. They always fill out venues, they always buy merch, they always buy records, they always stream our music. We are super lucky to have the fanbase we do.

We haven’t seen many collabs from you yet. Are you planning to do some and if so who are your dream collabs?

Dan: Yeh for sure. We talk a lot about this recently. We’ve been speaking with Jordan Makamba trying a few times to get in the same room to make some music. He’s amazing!

Also, someone like Bon Iver, that would always be amazing. A group called Sylvan Esso, they are the best, just so good.

Jim: The first would be the Staves, that would be amazing. Jack Steadman from Bombay bicycle club, that is most definitely the dream. Can’t forget Jason Derulo, just an all-round legend.

With Coronavirus coming to and, we should be expecting a lot from you guys. What can we expect for the remainder of 2020 and next year?

Dan: For the rest of this year, we have a lot more music coming. Before lockdown and after lockdown we’ve been super proactive with recording. With got so much new music on the Horizon very soon. Were gonna keep releasing and coming up with stupid videos for the fans to see. Hopefully, this vaccine pulls through so we can do our tour for May. Then that will be us, touring around the country.

Jim: Yeh we’ve got so much music, those of which I really proud to release.

Words by Michael Patcha