Bokito frontman Moses Moorhouse says their latest single “is about pushing people away who don’t give you exactly what you want and subsequently losing them.” We caught up with the band to understand more about them, and their new release.
Energetic and heartfelt altpop with a usually tropical feel.
First up, tell us a bit about yourselves - who are Bokito, and what were you doing before making music together?
Moses: Well we are an Anglo Irish Altpop band based in East and North London. Myself and Jody (bass) have actually been playing in bands together since we met in college in Dublin so before that we were literally in school! We met Joe (guitar) about 4 years ago and the rest is history.
Who did you take inspiration from?
Moses: It’s a whole mix bag for me! I take inspiration from all sorts of performers both musically and non musically. I get just as much from watching an old Andy Kaufman bit as I would watching Fela Kuti tear up a stage.
Joe: Like most guitarists I grew up on the greats like Hendrix and Clapton. I went through a big Pink Floyd phase and especially David Gilmour. In more recent years I’ve made an effort to explore a wider range of genres such as Funk, Jazz, Afrobeat for example, and worked to incorporate that into my playing.
Why the name ‘Bokito’? What do you stand for?
Moses: There is a now infamous male western gorilla in Rotterdam zoo named Bokito who escaped his enclosure. He ran amok and attacked a visitor.
This lasted for 30 minutes, but then unprompted and without being tranquillised or killed, he went back into his enclosure without hassle. We figured since we only get to be our true selves on stage for 30 - 45 minutes at a time before going back to the normal dull daily life, it was fitting.
How would you describe your musical style?
Moses: Energetic and heartfelt altpop with a usually tropical feel.
If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would you love to work with?
Joe: I think collaboration works best when it’s cross genre, so with that in mind I think an artist with a hip hop jazz sound would work really well with us - maybe someone like Flying Lotus or Robert Glasper.
Jody: Q Tip for me.
Moses: I would kill to have a tune produced by Josh Homme. He made Artic Monkeys most under rated gem and I would love for him to make one of our songs scary.
Tell us about your most recent single ‘OKOK’. What’s it about?
Moses: In short this song is about handling being ‘Friendzoned’ like a bit of a dick. Pushing that person away as a sort of self righteous punishment but then subsequently losing that person forever and immediately regretting those actions. It’s a reluctant homage to male insecurity!
When did you write it and where did you record it?
Jody: We wrote it over a couple of weeks in our rehearsal studio in Stoke Newington, it took a long time to write, it kinda goes off on a tangent and it was important that it all flowed without sounding like a load of different songs mashed together
How does ‘OKOK’ represent you?
Jody: I think its represents the new direction we want to go in as a band which is more experimental.
What are your hopes for ‘OKOK’?
Jody: For it to be the beginning of a new chapter for this band.
Moses: I agree actually. We’ve had some massive changes within the band this year with the departure of two members so this song feels like a fond farewell to part of this journey and a welcome hello to a new road!
What are your other plans for what’s fast becoming a crazy year?
Jody: We are writing loads at the moment and want to come out of this unusual time with some fucking good songs!
Moses: It’s a mental year. I am just excited for us to be in a room together again either making music or gigging! Also I am going to be a Dad but whatever about that.
Finally, if you could go back in time and give yourselves one piece of advice, when would it be and what would you say?
Moses: Hey Moses… lay off the sugar, dude. Unless you want to be shaped like a sinking slice of bread then keep it up.
Jody: August 2018, don’t drink that much so early in the day before a flight!
Moses: There is a video proof of that somewhere out there!
Joe: I think I would say play more music! It might sound like a boring answer but I think getting that focus and work ethic is so vital for a musician. Have other interests of course but really dedicating yourself to one thing will produce results.
Listen to ‘OKOK’ by Bokito on SoundCloud below. For the latest, go to Bokito’s Facebook page.