KOKOKO! is an explosive new band with an alternative sound crafted in Kinshasa, DRC, made up of local artists, instrument inventors and prolific French producer débruit. The project came about when production company La Belle Kinoise (Staff Benda Bilili, Jupiter’s Dance), invited débruit to Kinshasa for a month-long residency in 2016 to collaborate with the innovative artists they were documenting across the emerging contemporary art scene.
After building a recording studio together out of mattresses, wood they could find and the rest of a broken ping pong table, the Congolese musicians and the itinerant Breton producer began exploring each other’s ideas, sounds, and cultural influences. By the end of a month of working intensely in their new studio, exploring Kinshasa by night, and sleeping whenever there was a spare moment, they had the bones of a debut album and KOKOKO! was born.
Since the launch of their three-minute introductory video – which was supported by TIME, i-D and Telekom Electronic Beats – KOKOKO! have gone viral, amassing 2 million views across various platforms. Their sold-out debut European tour in June captured the imagination of many, with over 800 attending their second ever show in Brussels, and 200 outside unable to get in to watch them play.
KOKOKO!’s debut two-track EP, Tokoliana/L.O.V.E., held an infectious blend of psychedelic post-punk, finding favour from Pitchfork, Resident Advisor, Bandcamp Daily, BBC Radio 1, as well as being featured in Spotify’s premiere tastemaker playlist, Fresh Finds.