On Being Mentored By Kevin Parker

23 March 2016 | 7:58 pm | Jai Chouhan

"It was slightly intimidating."

More Koi Child More Koi Child

Born from a one-off collaboration between local acts Child’s Play and Kashikoi, the resultant Koi Child have quickly risen to the forefront of Australian music under the wing of Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker.

Recording the album in WA’s South-West over a period of 10 days, the group’s signature blend of hip hop and fusion has finally been gifted to the world.

First getting together for a gig at X-Wray Cafe in Fremantle, the group’s beginnings was not much more than a lot of freestyling and solos to a modest crowd that included Tame Impala frontman, Kevin Parker.

“Once we played the show, we found out Kev was there. He went home with Blake, our drummer to an after-party that he was having. He pretty much just asked Blake if we would like to support them on Rottnest Island in a few weeks' time. Of course we said yes, and that’s how we became a band. We weren’t actually going to be a band, it was just meant to be a one-off gig.”

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Ever since, Koi Child have gone from strength to strength signing to Perth’s own Pilerats Records and releasing a handful of video-clips. The last of which, 1-5-9, debuted on Pitchfork earlier this month.

When it was time to start working on their first LP, the seven-piece decided to isolate themselves from the world. They went off the grid and deep into the South-West.

“We’ve got a friend whose parents' own this tiny shack in Yunderup. We spent 10 days down there, Kev came along and we just had a really good time. We bonded a lot, we had a lot of fun, we recorded, we rehearsed, we wrote and we came up with something really good.

“With the instrumentals, they did it all first. I already had a whole bunch of lyrics stored up for anything I might’ve used. Once the instrumentals were all done, I would pick which raps would suit best for which beat with the feel and vibe of the song. After that was done I’d come up with the hooks and choruses.”

Being mentored through the album by Parker was an invaluable experience to have. Not only did his involvement draw media attention, but it also brought the best out of their unique brand hip-hop-jazz fusion.

“At the very first, it was slightly intimidating because of what a rock star he is. But he’s really nice and really cool. He respects us, you know? Throughout the mixing of the album, if there was anything we needed more of or less of, he wouldn’t hesitate to tell us. It’s nice to know he’s capable of almost anything we could ask for. It was a true blessing.”

The resulting 13-track album self-titled album is a wonderfully crafted and original work. It’s littered with Parker’s psych sensibilities and the finished product can’t be described as anything but ‘big’.

“With the horns coming in so powerfully you can’t really avoid it, especially with the rap chorus," Patterson says. "It’s always going to sound really big. We love that anyway and it really works well live.”

As for the group going overseas, it’s all in the works but it can be difficult to coordinate with that many people.

“Money’s always an issue, visas too. The fact that I’m South African makes it a little harder to travel. We want to take our music to the world, as anybody would and we kind of have that opportunity now. Sooner or later it will happen.”

Originally published in X-Press Magazine