KOKOROKO transcend into a new era with soulful single “Something’s Going On”

KOKOROKO transcend into a new era with soulful single “Something’s Going On”

KOKOROKO arose out of a feeling of lack; upon discussing their shared love of London afrobeat groups, co-founders Sheila Maurice-Grey and Onome Edgeworth realised that the scene was failing to represent the diasporas they grew up in. True to their name (which means ‘be strong’ in Urhobo) the female-led collective has continued to carve out a unique musical style – one that refuses to be pigeonholed or categorised.

Even with their genre-defying sound, KOKOROKO acknowledge their forebears with pride. Following in the tradition of Afrobeat and Highlife pioneers such as Fela Kuti, Tony Allen, and Ebo Taylor, the group combine these influences with the jazz legacies of Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, and Patrice Rushen.

Yet, rather than looking to the past with rose-tinted nostalgia, KOKOROKO highlights the importance of bringing this music to new ears, whether through contemporary Highlife bands such as The Cavemen, or Nigerian singers Wizkid and Temz. Speaking to The Building, Trumpeter Maurice-Grey (who also performs in the jazz groups Nérija and SEED Ensemble) highlights how the group are “always excited by people who are pushing their sound and individuality in different corners of the globe.”


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