Get To Know The Mellow and Talented KAWALA

Wednesday 20 March 2019
Words Mimi Wright

With their subtle acoustic strums and soft but impressive vocals, KAWALA is a name to remember when you are wanting to chill. They just released their EP Counting the Miles, a collection of four songs that will definitely put you in a happy mood.

The North London duo, Jim and Dan, started KAWALA while studying in Leeds and are now backed by Ben on drums, Reeve on bass and Dan Lee on electric guitar. All of their sounds mesh so well and really create a magical sound.

We got to find out a little bit more about their newest music and their favourite part of performing live…

Your latest single is ‘Kept In The Dark’. Can you explain it for us? How did the song come to be?

Funnily enough, it was the first song we ever wrote! So releasing it feels really nostalgic. The lyrics kind of explain the way you can go through stages in life that always seem to lead to another stage. And how that can feel like a never ending cycle. 

Since forming KAWALA, how have you evolved as artists?

It feels like we’ve evolved in every possible way! Our songwriting feels more interesting now and putting a full band around it gives us so much more to play with. We also now really feel like our live show is what we’ve worked our hardest on, considering when we started we’d only get small acoustic coffee shop/church crypt type shows.

What is your favourite step of the creative process? 

Definitely when the two of us bring a new song to the band and bring it to life in a rehearsal. It’s the real moment of magic when everyone gets overexcited as things start to click.

Who influences you outside of the music world?

It sounds obvious but definitely family and friends. At the age we’re at, it’s properly a time where people are starting to really craft their careers, and to watch people close to you [do] that is incredibly inspiring!

What’s your favourite thing about performing live for an audience?

It’s hands down the interaction. The moments when you can feel that everyone’s on the same page. As I play acoustic guitar, it’s always fun seeing people properly dancing at our shows as really that should never be the case.

For those who might not have heard your music before, how would you describe your sound?

We’ve always found this the toughest to answer! It’s a strange blend of core two-part harmonies and rhythmic acoustic guitar with a band around it giving it, at times, a really big hi life indie feel.

What does your band name mean, and  where did it come from?

The origin of the band name is as Jim is severely dyslexic and [it’s] how he thought you spelt the animal Koala.

What do you enjoy the most about being musicians?

Mainly the feeling when you come off stage after a good show. There’s no better feeling!