Jazz-Rock-inspired Cape Town band ‘Boketto’ just released the first single ‘All I Want’ off their debut album ‘About You’.
New on the SA music scene, Boketto is a 5-piece band formed by a singer-songwriter duo in high school in Johannesburg. In December 2015, after moving to Cape Town, they recorded an album titled ‘About You’, a hybrid jazz, blues rock, folk, improvisation and groove-based album. DPC caught up with the band to chat about their music and debut single.
Hi, thanks for chatting to DPC!
Thanks very much for taking the time to feature us.
So, who are the people behind Boketto?
Boketto was formed by myself (Callum Kuhl) and David Arnot, featured on the album is Kevin Gibson on drums and Ronan Skillen on percussion.
What does Boketto mean?
Boketto is a Japanese word that doesn’t have an equivalent word in English, but rather can be described with the phrase ‘gazing absent mindedly into the distance’. I thought the name was approriate because a lot of what is said music can only be described in language using phrases that hint at the meaning but never qutie capture it. The actual translation of the word is also appropriate for the dreamy mood of the music.
What type of music do you make? And who are your influences?
We make music that combines elements from different genres, for example; we’ll take a tune that sounds like a folk song and reharmonise it with jazzier chords for guitar, add a Latin groove for the bass, add a rock groove for the drums and have vocal harmonies based on the Beatles. Using the type of approach when writing, the album was inspired by folk music like The Beatles and Fleet Foxes, rock bands like Led Zeppelin, The Black Keys and Arctic Monkeys, Jazz musicians like Carlo Mombelli, Avishai Cohen and Nik Bartsch’s Ronin, big influences have been groups like Radiohead, Alt-J, Atoms for Peace and The Gorillaz.
Tell us about your debut album – Who worked with you on it, who wrote the songs and how has it been doing?
Our album, About You, was released in June both pthe hard copy and on iTunes and we’ve made a fair amount of sales on the physical album but at this point we’re more concerned with people getting to know our sound and songs before expecting anyone to pay, so the whole album is available to stream on YouTube as well. I wrote all the songs on the album over the last 3 – 4 years and had also been performing some of them with David Arnot so with us as the core members, we formed Boketto and recorded in Ronan Skillen’s home studio. I recorded rhythm guitar, piano and vocals while Dave took the roles of both lead guitarist and bassist in the studio. We are very fortunate to have Kevin Gibson who record the drums on the album and also performs live with us.
Which track is your personal favourite?
The song that is the most sentimental to me is probably River Truth as it’s the first song Iever wrote, I was in matric in 2012 and had just attended my first Oppikoppi and so I wanted a write song that I could perform on stage there one day – the song I came up with had a drive and bluesy energy to it that I really like at the time. When we finally recorded the track in December last year; I was proud to hear how little I had to change or add to it to have that same feeling of excitement and energy I had when I first wrote it.
Can we expect a music video soon? Maybe for your single ‘All I want’?
Yes, we’re just waiting for Dave Arnot to get back to town at this point. We have no idea how long it’ll take but it can definitely be expected during 2016.
You are based in Cape Town, right? How do you experience the local music scene? Are people open to new artists?
Coming from Joburg, I personally don’t think I’ve had enough performances in Cape Town to be able to assess the people who come to watch live music just yet. However, many of the venues seem genuinely supportive and are willing to put a lot of time and effort into a show assuming that the band will as well, which is really great to see.
Any other local band you really enjoy and would love to share a stage with?
I’d love to be on the same bill as Bye Beneco and/or Bateleur (I think our names would look great next to eachother on the poster too!)
Where can we follow you online:
Where can we catch your next performance?
At the moment we don’t have any shows lined up until our guitarist is back in Cape Town, but check out our Facebook page as we’ll be announcing our shows for the next couple of months soon.
Thanks and all the best with the rest of 2016!
Thanks again for featuring us! All the best to you as well.