Cultural touchstones with the alt-pop riser...

Kwassa is moving forwards.

The producer has spent the past 12 months working on fresh ideas, matching tropical rhythms to his buoyant alt-pop template.

New EP 'fka kyko' is the point where it all comes together, a four track showcase that underlines the breadth in his work.

Out now, Kwassa will follow this with a London headline show, before powering into summer.

Clash sat down with the bedroom pop maverick to talk about his cultural obsessions - Wes Anderson films, podcasts, and Paul Simon...

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I find movies one of the best inspirations for making music, for a couple of years I was obsessed with Lost In Translation and just used to run that replaying on a separate screen when I was writing to inspire me and make everything feel a bit more dramatic.

For me everything sounds better when you can picture it in a scene. I’m also just a total sucker for anything Wes Anderson and his filmmaking style and colour palettes, I even wrote the lyrics to my last single, ‘Sad Songs’ picturing scenes from Moonrise Kingdom.


It’s a golden oldie but I think ‘Graceland’ by Paul Simon has had a massive effect on me musically, and for a reason I can’t fully explain - it’s just a the style of music that excites me and makes me want to write.

I think my love for that style of music and highlife guitar style runs right though my taste still - Vampire Weekend ‘Contra’ is one of my all-time favourites, also a South African band at the moment called Beatenberg who I can’t stop listening to.


Travel and the idea of escapism inspired so much of my music, in particular my first two EPs. A lot of it was even written about just the idea of getting away and the urge of wanting to! But I think being in London has a massive impact now on my music, from the rate at which it makes me write music to the feeling of being just a tiny spec in a ginormous city!


I’m a sucker for ‘creative’ self-help style books - I feel like they reassure you and give you some confidence to pretend like you know what you’re doing.

There’s a writer called Austin Kleon who has a series of books I love - there’s one called Show Your Work which always makes me think twice about being more open to showing people what you’re working on!


I get through about three podcasts a day at the moment - nothing beats the Ricky Gervais show though. Also I get compared to Steven Merchant on the regular…

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Catch Kwassa at London's Borderline on May 23rd.

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