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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Movies

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.

Music

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.

Place

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!

Book

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!

Podcasts

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.

Join us on Vero, as we get under the skin of global cultural happenings. Follow Clash Magazine as we skip merrily between clubs, concerts, interviews and photo shoots. Get backstage sneak peeks and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold.

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