From mods and skinheads with ska to punks’s love of dub, right up to jungle and dubstep, Jamaican music and sound system culture has long provided a deeply held fascination for successive generations of young Londoners.
So, like so many other kids growing up in West London, its no surprise the half Panamanian, half Italian Kiko Bun grew up obsessed with reggae and hip hop, immersing himself quickly into London’s ever-thriving subculture of musicians, MCs, DJs, shops bursting with revival Studio One 7″s and the all-important sound system mixtapes imported straight from JA.
A couple of years sorting out the reggae section in Islington secondhand vinyl goldmine Flashback Records while continually singing, writing and producing demos led to last year’s ‘Sticky Situation‘. A rocksteady-sampling, instantly memorable summer boombox anthem, ‘Sticky Situation’ sparked an extraordinary level of online interest, swiftly resulting in Kiko’s signing to a very natural home at Island Records last year.
Now first single proper ‘Where I’m From‘ mixes this deep love of Jamaican roots music with crisp young London bass culture to create a heavyweight soundboy killer perfectly suited to rock anywhere from Bestival to any self-respecting blues dance. Produced by London’s Cadenza (The Full Hundred, Major Lazer) and Brooklyn’s Ticklah (a founder member of the Dap Kings who’s worked on everything from Amy Winehouse’s ‘Back To Black’ to the classic reggae version excursion ‘Dub Side Of The Moon’).
‘Where I’m From’ is available from 27th April and as a limited edition 7″ complete with dub version (of course) on the flip on June 15th.
The new track comes hand in hand with a headline live show at Brixton’s Hootananny’s Monday night where Kiko was joined by Cadenza and Earl Gateshead on the lineup. Looking forward, it’s a summer packed full of festival slots including (amongst others) The Great Escape, Wild Life, Park Life, Lovebox, Notting Hill Carnival and Bestival.