Last Friday, KOKOROKO released their self-titled debut EP. Over four tracks, the eight-piece Afrobeat collective expertly synthesize influences like Ethio-jazz, West African folk, highlife and more.
The group—whose name means “be strong” in the Nigerian language Orobo—turned heads last year with “Abusey Junction,” a standout cut from We Out Here, Brownswood Recordings’ compilation of songs by the UK’s new wave of jazz artists. The seven-minute track closes the EP.
The members of KOKOROKO are deeply embedded within London’s jazz scene, and are involved in other bands and groups. For instance, trumpeter and bandleader Sheila Maurice-Grey as well as saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi are part of the all-female septet Nérija. Kinoshi also leads SEED Ensemble, who recently released their debut album. Oscar Jerome, whose mournful guitar lines shine on “Abusey Junction,” has released music of his own.
Stream KOKOROKO here: