Jinja Safari is two equal halves: harmonizing frontmen & multi-instrumentalists Marcus Azon and Pepa Knight. Marcus grew up in Tasmania, the son of a preacher-man. The son of an artist, Pepa hails from the central coast of New South Wales. In early 2010, the rhythm of their two personalities were revealed, intertwined and born from a debut meeting over a beach campfire beside the semi-tropical jungle of Australia’s eastern coastline. Sharing the same adventurous instincts, their imaginations soared over the Indian Ocean to settle in the East-African township of Jinja. The first live show for Jinja Safari was held on May 1st 2010 in a secret coastal forest for family & friends. The Debut EP from Jinja Safari was released in August 2010.
When afro pop meets surf rock Jinja Safari like to coin it 'Forest Rock'.
Tell us about your music – how did you develop your sound?
I grew up in Tasmania and my grandmother lives in Uganda, in the town of Jinja - so for some reason I always felt the connection to the music of Africa, and how, despite the oppressions of countless dictatorships, genocide and apartheid, the people of Africa always found a way to smash a drum, yelling with a giant smile, dancing barefoot in the dirt. Even though i'm a terrible dancer, and really shouldn't be doing it in public in the first place, ever, i've always thought dancing was an amazing form of expression. I think there is a big difference to the way people dance in clubs now days, to how it feels to dance alone on the beach in the middle of the night. Whether we admit it or not, everyone likes dancing. Some worse than others. We wanted to make music for those people who want to partake in a little reckless ugly dancing without feeling the social or physical restraints of having someone in a club 'grinding up in ya grill'. Pepa lives on the coast, and I live in the city: so we tossed ideas back and forth across email after meeting over a beach campfire party earlier this year. We spent about 4 weekends recording all our ideas at his home studio, where he produced the tracks that we have now, which we're calling 'Forest Rock'. We laughed the whole time, only speaking to each other in the 'crack fox' voice whilst we recorded guitar, keys, vocal parts, then banged on anything we could find for percussion. After a while, we realized we had a full set together and thought it could be fun to share it with our friends, so we put on a secret show in the forest of the central coast, got our friends to dress up as animals, and we all danced into the night.
What can the audience expect you debut show?
A bass player who looks like the singer from the Vasco Era, a drummer who looks like the singer from Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros, a keyboard rider/singer who looks like the guy from the Mighty Boosh, and guitar player/singer who looks like Kevin Bacon, and a really, really sweaty percussionist. In summary, 5 un-original looking white guys dancing badly to African-inspired beats. And all of our friends dressed up as Animals - this is how we like it.
What were you both doing before this?
Marcus was a TV soap actor and Pepa designed trophies. Either way they were geared for success.
What’s coming up in the future?
Probably more work on the construction site for our percussionist- Alister Pattern and myself; Hopefully lots more fun shows as well. We are looking forward to playing with Miami Horror on the 12th of June in Sydney, as our debut Sydney show. In fact, Alister's mum and little sister are coming up from Tasmania, so come and say Hi to them.
Australian music is?
The Australian Music industry is at least 100 times healthier than Australian films. Except for that one film about Australia - 'Australia', that one was epic.View Profile Hide Interview
03 May 2010
Playful, pretty, so many layers and great vocals all make this song a winner. I love the percussive elements too, it stays true to it's name - I feel like a kid in the forest with this tune. More songs please?