Words by Caitlin Trindall
Kingfisha are just one of the many Brisbane exports creating waves in the industry right now. Having released their second album Offered It Up earlier this month, they’ll be taking to the road in the next two weeks to bring their new sounds to our ears and showcase an undeniable energy and soul on stage. Reviews of Offered It Up have heralded the seamless integration of electronic music and reggae dub that Kingfisha pull off in the new album, a talent that is so apparent upon listeners.
“I think it does come a bit naturally to us,” Anthony Forrest said of this blend of music. “For one, we do have heaps of synths and we really like a lot of electronic music, it’s a big inspiration for us. Our keyboardist Andrew over the years has gotten into a lot of trance and dubstep, and we’re all big fans of Massive Attack”.
When it comes to supporting artists, other artists really are some of the greatest supporters, “the musicians are really supportive of each other’s bands, it’s a really hip scene”, Forrest said of Brisbane’s West End. “The whole scene is really vibrant”, he added. Coming from a major city in Australia that sometimes gets drowned out by the noise of Sydney and Melbourne, Forrest took a moment to let us know who he thought some other Brisbane homegrown artists are that we should all be listening to. “I recently just heard this new act called Moreton, they’re sort of a bit rocky, sort of bit trip-hoppy, they’re wicked. There’s another cool band called One Dragon . Two Dragon. They’re like a dub instrumental band and they’re amazing. Then there are some of the older bands who are still doing great stuff, like Kooii. They’re sort of afro-beat, soul, reggae, fusion; amazing musicians”.
With their reggae and electro creation, it’s undeniable that Kingfisha are creating more than sound, they are going further to create an atmosphere of elation and soul. It’s not difficult to imagine yourself away to the open air and sun when tuning in with any of their songs. Forrest has his eyes set on being involved in further experiences. “In Australia we’ve ticked off pretty much every box for festivals, I’d really like to play Shambhala [in Canada], it’s supposed to be amazing. A friend of mine went this year and he said everything was insane from the production to music and the spaces,” Forrest said.
Forrest acknowledged how easy it is for audiences to get into that carefree and elated vibe that comes with reggae music and the atmosphere attached. “It’s really fun music, it’s good to dance to. It’s so rhythmic”.
In the four years since their first album, Kingfisha have been touring all over the world. They recently toured Africa and Forrest shared that as a band they are feeling really together, “since we’ve been back we’ve been rehearsing and working on some new stuff and as far as getting ready for the tour, we feel like we’re playing well and we’re feeling good as a band together”, the vocalist reflected. Forrest admitted when it came to their guilty pleasures on tour that they enjoyed indulging in “good food and nice beer” adding with a cheeky laugh that they’re a “pretty clean cut band… with the occasional spliff”.
One of the coolest things about touring for Kingfisha is that they’ve had the opportunity to take music that is so influenced by international sounds to the countries that these sounds traditionally have originated from. “At the start of the African tour it was pretty daunting, especially our first show because we were extremely jetlagged and there was like five thousand Africans looking at us wondering what five white guys from Brisbane can do but our music really got across. Once they sort of heard what we could do with our take on reggae it was really positive”. Forrest’s recollection of nerves on stage as the music sails smoothly and gets the audience dancing is a feeling that most if not all artists would relate to quite easily.
Kingfisha will be taking their tour around Australia from September 30 in Cairns right through until December, wrapping up in Brunswick Heads on the 4th. Forrest says they’re hoping to get to Europe next year, “that’s the main goal, we’re nutting out those logistics at the moment”. They’ve also started writing some new tunes and they’re hoping to continue on that when they wrap up their Aussie tour. You might also be able to catch them at some Aussie festivals in the new year, “I think there’s talk of some of that as well… there’s so many festivals in Australia now”, Forrest said.
Offered It Up is available now and tickets for their upcoming Australian tour are available from their website.