Originally, the bands Kashikoi and Child’s Play only planned on having one jam session when they set up a gig together back in April 2014. Child’s Play opened up their show with Kashikoi following right after. The combo jam session came next. With a mix of improv and loosely developed grooves, the seven-member supergroup tore up the stage.
It just so happened that Tame Impala's Kevin Parker was in the crowd that night, and he was a big fan of what he heard.
Then, all of a sudden, a gig that was supposed to be a one-off sprouted into a full-fledged band. Parker was such a big fan, he extended the offer for the fresh group to open up for Tame Impala at a show later that month.The only problem was they didn’t have a name.
Enter “Koi Child.”
While the specifics aren’t entirely clear, the general consensus within the group is that the name Koi Child was somehow coined when Parker asked if they had a name for the band.
“It was meant to be a one-off show with both bands doing a jam. But because we got that offer, we couldn’t refuse that,” Koi Child’s MC Shannon Patterson said. “So then we became a band from then on. Our second show was literally supporting Tame [Impala].”
Following the show opening for Tame Impala, Koi Child began working on new material to eventually record and refine.
Recorded on a small, isolated island in a river south of Perth, Australia, Koi Child’s self-titled debut project showed how well the unique sounds of hip-hop, electronica, psychedelic and nu-jazz could all come together to form a wholly cohesive piece.
That’s not to say it was easy for the group to decide how the songs would develop over time.
“I suppose because there’s seven of us and we all have our own influences, we all have stuff that we like, it’s hard with us all trying to pull and also give a little at the same time,” Patterson said. “Naturally, if seven people are trying to paint a picture, it’s gonna be a bit weird. I think we’re very lucky that it actually ended up working out.”
Restricting their inclination to have lengthy, expanding jam sessions when performing live was also crucial to the recording process. With Parker helping guide them through the recording process, their vision was kept intact while cutting back on the excess material.
“It’s not like there’s a direction that any member of the band is trying to funnel us down this one avenue,” bassist Yann Vissac said. “For each particular song, we each have ideas for what that song could become.”
Even live, each song can take on a new structure. Forming from a jam session, everyone has a passion for keeping that spirit alive. Their live set at The Aussie Barbecue party at SXSW was a perfect example of how their individual style coalesce into a sound that can’t be heard anywhere else.
Now they’re planning on venturing into the world of recording again. Still paying rent by working day jobs back in Australia, the band is constantly trying to find time and money to set aside to make it sustainable. The dream is to live off of the music.
“It’s still very much an investment. The company that is Koi Child has to invest in itself so that it can afford to take itself to America for SXSW and get paid in experience as bands do these days,” Patterson said. “Then hopefully that investment and that experience will eventually lead to some money. And we can stop f--king working.”
There’s no doubt that there is a lot of work to be done to get to that point. However, they’ve already found a lane to success that has never been traveled. Originality is Koi Child’s most valuable asset; they have a sound unlike any other group. Keep an eye out for Koi Child over the next few years because they’re doing amazing things.