In Luxembourg for 'Belgian Night', a chat with Konoba
Konoba is a Brussels based indie pop band, set to play at den Atelier’s Belgian night on Saturday. The group's founder and frontman, Raphael Esterhazy, took some time to talk to Sam Steen about the band’s formation and sound.
If you look at the “about” section on Konoba’s band camp page you will see that it says the band was formed in Brighton in the United Kingdom in 2011, but really that’s just when Raphael started to write and put together the songs that would later become Konoba, as he explained “This project has been going on for six years now and it’s gone from making my first EP in my tiny bedroom studio and it’s evolved then over the years, song after song and gig after gig and I felt that now was the time, after all that time improving, to put out a proper album. It felt like the right time.”
Listen to the full interview with Sam Steen aboveRaphael began making music as a student and had produced three EP’s by the time he moved from England back to his native Belgium. It was there that he decided he needed to take it to another level.
“Initially it was a solo project and I was working on my own and I still am in the sense that I write and produce all the music myself but I needed some musicians and a whole team to work on everything else.” he said, “The musicians in particular for the live performances because in the studio I could record and loop lots of different instruments and vocals and harmonies and everything and that was pretty much impossible to recreate all on my own. It was very important to get a few musicians in and try to get some of the best ones and that’s what I did! I’m really happy with the results.”
He cites bands and artists like Alt-J, James Blake and Gotye as influences and you can certainly hear elements of their work in Konoba’s but Raphael is constantly evolving the band’s sound.
“I try to never give myself too many limits as to what to use, what tools to use, what instruments to use, what production techniques and so on, so every time I hear about something new or read about something new or just discover a new technique or software I just play around with it and try to add it to my sound so if you listen to all the songs I’ve released over the years it has changed a lot” he said.
The band have really started to pick up a following in Brussels. To mark the release of the full album, Smoke & Mirrors, they managed to book and sell out two dates at the Ancienne Belgique and will be back in the city again in May for another huge gig at the Cirque Royal.
“Yeah it’s great”, laughed Raphael, “after playing so many smaller shows and building all this way up it’s really nice to see that finally, things and going my way and we’re getting to play at such amazing historical venues.”
Chances are we’ll be seeing and hearing a lot more from this band over the next few years and Saturday’s Belgian Showcase at den Atelier offers a superb opportunity to get in on the ground floor.
Doors at den Atelier open at 7pm and tickets cost 10 euros. For more info, go to : www.atelier.lu
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Sam Steen on ARA City Radio
You can catch Sam in his "Freshly Squeezed Breakfast Show" on ARA City Radio every weekday morning from 6-9 am. For more info visit the website: www.aracityradio.com___________________________________________