It’s not often that an artist comes along with a truly unique demeanour, one that stands out as incomparable to the rest of the landscape. Yet North-West London’s Kiko Bun is one of those rare artists, offering a contemporary voice for his generation over music that feels timeless. Kiko has crafted a refreshing and contemporary sound based on the re-emergence of reggae, soul and golden era hip-hop that continues to infiltrate mainstream music. He’s long-revelled in the joy of crate-digging, crafting sample-based beats and creating roots-heavy reggae music, but it’s time that the wider world got to share this feeling.
His music, while influenced by the big bass sounds of Panama, reflects the lifestyle of young London, spending a Saturday afternoon chilling in the park, as the sun begins to weaken and time feels like it’s slowing – a contrast to the image of the constant rush of a metropolitan nine-to-five that is imposed upon us so often. It’s a reflection of Kiko’s laidback lifestyle and the reason why his fan-base has been building rapidly on the festival circuit following performances at Glastonbury, Boomtown, Leeds and Reading. And it’s no surprise that afternoons are Kiko’s favourite time both to record and perform, watching the joy on his fans faces and observing how his music connects in real time. By the time studio rats and nightclub performers are heading into the darkness, Kiko – a former sous-chef – is most likely cooking up some supper or putting his feet up to enjoy some comedy on Netflix.
After putting in the groundwork to establish an authentic reggae sound over the past few tears, working with the likes of Alborosie, General Degree, Dre Island and Ticklah (of Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings), as well as receiving radio support from world-renowned tastemakers such as Sir David Rodigan, Julie Adenuga and Annie Mac, Kiko is ready to take things to the next level.
Following a handful of singles, including 2015’s “Sometimes” and 2016’s “Can’t Hold Back” the London native has performed with his band across the UK on a headline tour and various stages at festivals including Glastonbury and Boomtown. The Island Records signee has recently been on tour with David Rodigan and The Outlook Orchestra playing Rototom, Outlook Festival and the Royal Albert Hall to name a few.
Gardna brings a strong presence to the stage where he invites the audience into his world of late nights and big bad sounds. Harbouring true passion for sound system culture and being blessed as a wordsmith has allowed Gardna to approach the music game from a fresh perspective to truly make an impact on the worldwide underground bass circuit.
2018 saw the release of the collaborative project between The Nextmen vs Gentleman’s Dub Club album where Gardna features on four tracks alongside A List vocalists Joe Dukie, Hollie Cook, Kiko Bun, Chali 2na and Eva Lazarus. Rudeboy, the first single of the album Pound For Pound lapped up over 10 plays across the major BBC Radio platforms as well as being featured on the prestigious Spotify New Music Friday playlist.