Ghanaian-Australian singer/songwriter/producer/DJ duo Kinder (aka Savannah and Briony Osei) have been playing some of Australia's biggest festivals and nightclubs for years, and they've channelled the joys of dance and electronic music into their new EP, Yenko. Across four euphoric tracks - Come Along, Rasta, Bus Stop and Yenko - the sisters celebrate where they've come from, both as musicians and as people. The pair also look towards the future, creating dance anthems that will be festival staples for years to come.
Opening track Come Along features Sydney MC/singer A.GIRL, and tells the story of a trip that Briony and Savannah went on to Ghana as children. The song has already become a festival staple, and it's reflective of the project's intention as a whole. Across Yenko, the pair explore the influence that family, and their heritage, have had on their music. Come Along features the traditional Ghanaian instrument gyil, which adds to the song's pulsating percussion, and it's a nod to the Ghanaian artists that have come before them.
Following tracks Rasta (featuring Trinidad-born, Sydney-based artist Gold Fang) and Bus Stop are both fan favourites when played live, thanks to the energy of each track. Rasta is an upbeat tribute to the pair's father, Kofi, who was known for his love of reggae. It's a bouncy track that celebrates the human spirit, and Gold Fang's vocals embody the spirit of reggae. Lose yourself in the world of Rasta. Bus Stop, meanwhile, has a darker, late-night energy to it, telling the story of someone who has a more-than-relaxed attitude to time (known as 'African Time') by many. It's a reminder to take life at your own pace, and it was written by the pair to emulate the energy of their live shows. Mission accomplished.
Title track Yenko ends the project, and takes its name from Twi, roughly translating to "Let's Go". The song sees the pair using booming organ bass to work fans into a frenzy, and it's a perfect way to wrap up an EP that will add fuel to the fire at any party. Yenko is one of the most captivating dance releases of the year, and one that'll cause many a singalong on packed dancefloors in the future.
To celebrate the release of Yenko, we spoke to the duo about the new EP, collaboration, their musical journey and much more. Yenko is a celebration of the musical experiences that have made Kinder who they are today, and it's a joy to hear them explore their vision over a quartet of absolute heaters.
Firstly, congratulations on the release of the EP! It's a snapshot of the music you've released over the last couple of years - how does it feel to finally have it out in the world?
Thank you so much! It feels great, a bit of relief. We started this EP all the way back in 2019! It was actually meant to be out in mid-2021, but COVID got in the way of our plans. We're sure many people can relate. We are so happy to finally have this out in the world though and tick this one off. We are ready to keep rolling them out.
On social media, you post a range of mash-ups while DJing - I'd love to learn more about how your background as DJs feeds into the music that you make, especially given that DJing is a way of keeping up to date with what's being played at clubs and parties?
Yes! That’s our new favourite thing to do. Mashups and edits are fun. We started around seven years ago DJing house parties in Maitland. When we first started DJing at clubs, we fell in love with a genre called Brazilian Bass and this EP was very much influenced by that genre. However, we made it our own.
Dance music is forever changing and evolving, so over the last three years our taste has very much shifted in a different direction. DJing gives us the opportunity to explore and find lots of new music. It’s a great way to be inspired for your own work. We get so excited when we find new artists or new genres. Of course, we will always stick to what we feel is authentic for our original music first and for most, but it’s pretty awesome to be motivated by other people and the amazing work they do.
Growing up as siblings, what music were you both listening to, and was the discover of music a shared pursuit, or do your personal tastes differ from each other?
Savannah always kind of copied whatever Briony was listening to because she thought she was cool. It started off with Britney Spears and Spice Girls and then moved into Panic! At The Disco's first album. Both of us then had an emo stage and were obsessed with artists like The Used and Taking Back Sunday.
It was around 2010 when we both started really loving and getting into dance music after a friend let us burn her Ministry of Sound compilation disc. Even to this day, our music taste is very much in sync. We are still obsessed with Panic! At The Disco's A Fever You Can't Sweat Out but we also love pop stars like Halsey and Lorde and dance acts like Jayda G and TSHA.
On that note - I wanted to get more of a sense of how you are inspired by the sounds of Ghana, and how you work those sounds into your music? Was music something that was a regular part of family life?
Our parents actually separated when we were two and five years old respectively, so we weren't actually surrounded by Ghanaian music much after they broke up. We do remember it always being played in the house when our parents did live together though and this one particular Ghanaian Highlife cassette tape was always playing on repeat. (You can learn more about Highlife here).
After our parents split, we would listen to our mum's favourites, which were artists like Neil Young, The Cure and Joni Mitchell. It wasn't until we were a little older and started to DJ that we really reconnected and started diving deep into some classic Ghanaian artists and we became inspired.
The EP features both A.GIRL and Gold Fang - I'd love to know more about the experience of working with both those artists?
Funnily enough, we've never actually met Gold Fang. Absolutely love him though! We’ve only spoken to him over the phone and via text. He did his whole verse as a freestyle in the studio in just one day when we were in lockdown. He’s so incredible and absolutely killed it!
A.GIRL we met at a writing camp that we did back in 2019, which was run by KLP and was such an awesome experience. She's incredible. Being in the studio with her and listening to her sing is breathtaking. She’s such a talent but so humble and real. We really love her and would love to work with her again.
You've got a pair of shows booked for June, and you've mentioned that they're the first time you've played headline shows (having DJed for years) - what can fans expect from those shows
Yes! We’re very excited about this. We’re so used to playing in nightclubs and festivals so this is a whole new experience for us. There will be lots of dancing, singing, special guests and brand new tunes. Keen to get rowdy. As we mentioned before, we have been inspired by some very new sounds and flavours, so you can expect something a little different to an old Kinder show. But we promise it will be fun.
Finally, what's on the horizon for Kinder for the rest of 2022?
A whole bunch of new tracks. The Yenko EP kind of finished off that chapter for Kinder. We’re very excited to dive into a new dancier world with our next singles, we really can't wait to show everyone. We’re very excited to go on tour with the Crooked Colours boys at the end of the year as well. We will also be doing more of our Primal YouTube streams too, so watch out for that.