Backstage with Mo Kolours

  • Music
posted by Aimee Whistler

Dubbed ‘The best album Curtis Mayfield never made’ Joseph Deenmamode aka Mo Kolours doesn’t do things by half. The London-based multi percussionist and quirky vocalist behind the new EP ‘How I (Rhythm Love Affair)’ has been described as ‘the love child of 70s soul icons and A Tribe Called Quest’.

Championed by UK music personalities like Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard and Friendly Fires’ Jack Savidge, the English/Mauritian’s percussion heavy and reggae tinged second album is set to light the underground music scene alight.

We caught up with Mo Kolours on the eve of his European tour to chat about his off centre musical tangents and experimental offerings that make up his new EP.

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Hi Joseph, how did you come up with your alias Mo Kolours?

I used to go by a different name, just a beat makers name. When I started to put vocals on the beats I felt like that character represented something else, and out popped the name! It just kinda came out of nowhere.

Being half Mauritian and half English, where do you call home?
I was born in the UK and have lived here all my life, but I still feel like I don’t fit in any particular place. As I grow I feel more and more of a connection to people and places all across the globe. My home is planet earth and beyond.

How do you think your Mauritian music heritage has affected your sound?
Mauritian spirit flows through me and my music. All the things my ancestors went through to get me here makes me who I am.

You have gone from producing music in your bedroom to performing at the iconic BBC Maida Vale Studios, how does it feel?
It feels strange to think my little music ends up on such famous platform. Strange, but good.

As a singer, percussionist and producer, what is favourite part of the musical process?
I don’t really have a favourite part of the process. Each element brings its own satisfaction to the creative momentum.

What can we expect from your new EP ‘How I (Rhythm Love Affair)’?
You can expect some more up tempo stuff, and a very old melody found on a Sumerian clay tablet written in cuneiform.

Your vinyl releases are renowned for selling out fast, when can we get our hands on a copy?
Early March is the expected release time for the record, but you never know. Fingers crossed.

People have a hard time categorising your music (funk, broken dub, soul, new wave reggae), how would you typify your sound?
My sound is an amalgamation of all my influences. Most of the music I love, when you trace its origin, all stems from the same source. Categorisation is like giving all the leaves on a tree separate names.

Who would you say are your biggest music heroes?
Madlib, Fela Kuti, Marvin Gaye, John Coltrane, Michael Jackson, Tony Allen, and many more. 

What is your most listened to song at the moment?
Oof by Ethnic Heritage Ensemble.

Tune into Mo Kolour’s new EP below.