Meet Bristol's four-piece Kimbo Nice, blending a mellow sound with a laid-back bluesy chord.
Latest single 'Wimbledon' was released back in February and maintains the same level of light-hearted, care-free energy that Kimbo Nice have become renowned for exuding.
It was written by vocalist Ali Topan when he felt lost and unsatisfied, working his job on a building site. Having self-love and faith is the underlying message of Wimbledon. Don't be too hard on yourself, just tread your feet in the right direction and stay gold.
I had the pleasure seeing them live at Zed Alley (one of the many amazing live music venues on Bristol) which seems now like a lifetime ago and thought it was about time having a little chat with them.
Tell us about the origins of the band and the meaning behind the band name?
Oly – I have a long list of stupid (and hilarious) band names that it was on. It’s from the street fighter Kimbo Slice, and we’re all nice guys.
James - The band began many moons ago as a two piece called Noontide, consisting of just myself on guitar and Ali on vocals. We wanted to take what we were doing further so we recruited some friends and became Kimbo.
What was the role of music in the early years of your life(s)?
Taryn – My mum always use to take me to these mental hippy festivals when I was a kid. I remember one time winding up in a big tent mid-drum circle, surrounded by what I now assume were some middle-aged stoners. Someone handed me a drum and I beat that thing like I was Jon Bonham. I persuaded my mum to get me a drum kit not long after and voila, the rest is history.
Oly – My whole fam are very musical so I've grown up with music constantly being played in the house. Then I followed my Nana’s footsteps and picked up the guitar, and I eventually started playing the bass when I joined the band.
James - I don’t come from a particularly musical family but have always had a love for it. Early on I would remember songs from films more than the films themselves. Every few weeks my mum would take me to the town library to borrow Cd's which I would put on my 128mb mp3 player. It only held like 20 songs so they were in constant rotation. I also remember my Uncle throwing disco parties for my siblings and cousins and handing out wooden cut-outs of the classic guitar shapes. Those things got me hyped.
Are there any musicians who inspire you? What qualities do you admire about them?
Taryn – Tom Waits, Archy Reed, Thom Yorke, so many more. I think I’m inspired by artists who can carry the good and the bad parts of themselves into song and openly share that with the masses. It takes a certain level of honesty.
Oly – Kanye.
James - SO MANY, I have a strong list of musicians I always fall back on. But then I'm constantly searching for new music and ideas that influence the directions of Kimbo.
Ali - I tend to flick between songs and genres what I'm listening to and enjoy generally reflects how I'm feeling.
Your latest single 'Wimbledon' was released 12th of Feb- What's it about? What was the process for writing and producing it?
Ali: Its about working and trying to live to expectations then realising that actually realising that you should be happy with who and where you are and be proud of that. I began writing it on a building site and the rest came together after that. Our producer Dom Mitchinson helped with structure and filling out the ending of the tune.
How did the pandemic influenced your music career and how did you stay motivated through all the madness of lockdown(s) and being stuck at home?
It’s had its ups and downs. Luckily we were still able to record three songs over the last year, and keep up semi-regular rehearsals, but not being able to gig really threw us off for a while. I feel that without the prospect of gigging, we often fell into periods of stagnation. But hey, we made it out the other side, and we’ve got some new tracks for when we do gig again so there was some good that came out of this as well.
I had the pleasure seeing you live in Bristol at Zed Alley – for any gig goers who aren't familiar with you - What word/phrase would you use to describe your show? What do you try to communicate to the audience through your vibe?
James - Fun. Our gigs are a little loose, we vibe off the audience, we make mistakes, we power on through and we (and hopefully the audience) have fun.
Ali - I enjoy it when all our friends join us and we have a fun nice time.
What do you love about Bristol/Bristol music scene? For us outsiders – best thing to do in Bristol?
Oly – I love that everyone seems to know everyone. There is a lot of support and everyone gets so hyped on whoever releases a new track or project. There is always something happening every night of the week too, it never gets dull (well when life is normal!)
James - I love that drinking and being out and about in the streets is not remotely frowned upon in Bristol. The music scene is cool, everyone seems to genuinely enjoy and respect what other bands are doing, despite the genre. 
Please give us one fact each that no one knows about you?
Taryn – I pretty much have zero ability to wiggle my toes.
Oly – I have met Prince Philip.
James - My hair is actually a wig.
Ali - i am a secret millionaire
What’s the best/worst advice you ever received?
James - Health is Wealth, Knowledge is Power.
Oly – To join a band.
ALI - Good luck.
What's next? Plans for 2021 or beyond?
For this year, it’s going to be playing as many shows and festivals as we can. We’ve got a new song coming out before Summer so that’s something we’re all looking forward to. But, after 2021, It’s hard to know what comes next. Lockdown has made us feel like our lives have been on hold, and the time spent stuck in Bristol has led to a lot of introspection about our individual futures. Maybe we’ll head our separate ways, maybe we won’t. There’s a certain hesitancy in making any grand plans, because god knows what’s going to happen before this year is over, but for now, we’re going to enjoy the sun and beers and all the gigs we hopefully get to play this summer.
Check out their video for previous single 'Joop! Homme. here:
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