1. Bonobo was a skater who listened to neo-hardcore.
Simon Green aka Bonobo was born on the 30 March 1976 and is turning 43 this year. The world-renowned producer was born and raised in Brighton, UK and is now based in Los Angeles. Green grew up as a skater listening to neo-hardcore music like Skint, MoWax and Ninja which changed his outlook on music. He got hold of a little Atari and a sampler and “got into the whole idea of getting out of bands and plugging stuff into a sampler — looping things, sampling beats off old vinyl.”
2. Green sometimes regrets choosing the stage name Bonobo.
He first performed under the moniker ‘Bonobo’ with the release of his song “Terrapin” in 1999. His stage name is a reference to the Bonobo chimpanzee species. He thought it was a cool name at the time but has regretted it slightly stating back in 2013, “I kind of regret it because people ask this question like three times a day. People want to tell me about Bonobos and ask questions and such. They think I’m like this monkey expert.”
3. Bonobo is also known by the alias ‘Barakas’
Barakas is Simon Green’s second alias and is also one half of ‘Nairobi and Barakas’ with musician Robert Luis from record label Tru Thoughts.
4. Bonobo is not influenced by jungles or Asia.
Bonobo’s earlier work such as ‘Terrapin’ and Sleep Seven’ does have a strong eastern atmosphere to it but Green said his work is “more of a mental state than an actual geographical one.” His 2017 album Migration once again has strong references to nature in its concept and sound. Migration’s first single “Kerala” leads the theme through observing bird patterns. Green learned that a clear sign of winter in the northern hemisphere is the sudden arrival of thousands of birds from all parts of Siberia, Mongolia and other areas of the northern Himalayas.
5. His Dad was a folk musician.
Simon’s dad was a musician who was strongly involved in London’s folk scene. He would sometimes come home to find his father playing the banjo in the bathtub. His parents were a part of the local folk scene, from trad folk, right up to the more psychedelic stuff.
6. His latest album Migration is about the bittersweetness of living abroad without the ones you love.
It deals with the excitement of venturing to new horizons but the pain of leaving another place and its people behind. The album was written during a period of grief for a family member and is more moving by the fact that Green no longer lives close to his family members.
“First of all, it’s more of an aesthetic than a study. It is instrumental music, so it’s not narrative like there would be if I was a singer/songwriter. In the last five or six years since I left London, there’s been this theme of journeying from one disparate point to another, and the effect it has on people. My family and friends are spread out all over the world, but we always find these anchor points where we always return—be that New York, LA, or London. These places which are somehow interconnected” – Bonobo, Vice.com
Bonobo will perform in Cape Town on Friday the 8th of February 2019 for a live show with his 8-piece band at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and then in Johannesburg at The Fox Junction venue on the 9th February for his DJ only set.
For more information join the event pages and book your ticket right here.