INTERVIEW: PATAWAWA

Meet Patawawa. Fall in love.

Beth Garett, Rory Lovatt and Sam Wilmot form the glimmering Derbyshire trio that has caused disco disturbance for seven years and counting.

Each zestful instalment has continued to cement Patawawa as disco-funk warriors, from the vibrant ‘Patagonia’ up to the grand arrival of their 8-bit sounding ‘Power-Up’ – a debut record for futuristic pop lovers and gamers alike. Wanna press play?

In the lead-up to ‘Power-Up’, the group racked up a collection of accolades in the form of BBC Introducing support, viral Spotify hits and did somebody say sold-out live shows in Japan? 

Following zero schedules and throwing out any sort of deadline, Patawawa were able to enhance both their production and songwriting abilities on this record to form a powered-up version of themselves.

Everybody say helllloooo…

Ello you lovely lot – what have you all been up to lately?

Hello hello! We’ve been gearing up for the album release and trying not to catch Covid!

“New year, new me” has been a lot of people’s 2021 mindsets, especially since the shocking year we’ve had – have you been able to kick any bad habits or venture into something new this year yet?

Sam: Drink less, work more.

Rory: Drink more, work less.

I like to think Patawawa was ahead of the game with the recent disco revival we’ve seen (some may say you even began the revival some 5 or so years ago…) – what really got you into making this style of music?

Sam: Rory put on ‘Somebody’s Else’s Guy’ by Jocelyn Brown in his dad’s kitchen when we were about 16/17 and since then we have never stopped loving those juicy disco grooves.

WHAT A SONG. Get the clubs open. I’m ready to belt this tune whilst clutching a vodka coke.

Rory: When I was a bit younger I went through my mum’s CD collection and this was just the best find ever, what a belter.

You’re all originally from Matlock and more recently Sam you’ve moved to London – how has going from a little Derbyshire town to literally the capital affected your creativity with making music?

Sam: I actually moved back up north! It was a quick 8/9 months in the big smoke and I loved it but happy to be back up north too. When Patawawa makes me a small fortune I will have a place in London and here! I managed to record vocals in London and it gave me some fresh ideas lyric-wise so all in all it was fine for my creativity.

‘Power-Up’ has been a long time in the making – how does it feel to be finally unleashing this body of work?

Sam: It feels mental tbh! It has felt like a long time coming but we are just so excited for people to hear it!

Explain a little bit about the whole video game-esque concept behind ‘Power-Up’ and where this originated from?

Sam: We came up with it what seems a long time ago, It was Rory’s idea I think, he also made all the funky little artworks as well (kudos to raw), it ties in nicely and suits the album really well I think. There are some lovely game-esque bits in-between the album too for everyone to look forward to!

Did either of you have any favourite video games growing up?

Rory: Mario Kart has been a firm favourite from the age of 5 up to right now, but Sam and I also played 10,000 hours of EA Skate when we were stinking teenagers so that’s got to be up there too.

Sam: Lord of the Rings & Tony Hawk, many happy memories smashing these out back ‘int day.

‘Power-Up’ consists of tracks that were written and produced over the last 18 months – were there any tracks that took you longer than the rest to fully perfect?

Sam: We actually wrote the first single ‘Just Not With You’ aaagesss ago. Rory thought it would be a good idea to hold it back to when we did our debut album which is a nice touch.

Which songs are you most hyped for everyone to hear? ‘Content’ is stellar!

Sam: ‘Content’ is a band favourite, harmonics is another one we are super excited for people to hear!

Alongside the record you’ve had some pretty sick producers remix your tunes too, most notably the Goldteeth version of ‘So Late’ – I read that this one came about via a few Instagram DMs?

Sam: Yeah, I got in touch with Andy and we did a couple of sessions with him in his studio (pre-Covid) and we all really got on and have stayed in touch, he’s a Sheffield United fan too so that helps immensely lol.

Does each of you have somebody you’d love to work with in the future?

Sam: Benny Sings would be great, he could replace me singing.

Let’s round this off with the classic “what’s next?” – what will the rest of 2021 look like for Patawawa?

Reaping the rewards of releasing a timeless classic album.

‘Power-Up’ is out now.

 

Jordan White
Assistant Editor

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