Ekkah make the perfect easy-going, infectious music to get you ready for the long weekend ahead. Best friend’s Rebekah Pennington and Rebecca formed the duo known as EKKAH and have since been delivering a wonderful blend of electro-funk production with vocals that are drenched with influences of 80’s disco pop, and R&B.
Given the strength of their debut EP Last Chance To Dance, the girls have been delivering more of their pop side on dance-happy tune “Small Talk” with a video to match. The neon lights, echoing clapping and catchy melodies looks like a vibrant night out. It’s the kind of night where you could care less about chit-chatting and just want to dance your life away. Small Talk is all about that. The track’s multi-layered hooks, funky riffs, and lively synths brings a fun nature that is hard to resist. The girls capture their signature dance vibes that made us fall in love in the first place. If you want to get more of their party fever, EKKAH will be performing at Oslo on April 7th. Wonderland sat down with the best friends ahead of the show.
What made you decide to start writing and creating together?
From the day we met, after initially bonding about sharing the same name (Rebecca!/Rebekah!) we started talking about all the music we loved and realised we shared the same musical tastes and had fun singing out loud the same Madonna songs, so we just thought it would be really cool to start a band and see what happened! We both played instruments (Bex guitar, Rebekah sax and keys) and wrote songs so we had a go at it and haven’t stopped since!
How does being best friends help you creative process?
It definitely helps a lot! With your best friend it’s much easier to talk about things that happen in your personal life and relating to one another over lyrics and vibes of the songs. We have slight telepathy which is freaky too, not just relating to songs, we seem to turn up to the studio wearing the same shoes and same clothes sometimes which is odd! Also being able to travel with your best friend and share those experiences really helps us with our creative process. We recall on funny things that may of happened which helps us find new song ideas and keeps the process fresh! Who wouldn’t want to write music and play in a band with their best friend?!
Who were you first inspirations and how have they changed over the years?
Our influences change all the time, but we definitely have a few staple artists we looked towards when we first started Ekkah. Madonna has been a huge influence in our music and also in our lives before we met, both of us having come from households that used to blast her ‘Madonna’ and ‘Like a Virgin’ albums when we were kids.
Rebekah: For me growing up playing the saxophone, it was an artist called Candy Dulfer. She was the first girl I came across who played sax and smashed it. Her funky interpretation of jazz and her sassy videos really inspired me as a young girl, playing saxophone and wanting to get into music. She also used to tour with Prince, who is another massive influence for both of us when we write music. I was lucky enough to see Prince play a secret show in Camden a few years ago and it blew my mind!
Bex: My influences were varied between my Mum and Dad. My Mum being heavily into Northern Soul, I loved listening to artist like Doris Troy, Martha Reeves and The Vandellas, you know proper heartbroken songs with a happy twist on them that made them enjoyable to listen to. My Dad leaning more towards 80’s acts like ABC and Talking Heads and old 70’s disco tracks like George Benson ‘Give Me The Night’ which hugely influenced one of our tracks called Figure it Out!
How do you feel about the blogs/music reviews describing your sound as disco-pop? Are they getting it right?
There is an element of that in our music which we love, but we also like to take influence from funk, soul, dance floor and R&B. We didn’t sit down and say ‘Hey let’s write ’disco-pop’ but we are open to that description of us as it’s fun!
‘Small Talk’ is a great dance track. What other vibes are you exploring in your music in the future?
We wanted Small Talk to showcase the slightly more pop side to us, it’s fun and kind of in your face, that’s what we aimed for with it. However, we’ve also been working on some big sounding disco-laced tracks that we feel are exploring using the saxophone more as people seem to really dig that!
This is your first single of the year, does this mean new EP soon or debut album… Tell us what you’re working on?
Rebekah and I have been working with lots of super talented people from different parts of the world and have recently finished off a bunch of tracks with an awesome producer called DâM Funk based LA (Snoop Dogg “7 Days of Funk” etc) which we feel displays a more old school element to Ekkah, reminiscent of the first tracks we released and that is super exciting! We want to keep on putting music out and portray an eclectic catalogue of songs that are influenced by different genres but all come from the same place and have a similar message.
How was your headline tour last year?
It was awesome! We played some great venues and had loads of fun! One of the support bands, Yonaka, were pretty mesmerising to watch play and they were really fun to have on tour with us. Fake Laugh and Age Of Luna were great too! It was nice to take our stage show outside of London and see how people reacted to it in different towns too and we love being on the road and playing shows so really looking forward to the next tour and the summer festivals!
Compared to the festivals last year, which crowds do you prefer?
Festivals will always have a special place in our hearts and we are sooo looking forward to festie season! There is something magical about playing a show somewhere far from home and having people singing your lyrics back at you. And when we’re in town it’s nice to know people have come out on a week night to have a dance with us!
How are you feeling about Oslo soon?
Super hyped! It’s our biggest headline show to date and we love the venue! We recently went to see our mate SG Lewis there, his show was sick! We can’t wait to get up on that stage and show people a whole new bunch of songs we’ve been working on and that we’re really proud of so it’s going to be a good night! You should come?!
In between touring, writing, and recording what has been the most amazing moment of your career so far?
Playing Glastonbury was pretty incredible!!! Selling out the Moth Club, another one for sure. Also hearing for the first time our song played on the radio while driving to see our family it’s something you don’t forget. Ever!