Yes, they are from South Africa, if one doesn’t say they’re from London first. However, they’ve been living in Phoenix since 1996, graduated from Chaparral High School in Scottsdale and matriculated at Arizona State University.
Although their stomp-rocking single “Come With Me Now” has blown up in the U.S., and they’ve been signed to Epic for less than a year, they have seen a tremendous amount of success in South Africa, where the album Lunatic was released in 2012.
Dylan, Daniel, Jesse and Johnny Kongos come from a healthy pedigree. Their father, John, had musical success in Europe in the early ’70s. His song “He’s Gonna Step On You Again” is considered to be the first song to ever use a sample, and it sounds like his kids have him as a musical influence.
The band has wrapped a tour with Kings of Leon and is expected to have a February-March headlining tour before hitting the festivals and international venues in summer. Their North America agent, Corrie Christopher, can be credited for much of their recent success, starting them off in clubs and helping them get the KOL tour. Christopher has worked with them since last year when she was with APA, before moving to Paradigm.
It’s one of those small world stories because Christopher is the agent for Awolnation.
“The manager for Awolnation, Berko Pierce, called me and said, ‘You need to check out this band Kongos. They’re opening up for Awol in the UK,’” she told Pollstar. “They were pretty much the only opening act that Aaron Bruno from Awolnation had watched every night.”
Meanwhile, Sean Goulding, Awolnation’s UK agent, told her to check out the band.
“I thought I’d be missing out on an opportunity if I ignored all these people whom I work with. I picked them up when there was no label.”
As the band and its songs gain success, Christopher wanted to add one more piece to the foundation.
“Other than they are a band of traveling brothers is they are incredibly down to earth and just really beautiful people,” she said. “They have a very healthy family relationship. Their parents go to all the high-profile events. They’re just a very supportive group of people. They’re about as healthy of a band as you could get, inside and outside.”