Jinja Safari are a self-produced & recorded band based in Sydney, Australia who draw from "afropop rhythms, (and) tumbling island guitar" to create African-inspired "dreamy folk pop, with a melodic richness comparable to acts like Sufjan Stevens, Animal Collective and Sigur Ros". They are known for their energetic live shows.
Formed in 2010, Jinja Safari was initially a duo of Marcus Azon & Pepa Knight. The two met at a beach party on the Central Coast of New South Wales in early 2010.
"Pepa lives on the coast, and I live in the city: so we tossed ideas back and forth across email after meeting over a beach campfire party earlier this year. We spent about 4 weekends recording all our ideas at his home studio, where he produced the tracks that we have now, which we're calling 'Forest Rock'." - Marcus Azon (Jinja Safari)
After performing organizing their first show for friends & family in a coastal forest on the Central Coast of New South Wales on 1 May 2010, Jinja Safari was invited to support Miami Horror at the Manning Bar in Sydney for their first public show.
By June 2010, Jinja Safari had received high rotation airplay on both national Australian broadcaster Triple J and plays on UK's BBC Radio 6 Music. In July 2010 they won the Triple J Unearthed competition, awarding the band a spot at Splendour In The Grass Festival 2010. Jinja Safari's first national Australian tour was supporting Art vs. Science in August 2010.
Jinja Safari spent the majority of 2011 touring Australia, playing sold out shows in support of their 2nd EP, 'Mermaids & Other Sirens'. The 5 track EP was released for free to fans, one song a month over 5 months. The band also toured Australia with both Boy & Bear and Menomena whilst continuing to be a mainstay at major Australian festivals in 2011, playing Big Day Out, Good Vibrations, Falls Festival in that year. They have been nominated twice for Best Live Music Act in the 'Sydney Music, Arts & Culture' Awards in 2010 & 2011
The Australian office of UK record label Cooperative Music released a collection of Jinja Safari's first and second EPs entitled 'Locked By Land', as the label's first local release. New single 'Sunken House' was added to playlist rotation on Triple J less than a month before the band sold out their largest show to-date, the 1200 capacity Metro Theatre in Sydney.
In early 2012, Jinja Safari was invited to perform their UK debut at Europe's leading festival for new festival The Great Escape in May 2012. BBC Radio 1 DJ & label head of Sunday Best Records Rob Da Bank named the band's sound as a "cosmic pop safari", playing the band's song 'Mermaids' on his BBC Radio 1 program and inviting the band to play at Bestival 2012.
Jinja Safari are planning a 2012 North American & European release & are currently producing their debut album.
Jinja Safari is named after the East African town of Jinja, in Uganda:
"I grew up in Tasmania and my grandmother lives in Uganda, in the town of Jinja - so for some reason I always felt the connection to the music of Africa, and how, despite the oppressions of countless dictatorships, genocide and apartheid, the people of Africa always found a way to smash a drum, yelling with a giant smile, dancing barefoot in the dirt." - Marcus Azon (Jinja Safari)
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license