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Smooth Jazz and Cool Vocals
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The Austin 100: KOKOROKO

KOKOROKO.
Lillian Liu
/
Courtesy of the artist
KOKOROKO.

Hometown: London, England

Genre: Jazz

Why We're Excited: KOKOROKO's "Abusey Junction" first found a worldwide audience thanks to its placement on a high-profile compilation of London jazz called We Out Here; from there, the languid Afrobeat tune has been streamed tens of millions of times. What leaps out about the song's viral success is that the song... well, doesn't leap out. Instead, it wanders and glides with hypnotic thoughtfulness, fueled by Oscar Jerome's conversational guitar solos and soft sweeps of brass.

Listen to Kokoroko's "Abusey Junction"

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)