Growing up in a household where your father continually bellows out Bernard Herrmann’s scores from any of Alfred Hitchcock’s films, it’s hardly surprising frontman of Boy Azooga, Davey Newington found a profound interest in music.
While performing as a drummer for many bands for most of his early career, Davey plugged away in his spare time creating and perfecting the band’s debut album 1, 2 Kung Fu by himself. Since then, he has recruited three friends, Daf Davies, Dylan Morgan and Sam Barnes to help him form the Boy Azooga live quartet.
Opening up the interview, I was intrigued to finally get to the bottom of the band’s name ‘Boy Azooga’. Growing up, he exclaimed there was a film called The Little Rascals he loved watching. “Me and my cousin used to watch round my gran’s house, where there is a chant that goes ‘Azooga-azooga-azooga’.” In a way, it added a personal touch of his childhood memories to this next step into his future.
From an early age, he was surrounded with music as both of his parents, from pop-music to classical jazz. However, unusually Davey exclaimed found a lot of his interest in music originated from video games. “Another big influence, which sounds ridiculous but was actually games I used to play as a teenager, games like Tony Hawk’s Underground and other skating games because they always had amazing soundtracks. You’d either have hip-hop or punk”, which he exclaims he couldn’t get enough of.
It wasn’t long before Davey soon found his musical drive, playing as the drummer in Charlotte Church’s Late Night Pop Dungeon, as well as many of his friends bands, including keys. However, 1, 2 Kung Fu was his first debut album of his own. “While I was making it we weren’t a band yet, so I wasn’t really worried about there being singles. It felt like my own outlet for the things I was into, and it’s more of a celebration of the music.” Davey explains it felt more “like a mixtape”, however he felt “conscious about it having a close to it, because bands like Deerhunter and The Avalanches, both of their albums have a proper interlude to them and that’s exactly what I wanted.”
After recording the album, he recruited his three band members back in December 2016 and they have been working together, and touring since. This summer sees a whole lot of festival appearances from Boy Azooga. “It’s pretty much festival season up until September which we feel really lucky to be doing. We’re really excited for Green Man Festival, because it’s one we’ve always loved and have always anticipated the line-ups each year.”
His first festival experience was at Glastonbury back in 2008, “with my girlfriend, it completely blew my mind. And then on I went to Glastonbury for about four years from the age of about 16.” From then on, his later teens were filled with varied festival experiences. I asked if he felt playing festivals was different to going to them. “When you’re playing them, you can’t let your hair down as much until after. If you’re going to a festival then, there’s a definite increase in not really caring and daytime drinking become a lot more accessible.” He explains laughingly, for him “playing gives you a little more of a professional head.”
On speaking to Davey, he was set to begin recording the second album the following day, as he’d “love to get into the cycle of constantly recording, touring and getting my music out there.” And of course, fans, do not fear, maracas will be involved.
Boy Azooga play Green Man, Blue Dot and End of the Road Festivals during summer 2018. Their debut album 1, 2 Kung Fu is available now.