Birmingham based rock band Karkosa are making waves in the UK and have the potential to be Korea’s next big thing.
Karkosa formed in Birmingham in 2014 by brothers Michael (vocals & guitar) and Jack (drummer) Warnock. After recruiting Tom Rushton on lead guitar, Ryan Trott on bass and Will Clews on keyboard, the band wrote and recorded a batch of singles which they self released online. Heavily inspired by Catfish and the Bottlemen, The Amazons and Royal Blood, Karkosa blend heavy guitar riffs, subtle synths and Killers-esque monologues, to produce the perfect adolescent anthems.
After releasing a handful of singles in 2017, 2018 has proven to be a pivotal year for the quintet. At home Karkosa were nominated for “Best Indie Band” and "One to Watch 2018" by the Birmingham Music Awards and won the HotVox 2018 Isle of Wight online competition, out voting over 5000 other bands. They also received support and airplay from the likes of BBC Introducing. They were on the receiving end of some high compliments from DJ Steve Kelly who said "Quite a few of my fellow presenters loved your song Sheffield. No exaggeration, but the guitar work on it is up there with Hotel California, which is my favourite track ever". Karkosa’s songs have been added to numerous influential Spotify playlists and their song “Sheffield” has been played over 20,000 times on Spotify and 12,000 times on Youtube so far.
Further afield 2018 became even more memorable as the band unexpectedly went viral in South Korea. After hitting Instagram to promote his band Michael made contact with some Korean fans, 24 hours later there was an official Korean fan club created and the band had gained over 2,500 new followers across Instagram and twitter. Wanting to build upon the buzz they were generating in Korea the band packaged their singles into an E.P. titled Red Hoodie for a special Korea only release and the clamor for them to play in Korea began to grow.
In October 2018 Karkosa headed out to Seoul for a pair of shows. The band received a welcome usually reserved for pop and rock idols, not young up and coming indie bands. Fans gathered at the airport to meet them when they arrived and a meet & greet session that was expected to last 30 minutes turned into 3 hours. Their first show, a headlining gig sold out in under five minutes and their second performance was a packed showcase as part of the country’s top showcase festival, Zandari Festa. The enthusiasm of their Korean fans caught the attention of management and record labels, and after signing to Seoul based independent Beeline Records, Karkosa are set to return to the peninsula early 2019 for more headline shows and recording sessions.
The stage is set for Karkosa in 2019.