Why do you live in London?
I moved to the UK in August 2016 in order to go to university here, but it was something I always wanted to do – I don’t have a EU passport or anything exotic like that, and as a member of the Commonwealth, Kiwis are able to easily live and work in the UK, which is a great opportunity for those of us who want to live overseas. In addition, the UK is quite alike to NZ in that we share many similarities (such as the same language) which make it fairly stress-free when moving somewhere new and setting your life up again. I really enjoy living in big cities, so London was probably where I was always going to go regardless of school, but I also already had some good friends here from doing music, such as Sandra from our record label, Cascine, and some other people from home who I knew had made the move before me.

What are your favourite places to eat and drink?
My favourite restaurant of ALL TIME was a small Peruvian place called Butifarra by Leicester Square. The sandwiches they did there were incredible, but unfortunately a few months ago they were kicked out of the lease, and I’ve been in a horrible state ever since. A friend told me that he thought that they have since opened up in a new location on Edgeware Rd, but I haven’t seen it for my own eyes yet. If true, it’s somewhere I thoroughly recommend all people go to visit!

My favourite bar in London is the Ain’t Nothing But Blues Bar on Kingly St, which is a small bar that hosts blues bands (every night of the week I think, which is brilliant.) It’s a special place for me and my girlfriend because we discovered it by mistake when out on our first date, but it’s also just an amazing place to go if you want to dance and have the best time ever. The bands play on the floor and there isn’t much room to move, but the music is fantastic and the atmosphere is just the best!

Summer’s almost over, the leaves are turning prettier colours, how do you find London in the Autumn?
Autumn is a mixed bag for me – I’m usually thankful for the slightly cooler weather at first, but once the cold winds start coming I start yearning for the summer sun again pretty hard. That’s why Yumi Zouma has always reminded me of Autumn – for some reason we always make music with a tinge of sadness to it. Maybe that’s who we are as people. I think I prefer the London in the spring – it’s so nice to feel the sun again after winter, and gives you a really positive optimistic outlook on the months ahead!

What’s the ideal way to spend a day here?
Breakfast at CPress on Fulham Rd.
Artwords Bookshop on Rivington St.
White Cube gallery in Bermondsey.
Egyptian vegetarian for lunch at Koshari Street in St Martin’s Lane (or if it’s 11am-2pm on a Thursday or Friday, visit the Street Food Union on Rupert Street in Soho).
Movie at the ICA (great bookshop there too).
Meet an unsuspecting friend for dinner at the XXX-rated back entrance of La Bodega Negra on Moor St.
In-store performance at Rough Trade East in Brick Lane.
Nightcap at Ain’t Nothing But Blues Bar on Kingly St.

Favourite outdoor space?
Camden Passage in Angel

If you could live anywhere in London where would it be?
Soho!

Do you have any favourite venues/clubs etc?
Heaven on Villiers St! Legendary.

What’s the worst thing about London?
You can’t swim in the Thames!

Does living here influence the music you write?
Yes! When we got together in London to start writing for the new album, we wrote 20 songs in a week, which we’d never really done before. Usually it takes us ages, but London added a bit more hustle and bustle to our writing process.

How would you advise someone to get the most out of London?
Walk everywhere and explore everything. Visit different galleries, do all the crazy stuff Time Out posts on Facebook. There are always so many unique and fun things popping up all the time, don’t fall into a routine wherein you don’t make the most of this great city.

Yumi Zouma – Willowbank
October 6, 2017 – Cascine
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