Jonka are Annika Kaye and Jon Neufeld from New York. Not only are they happily married, they also produce a really exciting mix of lo-fi and electro pop. If you are into 80s pop music with a modern lo-fi twist to it, you might want to check their 2009 debut LP Slow And Steady Wins The Race (buy on amazon). A new album is in the making right now, to be released later this year. But first, get to know Annika and Jon:
Where are you from?
Jon’s from Staten Island, New York. Annika was born in Stockholm, Sweden but raised in Manhattan. For the past ten years we’ve been living together in Brooklyn, New York. Brooklyn is a diverse and dynamic part of the city. We love the laid-back pace here compared to Manhattan. There’s also lots of great music coming out of Brooklyn right now.
How do you know each other?
We met through a mutual friend at a party and never looked back. Now we’re married and making music together. It’s awesome!
What are major influences to your sound?
Classic synth pop artists such as Thompson Twins, New Order, Depeche Mode, Yaz and the like. We’ve discovered a lot of other contemporary artists out there playing great electro-pop. We’ve been really into Class Actress and Javelin from Brooklyn, Cornelius from Japan, The Knife from Sweden and Ladyhawke from New Zealand.
What feeling do you want to carry to the listener?
We want our listeners to feel uplifted.
Who inspires you?
Anyone willing to say what needs to be said.
Your favorite place in Brooklyn?
Our apartment is our #1 favorite place in Brooklyn. It’s very hard to leave! We’re always playing music and working on projects of some sort. When we do manage to leave, we really love going to Prospect Park. Breathing some fresh air and getting back to nature always helps to clear the mind.
A place to take a date in Brooklyn?
Walking over the Brooklyn Bridge is lovely and so is the Brooklyn Heights promenade with a view of lower Manhattan.
Jon’s grandfather was a blind subway musician. We’re both vegetarians. Annika speaks Swedish and English.
Would you like to live anywhere else?
New York is in our blood. It’s part of who we are. This is where we make our music and where we continue to be inspired. We love traveling and we have a long list of countries that we want to visit but we’ll always come home to New York. Last summer we spent a month traveling through India. The previous summer we spent in Stockholm and Barcelona. We love both of those cities. We hope to spread our music wherever people want to hear it.
Plans for 2011?
We’re finishing up our next album “Pinks and Blues” and would like to collaborate with a small label to release it within the next couple of months. We’ll begin working on some new music videos and refining our live show. We work with a really exciting video artist who projects art and moving images during our performances. We’ll continue to play regularly at New York City and regional music venues. We are finalizing some tour dates for Europe this summer.
Thanks for taking the time!