Interview with JoKeria

Hailing from the North-Western reaches of Australia, Roebourne duo JoKeria are a band built on strong foundations: a mutual love of real Country music...

Written by Divine Magazine

Josh Philpot & Kendall Smith are JoKeria, an exciting Duo based in the Pilbara region of North Western Australia.

After storming the Australian country music charts, with 3 songs hitting the top ten nationally, and their two singles ‘Without You’ and ‘No Place For Slim’ smashing number one, WA Duo JoKeria proudly announce the release of their 3rd album ‘Northwest Of Nowhere’.

What first got you into music?

Kendall: My father played the guitar every Sunday at our local church, so music was always around me growing up. The drums were the first instrument I learned to play, but I switched to guitar at the age of 12 when I got an Ashton electric Stratocaster and amplifier for Christmas. I would sit for hours with my old man learning to strum good old Slim Dusty songs

Josh: I have always felt rhythm and beat everywhere I go, something about that rhythm in music just energizes the whole body, and I’ll always find myself tapping my fingers, hands, feet, teeth or sometimes evening humming along with the tempo of a song. I first began learning to play guitar through school music lessons but decided to swap to the drums instead. I first started playing in church back in Victoria when I was 8 and have been going ever since

How would you describe your music?

Kendall: Traditional Country infused with Aboriginal Australian culture

Who are your main influences?

Kendall: Merle Haggard, The Highwaymen (Johnny, Willie, Waylon, Kris), John Fogerty, George Strait, Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Brooks & Dunn

What draws you to your preferred genre?

Kendall: The storytelling, 3 chords and the truth. Songs that I can relate to and can say I’ve shared a similar experience in my life to the lyrics I’m listening to. I also love the vast range of instruments that can be used when creating country music. Instruments like the dobro, banjo, fiddle and mandolin but the pedal steel would have to be my favorite of them all.

Josh: Definitely the truthful storytelling, country music isn’t afraid of telling it how it is, going from one extreme to the other, it will sing about the deepest darkest traumas but also about the best moments in life. There is always at least one song that someone, could wholly relate too and feel the emotion of that song as if it was written directly about them.

When did you start writing music?

Kendall: I wrote my first song when I was about 12 years old, it’s called, Stockman Renown, and it is on our first album, Back No More. I wrote it as a tribute to the life of my Dad’s older brother, who lost his battle with cancer. The best horseman I’ve ever known.

Do you enjoy recording and production?

Kendall: Absolutely, there is nothing better than taking an idea, writing it down, finding the chords and melody to go with your lyrics, blending it all together then recording it and watching it take life into a song.

Josh: I love being in the studio that collaboration of like minds and the freedom to express and try different things, some of the best music in the world has come from just messing around in the studio. Also, I’m a bit of a tech head and love seeing all the different technology working together to turn a thought into a fully fledged song, that sounds incredible.

What is your biggest musical challenge?

Josh Touring, it’s not that we don’t want to tour, but it’s the logistics of it all, distance being the main one. We live in Northwest WA about 1500km north of Perth, towns up here are so spread out, hundreds of kms apart that, we really need to have a good plan and schedule in place to do it. We have been asked multiple times to go over to the East Coast to tour, and we would love to, but again it takes a lot of careful planning on our part to make it happen, but we will get there one day.

This is Josh and Kendall’s first time at producing an album, as part of their natural music progression. Working closely with mentor Bill Chambers, JoKeria’s new album ‘Northwest Of Nowhere’ was recorded and produced over the space of six months. Josh and Kendall recorded the backline tracks in Perth at Crank Recording September 2022. They returned to Roebourne to overdub vocals and instruments at Red House Entertainment Studio and Angus Smith Studio, recorded further overdubs along with the final mix with Bill Chambers at Chambers Avenue Bensville NSW, and engaged the talents of Jeff McCormack to master the album at the Music Cellar on the central coast of NSW.

Stream the album here

© 2023, Divine Magazine. All rights reserved.

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Latest News

Top 5 This Week


Health & Wellbeing