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The thing about Mosa Wild is that you can tell that they are genuinely great friends. Talking to them, it becomes clear that they were lucky to find each other, as they come from very different parts of the country. We spent an afternoon with them chatting about their backgrounds, influences and memorable gigs.

A four-piece band, they emanate a sense of togetherness that is a joy to be around – they laugh together, speak interchangeably, have such a strong and intuitive togetherness that it is impossible not to warm to them. Their music is an extension of their personalities and closeness.

Amy MacKenzie: So, how are you guys today? Have you enjoyed the shoot? Jim Rubaduka: Yeah, it’s been great fun, thanks for having us.

A.M: Ok, so I’m going to take it right back to the start and ask where all of you grew up and what was life like growing up? J.R: I grew up in Ashford which is in Kent. Ed Ireland: I grew up in Bedford which is 50 miles North of London and it’s alright. It’s a kind of unremarkable town but I quite like it. Charlie Campbell: Up North, I guess, like Yorkshire.

A.M: That’s pretty North. C.C: [Laughs] Yeah, it is! But it’s lovely up there. Alex Stevens: Although you kinda grew up everywhere. C.C: Yeah, moved around a lot as a kid but yeah, Yorkshire is where I’d call home. A.S: I’m from Ashford too.

A.M: What were your families like? J.R: Quite nice. [laughs]

Everyone: [laughs]

J.R: We’ve gotta say they’re nice haven’t we? A.S: Very supportive. They’re all big fans of the music.

A.M: Do you have any siblings? A.S: Yes, I have a sister. C.C: I have a brother, younger brother. E.I: I also have a younger brother. J.R: I’ve got two older siblings, a brother and a sister, best of both worlds!

A.M: Are any of them musical as well? J.R: In a way. C.C: In my case, they are more like interested, maybe. I think everyone’s families are interested in music but not that many musicians specifically in my family.

A.M: Yeah, fair enough. What kind of music were you listening to growing up? E.I: Quite a lot of what my mum was into. A lot of Leonard Cohen, and stuff like that. Hmm, what else does she like? She liked Rod Stewart but I never really got into that. [Laughs] J.R: Really? I feel like he’s a big influence for you, no?! [laughs] C.C: Fashion icon! E.I: I love it! And then when I was at school and started getting into bands and stuff, a lot of my friends were into The Who and Led Zeppelin and that sort of stuff so I guess that was quite a formative thing for me.

A.S: Growing up my mum used to listen to a lot of ABBA so I didn’t have the coolest music taste. Growing up I read Karrang! and listened to all those bands. E.I: Actually I remember what I listened to when I was growing up. Pretty much every night for a year I listened to this cassette tape my cousin made me. One side was the best of ABBA and the other side was all the Bond themes and I listened to that a lot.

Everyone: [laughs]

J.R: For a year? E.I: A whole year. J.R: Respect!

From top left clockwise: Alex wears shirt MUJI SS19; trousers URBAN OUTFITTERS. Charlie wears top UNIQLO; jacket LEE. Ed wears t-shirt LEE; shirt UNIQLO; denim TALENT'S OWN.

Jim wears t-shirt WEEKDAY; corduroy jacket LEE; trousers URBAN OUTFITTERS

A.M: And what about you, Charlie? C.C: Yeah, I think a lot of what my parents were playing in the car, that was a big thing for me. A lot of Eagles, Dire Straights on my Dad’s side and then maybe some soul and Motown stuff on my Mum’s side. I went to music college and at school and stuff and once you start playing, you meet people who also play and you discover all those classic bands so it expands from there.

A.M: And you, Jim? J.R: Yeah, the same kind of story as everyone else really. Just car journeys of listening to whatever your parents are listening to but I think for me my siblings had a big influence over the music I listened to. Growing up I listened to a lot of hip hop and R’n’B and that’s what I remember. My first memories of music are definitely Jay-Z albums and Boyz II Men and that sort of thing.

A.M: Cool! So how did you all meet and then decide that you wanted to make music together? J.R: Alex and I went to the same school in Ashford and I remember hearing him sing for one of our A-Level classes and I just thought ‘wow, this guy is sick’ and yeah, he was kind enough to agree to mess around on some songs in the practice room. We played music after school a bit, around London, you play club nights and stuff like that. Charlie and Ed were doing the same kind of thing and our paths kept crossing. They all agreed to come down to Ashford and sit in on a session and here we are! It was one of those very fortunate moments where it all just seemed it work, felt very effortless, didn’t seem like a struggle. It’s kinda weird considering everyone’s geographical locations that it worked. Charlie was in Guildford at the time, Ed was in Bedford and London, so Ashford is not really close to either of them.

A.M: It’s not really on the way to anywhere. C.C: Travelling to the end of the world each week! J.R: That definitely meant a lot, it was definitely meant to be!

A.M: Is Ashford your base now? Is that where you do most of your stuff? A.S: Yeah, kind of. C.C: It has been for a long time. A.S: More recently not so much, but it was for quite a while.

Left: Ed wears t-shirt TALENT'S OWN; trousers FARAH

Right: Alex wears top LOU DALTON; trousers URBAN OUTFITTERS

A.M: Where did the name Mosa Wild come from? J.R: It came from a studio session where we were panicking because we needed to have a name and we were quickly approaching a deadline and we were googling names and there were just so many. But my Grandad was called Mosa and I think there was already a band with that name, so we couldn’t take that and then we just added on the word ‘wild’, just because!

A.M: And how would you describe your sound now and has it developed over time? J.R: I think it has definitely developed. That’s a very tough question. C.C: I would say it’s eclectic. We are all coming from very different musical points I think so I think eclectic would sum it up, but developing continuously. E.I: I guess there is a fundamental guitar band sound we have come from but trying to develop that and certainly not limit ourselves to that. We are all quite interested in other textures and synths and electronic percussion sounds and stuff like that so we’re just working on integrating all the different noises we like and piling it on top of that guitar band thing. J.R: I think we feel quite fortunate in that we don’t really feel tethered to a genre at the moment if that makes sense? It’s a very free experience with music because we can just do whatever sounds good and feels good. I think it’s just because the four of us are playing, it’s always going to sound like the same band but just the sounds change.

A.M: What’s your process of creating music, from your initial idea to the final product? Is there one way you always do it?

J.R: I think it’s changing a lot. Maybe the most common way is that I will bring an idea to the group, it might be fleshed out or it might be the sketchings of something. And then together we will paint it together, make it sound good. C.C: Bob Ross it together!

From left to right: Charlie wears t-shirt LEVI'S; jacket LEE; trousers UNIQLO; shoes DR MARTENS. Alex wears t-shirt and denim jacket LEVI'S; trousers and shoes TALENT'S OWN. Jim wears t-shirt and shirt UNIQLO; trousers and shoes TALENT'S OWN. Ed wears shirt and jacket LEE; trousers and shoes TALENT'S OWN

A.M: You released ‘Smoke’ in 2017, were you surprised by the reaction it got? C.C: Definitely a nice surprise! We hadn’t released any music before then, that was the first thing we put out that had all four of us on it.

A.M: Did you put a lot of thought into that being the first release or were you more putting it out just to see how it went? C.C: It kinda was just that. We had a bunch of demos of songs at the time and we were thinking of a plan of which way to go and how to do things and ‘Smoke’ was one of the completed demos at that point and everyone felt good about it at that point. We thought we needed to get something out and get the ball rolling as soon as we can and we chose ‘Smoke’. Everyone seemed to receive it pretty well so it was definitely nice

A.M: And then the release after that was ‘Night’. Why did you decide to release this next and did you feel pressure after the success of ‘Smoke’? J.R: I don’t think we felt pressure, not from outside, the pressure we felt was probably more within the band, we just wanted to put music out. There wasn’t a lot of stressing about what song to put out, it was a similar position to ‘Smoke’ where we were in a position to put music out and we all felt good about ‘Night’ so that’s what we went with.

A.M: Your latest release is ‘Tides’, what is this song about? J.R: The song lyrically came from a place of being a bit stuck, I guess, or feeling stuck. A lot of my friends were in a similar headspace so it just comes from when you are stuck, or you feel stuck, you’re the person that can free yourself from the mud. That’s what the songs about. The process of recording it was very easy, it wasn’t too stressful. I remember sitting in the shed with Alex and just coming up with the guitar bits. Every now and then you have a very painless experience when it comes to writing songs, it doesn’t feel like a battle and then these guys put some more sauce on it and here we have a finished song! We were very lucky! E.I: It’s quite an old one, it’s been knocking around for quite a long time, so it’s nice to get it out into the world.

LEFT: Charlie wears top UNIQLO; jacket LEE RIGHT: Jim wears t-shirt WEEKDAY; corduroy jacket LEE; trousers URBAN OUTFITTERS

A.M: You have supported Maggie Rogers, LANY and more recently Tame Impala. What have you learned from opening up for artists like this? J.R: I think because they are so different, we have been quite fortunate in learning a lot, I feel like that’s a fair thing to say. They each have different audiences and I think we are just at a point now where we are just really looking forward to playing our own shows and ready to start touring. Obviously, we would love to support more artists in the future, if they will have us, but we are keen to hit the road and start building our own fanbase. A.S: Seeing their fanbases and the energy they have on stage and how that translates to their fans is pretty amazing, especially with Tame Impala to me anyway, seeing how the audience responds to everything they do on stage. That was a big learning curve for sure.

A.M: What’s a favourite show that you’ve played, any highlights, either your own or one you supported? J.R: I feel like everyone’s probably got different answers for this. C.C: I think mine would probably be the most recent show we did in Dublin with Tame Impala, in terms of the production of shows that we’ve been involved with, that’s been the biggest and most spectacular thing that I’ve ever seen, even just as a witness of live music. It was just ridiculous. Being sat in front of the audience watching it, they gave us a nice shout-out at the end of that show as well and it was very surreal for me. E.I: That was mad. C.C: Seeing Ed, seeing everyone covered in confetti felt like a bit of a dream, to be honest A.S: In their first song they release a confetti cannon and they still manage to go up a level throughout. That’s pretty bold setting off a confetti cannon in song one, but yeah they topped it, it was amazing.

A.M: Is that the same for all of you then? E.I: Yeah, for me as well, probably my favourite show we’ve played. J.R: I think for me it was probably up there. For me, there are so many shows that have left a mark on my heart. Maybe, we played a show in a tiny pub in London not too long ago and that just felt amazing. The energy in the room and the energy that we had just felt very correct, so that brought me a lot of joy.

From left to right: Ed wears t-shirt TALENT'S OWN; trousers FARAH. Jim wears t-shirt MUJI; jacket LEE; trousers URBAN OUTFITTERS; shoes TALENT'S OWN.

Alex wears top LOU DALTON; trousers URBAN OUTFITTERS; shoes TALENT'S OWN. Charlie wears total look TALENT'S OWN; shoes DR MARTENS

A.M: What have you got coming up for the rest of the year? J.R: Recording some more which we are looking forward to, getting back in the studio and then just playing more shows. Those two things are our priorities at the minute. We’ve got a bunch of demos we are excited about so we just want to get them finished and sounding good and then we just want to play shows. Those two things are pretty much it. A.S: We’ve got our headline show in September at OMEARA which we are really looking forward to.

A.M: That’s on my Mum’s birthday A.S: Bring her!!! [laughs]

A.M: I will! I love OMEARA anyway, it’s one of my favourite venues. A.S: Yeah, it’s really cool. J.R: The food around there is really good as well.

A.M: If you were to collaborate with anyone who would it be? A.S: These are all very different, I think.

A.M: Let’s go one at a time then. J.R: For me, Frank Ocean. Oh actually, either him or Andre 3000. Or both! Ah man, that would be amazing! E.I: I don’t know! It would be pretty cool to work with Blake Mills, I think we are all big fans of his work both as an artist and a producer. I feel like he is someone who would fit the dynamic quite nicely. C.C: I think Jonny Greenwood would be like a true collaborator, I think that would be really good if he would ever grace this band with some of his magic, that would be beautiful. A.S: Probably Imogen Heap.

A.M: And lastly, what is your favourite f word?

Everyone: [laughs]

J.R: I know what yours is, Ed. E.I: Do you? I don’t even know what mine is. [Laughs] A.S: Can we have a second?

A.M: Of course you can, it’s the most important question!

A.S: Needs careful consideration. C.C: We are indecisive as a band, so this is going to be a real struggle. A.S: Is it a collective favourite?

From left to right: Charlie wears t-shirt LEVI'S; jacket LEE; trousers UNIQLO; shoes DR MARTENS. Alex wears t-shirt and denim jacket LEVI'S; trousers and shoes TALENT'S OWN. Jim wears t-shirt and shirt UNIQLO; trousers and shoes TALENT'S OWN. Ed wears shirt and jacket LEE; trousers and shoes TALENT'S OWN

A.M: You can do individually if you want to.

J.R: Oh that’s easy then! Collective, we’d be here for a long time! I don’t know if it’s my favourite but it’s the first thing that came to my mind – 'foliage', that’s a nice word.

A.M: Interesting, yeah, anyone else? E.I: I don’t know, I need a minute! C.C: I’m just going to go with 'fab' if that’s alright [laughs]. And not fabulous, I don’t want to get edited to fabulous, just purely 'fab!'

A.M: Are we talking about the ice cream? C.C: Well I am a big fan of those ice lollies and I think they are in the top five ice lollies of all time. A.S: Just 'fish' for me.

A.M: These are really weird ones. [Laughs]

E.I: I’m going to go for 'fun…gus'. 'Fungus!'

Everyone: [laughs]

Words: Amy MacKenzie

Photography: Eva Pentel

Fashion: Sonia Akther


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