KODY - Tallaght native is hitting new heights in Australia

By Hayden Moore

What happens when you put a Vietnamese bassist, a Brazilian drummer, a Syrian Refugee guitar player and a singer from Dublin together in a band Down Under? You get modern rock band KODY.

Based out of Sydney, Australia, KODY has been hard at work writing songs, that has already begun paying off, with the group being nominated for two Australian Songwriting Awards.

Australian rock band KODY Pic by Brad Harris 1 compressor

Australian rock band KODY

What’s the local tie? Well, the songwriter, singer and guitar player from the band, Darren Browne, hails from Cushlawn Park in Tallaght and was previously featured in The Echo way back in 2007 with his former band Sons of Jacobian.

In that edition on April 4 of 2007, it was highlighting that the band were gearing up to play in Whelan’s.

Since then, Sons of Jacobian have gone their sperate ways but Darren always held on to the memories from the band and that article, packing it when he flew over to Australia.

This week, Darren caught up with The Echo to tell us all about KODY, how he met the lads from all different nationalities to form the band, and picking up the pen once again after a long time off.

So, you were previously published in The Echo way back in 2007?

It was my first band and we had managed to get a gig in the well-known Whelan’s of Wexford Street.

We were doing pretty well to get a gig there and The Echo was kind enough to write an article on us. It was great to see the local support back then.

Funnily enough, it was the paper that sparked something one day over 17,000 kilometres away in a garage down under in Australia.

Darren with The Echos The Life from 2007 1 compressor

Darren with The Echo’s The Life from 2007

What are your musical roots?

None. Other than listening to music, my family never really played music. Soccer was a big thing, as it was in most families and I was writing lyrics and singing melodies.

When I was a kid my father used to pop me on top of a small stool in the pub to sing, but really badly. I would earn myself a bit of coin, a packet of King crisps and some smiles from the locals.

Only thing here though was I couldn’t tell my mother where we were, a deal I kept till this day.

How much have things changed between the last time you were in The Echo and now in terms of your musical career?

Well not much really, I still feel like a kid. We just play, but we act a little more serious these days.

We try to be as professional as we can but we have a way to go before we are where we want to be.

We now all have professional custom set-ups with our gear and can easily pack up that van when heading to a venue. We get regular plays on some radio stations, along with radio interviews and little features like that which we are grateful for.

What made you make the move to Oz?

I guess I could blame the recession but really at the time as a Qualified Engineer in a place with no work it wasn’t looking good to grow my career.

Over the years I now have the experience of working on the largest scale projects in Australia with my team and we have been really successful in this space.

I am not ever worried about work the way I would be if I had stayed in Ireland. I feel I could go anywhere and hit the ground running.

I miss Ireland terribly and always dream of coming home to play a show there someday soon. Maybe Whelan’s!

So tell me, how do a Syrian refugee, a Brazilian, Vietnamese and a man from Cushlawn Park come to form a band together in Australia?

It’s not a long story, but it’s really an important one for us. Funnily enough I was feeling homesick at the turning point. So, credit where it’s due, when I saw the paper in the box that day a few years ago and some old records I had, I thought back to my happiest moments and it was playing my own songs live, that was it.

Once I had that thought everything changed. After a lot of writing, I put it out there to the universe and Lucas Tolentino, a giddy but amazing drummer from Brazil who was living in Sydney loved the stuff, so we started KODY and did a gig pretty much straight away.

The gig was so successful with just the two of us we just had to look for a bassist and lead guitarist to finish the line-up.

So, I met Nazo Nazarian in his home one day. Nazo had moved with his family to Sydney as a refugee a year or two before that. He like us, was following his dream in music while studying to be a Sound Engineer.

After talking for two hours about music, songwriting and motivations behind the band we gigged within a couple of weeks with a stand-in bassist. We then completed the line-up with Quang, a Vietnamese bass player who not only plays amazingly but is a qualified Sound Engineer and Producer.

You were nominated for two Australian Songwriting Awards; how does it feel to get that sort of recognition?

Well we recently found out we didn’t win it, but it really felt great just to be recognised. Here’s the thing, for us – it’s not about winning. The only people we are in competition with is ourselves.

We are trying to be better songwriters, better musicians and better people every day.

That’s it, that’s all it is, and if we can reach some people out there and they like our music, that’s awesome.

KODY lead singer and Tallaght native Darren Browne Pic by Brad Harris 3 compressor

Tallaght native Darren

What’s next for Kody?

We are back in the studio this week working on our new record ‘Run’ which will be part of an EP to be released soon called ‘We are not you’.

The music video for this will also be released shortly after that is out. We are back in the famous Australian venue the Annandale Hotel Sydney in late November and we are planning our first tour gig in Melbourne in January. So exciting times ahead.

Check out KODY’s latest release ‘Lost’, or one of their other three previously released singles on all music-listening platforms and follow them on Facebook @bandkody

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