Filled with a pastel coloured joie de vivre, you don’t need to look far into Micha’s story to understand why. Although potentially a dark moment, it was in fact a near death experience that gave the project its name. Scuba diving in Malaysia, Micha’s tank got jammed underwater meaning he had to race to the surface on his final breath of air. Once on land, his adrenaline fuelled recounting of the tale blurred into an entire night’s worth of partying. When he woke up he noticed the words ‘Kita Menari’ scribbled on a piece of paper found in his pocket:
“I don’t know how it got there and I didn’t know that the words meant ‘we dance’ in Malay. As soon as I found out I thought ‘that’s it’! From now on that is going to be the motto of my song writing”.
On returning to the Netherlands, Micha set about approaching song writing from a new, reflective angle. What transpired was a sound as vibrant as Passion Pit with the electronic hooks of MGMT and sonic energy of Parisian dance pop icons Phoenix.
Another formative quirk comes in his irregular living arrangements. He resides in a 40-hectare estate called Doorn Huis, famous for being the final home and now resting place of Germany’s last Kaiser, Wilhelm II. “In the Netherlands the government has a program where you can apply to live in some weird and wonderful places to deter squatters and burglars” de Jonge mentions. “I won’t bore you with the history but it means I’m surrounded by gardens, fields, even a palace, it’s a really incredible environment which helps to inspire the music I write.”
2019 was a breakthrough year for Kita Menari starting on January 19th with a performance at European industry showcase festival ESNS in Groningen. From there the project has flourished. EP ‘Finally Awake’ was released on April 26th with singles from the release gaining support from top international blogs including The 405, Clash Magazine and The Line Of Best Fit. Collectively the tracks went on to appear on Spotify’s ‘New Music Friday’ playlists in AUS/NZ, Mexico, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and home country The Netherlands with further sizable editorial inclusions in Germany.
In May French tastemakers Kitsune Musique, whose early signings include Two Door Cinema Club, Years & Years and Parcels, would go on to re-release ‘Pretty Sure’. Soon after, on May 20th, the band were invited to open for Catfish and the Bottlemen at their sold out show at Amsterdam’s Melkweg.
The autumn saw Kita support further international bands such as the UK’s Will and the People and Sweden’s The Asteroid Galaxy Tour. November 22nd saw the release of their second EP of 2019: ‘Dreaming All The Time’ which featured the singles ‘Into The Dark’, ‘Tonight’ and ‘Come Into The Waves’ which was also release by Kitsune. The year was rounded off perfectly with an EP release at Melkweg.
2020 will see Kita head back in to the studio to record brand new music for release later in the year.
Debut single ‘Young Lovers’, released in May 2017, immediately found itself included on Spotify’s ‘New Music Friday’ in both the UK and NL where it would go on to appear in the top 5 of both countries Spotify Viral Charts.
Micha quickly set about putting a band together and were soon invited to play various Dutch radio shows, including biggest public radio station Radio 2FM and new music station 3FM. Here there were named ‘Nieuwe Naam’ (New Name) by Radio 2FM with ‘Young Lovers’ named ‘Radio Hit Of The Week.’ All this before they had even played one live show. Their debut performance came in front of more than one million people on popular Dutch TV-show De Wereld Draait Door. Lagoon EP was released in February 2018 alongside a sold out show at Paradiso in Amsterdam.