Photo Credit: Em Cole

London-based four-piece PREP have one mission — to kick out elegant jams that make you dance while simultaneously luxuriating in the memories of late nights past. With a blend of sounds from contemporary R&B, electronica, and 70s to 80s inspired pop, the band welcomes 2022 with “The Kid”, their first release from an EP in the works. Fans can stream “The Kid” here:

I imagined ‘The Kid’ as the way an insecure older guy in an 80s film would dismissively talk about a younger player who’s threatening his territory,” explains vocalist Tom Havelock. “It’s a song that’s trying to capture that feeling of seeing someone you used to be with, who’s moved on to something new – and it’s only now, when it’s too late, you realise what a good thing you had.”

Their first release since their 2020 self-titled debut album, the band explores new sonic elements in “The Kid”, a shift that fans can look forward to in their upcoming EP. “‘The Kid’ started life in PREP studio 2 where myself and Giom were messing around,” recounts keyboardist Llywelyn ap Myrddin. “I remember playing the chorus chords and it felt good so we made it into a loop and the rest flowed quite naturally. The off-kilter intro was added by Giom and once Tom was singing it all came together. This is the first time we have written a track without live drums which is a departure for us, although I think it still feels like a PREP production.” 

PREP is no stranger to Southeast Asia. The band has played multiple shows in the region, notably their 2018 Asia Tour that included stops in cities like JakartaSingaporeBaliBangkok, and Manila. Most recently, the band played a set at Java Jazz Festival 2020 in Jakarta right before the pandemic hit. The band hallmarks their time building their fanbase in Asia as an important pivot where PREP’s sense of sonic possibility expanded. “At one point we thought PREP would just be a studio project,” Llywelyn elaborates. “But we played gigs that went really well, and we spent some amazing time in Asia.” Indonesia remains the band’s top city in terms of listeners, followed closely by the Philippines, Thailand, and Singapore.

With such a strong vision for the sound and aesthetic, PREP is as much a concept as a band, meaning collaboration is welcome. Sought-after talent like rising electro-pop star Anna of the North, South Korean R&B crooner DEAN, and Paul Jackson Jr, who played guitar on Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”, have all stepped into the world of PREP.

PREP is vocalist-lyricist Tom Havelock, keyboardist Llywelyn ap Myrddin, drummer Guillaume Jambel, and producer Dan Radclyffe. With Steely Dan and Bobby Caldwell as lodestars, PREP is pop music that feels tip-of-the-tongue familiar even though you’ve never heard it before. Stay tuned for an EP coming later in the year.


Stream “The Kid” here:

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