London trio Kero Kero Bonito exude confidence—on “Sick Beat”, off the just-released Intro Bonito mixtape, lead singer/rapper Sarah Bonito explicitly hypes her video game skills. “No matter how many hours a day/ I could win at any game/ Whether you’re a boy, or a girl, or a super-computer,” she sings, but it’s not just an extended brag about Tomb Raider. She also spends time brushing off those who say “she should get some girly hobbies instead,” hop-scotching between English and Japanese.
Therein lies Bonito’s boldness: The bulk of “Sick Beat” is sung in Japanese, a move that could be alienating to those who mainly listen to music delivered in English. But Sarah Bonito is just using a language she knows, while producers Augustus and Jamie Bonito’s ribbiting music takes some cues from a scene they know well—contemporary J-pop. Kero Kero Bonito embrace ideas that might be side-eyed by others, and end up with a strong tune all their own.