Radio Feedback: Kongos Didn’t Understand the Power of Radio
Radio Feedback is where we ask artists to wax nostalgic about the first time they heard themselves on the radio.
Having written “Come With Me Now” nearly six years ago, Kongos had no expectations that song would ever get picked up by American radio much less become a hit. Sure, they found some success in their homeland of South Africa, but over time they learned radio in the U.S. was “a tough nut to crack.”
Keyboardist and accordion player Johnny Kongos, one of four siblings in the band, recalled the time he first heard the track on the air.
“I do remember the first time we heard “Come With Me Now” on American radio,” explained Kongos. “We were driving to Riot Fest in Denver and KTCL spun the record for the first time and I remember thinking, ‘Oh, this could be something,’ because at this point nothing was happening. We were touring, playing some tiny shows around the country. I had no clue what it actually meant.”
Kongos had a hard time fathoming what the radio play might actually lead to. “It was really like one of those old school moments you see in the movies. It was really exciting. I just don’t think we quite understood at the time how important radio was in the U.S. in terms of new music exposure and discovery.”