Elemental AKL: British group Jungle dances, goes viral and Hell Pizza

Jungle will play at Auckland City Hall on July 26.

Anna Victoria Best/Provided

Jungle will play at Auckland City Hall on July 26.

One of the best bands in this year’s Elemental AKL is British electric duo Jungle.

Consisting of Josh Lloyd-Watson and Tom McFarland, the duo have been making music since they were 9 years old – having lived next door to each other in Shepherd’s Bush, London.

Lloyd-Watston describes Jungle’s origin as “a chance encounter”.

“Like most kids, we bonded over similar things in our lives, like making music,” Lloyd-Watson said. Things.

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He said the duo realized “very early on” that they wanted to turn their hobby into a career.

“I remember thinking when we were 14 – we’re gonna do it, we’re gonna do it,” he laughed.

“[But then] you start to grow… the world starts to break you down a bit. You lose that childish naivety.

The band took a step back, trying their hand again at the age of 23 – when things took a quick turn. Justin Timberlake tweeted the music video for one of their songs, Platoon, launching the band into the stratosphere overnight.

Lloyd-Watson worked for the Kiwi company, Hell Pizza.


Lloyd-Watson worked for the Kiwi company, Hell Pizza.

“The number got pretty big pretty quickly, there were four million in one weekend. To us at that time, it felt like a big thing,” laughed Lloyd-Watson.

The viral spread online was helped by B-Girl Terra, a then 6-year-old breakdancer who starred in the Platoon music video, and has joined Jungle on stage in the past.

“Dancing is everything. It’s the basis of people’s reaction to music – when you hear one of your favorite songs, you get excited, it makes you want to dance,” Lloyd-Watson said.

“We just love working with people who have this contagious energy, almost like you want to be them,” he said.

As Jungle’s fame took hold, Lloyd-Watson and McFarland made the decision to put their music front and center, instead of themselves.

“I always wanted to do things that inspired me, not things that concerned me. I like to look at my own stuff and get lost in it like I failed,” Lloyd-Watson explained.

“That’s where I think it’s amazing, when I can watch a video or listen to one of our songs like it wasn’t mine. It seems from another world.

Lloyd-Watson likened this concept to an artist continually painting portraits of himself.

“The internet has made everyone obsessed with themselves rather than the world around them. Without sounding nihilistic, it’s sort of the downfall of our species,” he said.

“If everyone looked outward and looked at each other, the world could be a better place.”

The couple have known each other since they were nine years old.


The couple have known each other since they were nine years old.

The duo can’t wait to play Elemental Nights and Lloyd-Watson admits he’s “always had a thing for New Zealand”.

“I feel like it’s a bit like England but upside down or the other way around, it’s a beautiful place,” Lloyd-Watson said.

Lloyd-Watson has even worked with Kiwis in the past, but not in the music industry.

“I worked for a company called Hell Pizza, [in London] where I was delivering pizza before I started this whole music thing,” he said.

He recalled that the Kiwis he worked for were “really, really lovely”.

Jungle will play at Auckland City Hall on July 26. Visit Live Nation to reserve your tickets.