Welcome to our online series, ‘Caught On-side’, where we catch up with artists who love the beautiful game as much as we do. Football and music are both art forms deeply rooted in our culture, something we hold dear to us at PENALTY. Through this series we hope to marry some shared passions, highlighting how closely related music and football culture are. This month we caught up with best mates and brothers behind the sensational Everyone You Know.
Rhys Kirkby-Cox and Harvey Kirkby or commonly known at EYK are the duo forming a way in the music industry through the duo's depiction of the trials and tribulations of British culture through twenty-something year old eyes. The duo are both songwriters who produce tracks out of their Denham based studio which their dad built for them back in 2019 and which allowed them to work throughout the various lockdowns. EYK have had a rapid rise to success in a short space of time and their latest release Radio is set to add to that. We got to catch up with the pair and talk about all things music, football and FIFA.
Where did this journey all begin?
Rhys - To be honest it’s so hard to pinpoint an exact time for me. I’ve loved music since I can remember. I used to mess about on my dad's decks when I was younger and then my uncle got me into production. I’ve always written lyrics too. But I guess the journey really began once I realised I could sing/rap at about 16. Once I recorded my first vocal that was it.. There was no looking back.
Harvey - I began DJing at a very early age using my dad's decks so I guess that’s where it all began in terms of music being a hobby and passion, but before that music was almost inescapable growing up, everywhere I went someone seemed to be playing tunes.
What did you listen to growing up?
Rhys - Yeah all sorts. We were so lucky growing up because our parents and family are big music lovers. My mum was massively into R&B and soul, my dad was a huge hip-hop head and also into jungle and all that scene, my stepmum (Harvs mum) was really into her vocal house and my step dad was a big Brit pop and 80’s lover. We also used to live with my uncle (the one who got me into production) and he was a massive garage fan and really into the UK hip-hop scene as well. So everywhere I went I felt like I was just discovering new sounds. Plus on top of that you’re discovering new artists on top of that. So growing up I literally used to listen to everything and anything.
Harvey - I was raised on mainly hip-hop but pretty much everything would get played in our house, both my parents are massively into garage and lived through the rave scene so all those tunes would get played a lot.
It feels like after a difficult 15 months for everybody, we’ve finally reached the point of what you talk about in Just for the Times. How does this feel for you both?
Rhys - It feels good. Just to have a little bit of ‘normality’ back is nice ya know. To be able to see your friends and family without any real restrictions is great. I’ve been to a couple of festivals over the last couple of weeks as well and to hear live music in a crowd of people again is just unreal. I can’t wait to be back doing our own shows.
Harvey - Again, it feels great. It feels amazing to be back out amongst it all, going out raving, not worrying about social distancing and what not.
Do you believe there’s a link between music and football? If so, does it link to the music you make in anyway?
Harvey - I do yeah! I think music brings people together in the same way football does where people from all walks of life come together to support their favourite team or band/dj/artist etc…
Brothers supporting different teams. How did this happen?
Rhys - It was a weird one growing up, because my old man was a QPR fan, my uncle supported Stoke, my step dad was a big United fan, his old man was Leeds and my Grandad was Sheffield United. Also all of my mums family are Irish, so a lot of them support Liverpool or follow Celtic. So there was no real ‘family’ team for me when I was young. I think Becks probably had a big influence on me supporting United and also my step dad had endless amounts of tapes of all the old United games that I used to watch on repeat. Players like Cantona, Ince, Hughes, Bruce etc. So that played a big part in it too.
Harvey - All my family are QPR, and grew up around the area so I didn’t really have much choice.
You were both playing FIFA in lockdown against fans to keep people entertained which is really great. Your track ‘She Don’t Dance’ was a part of FIFA 20. How exciting was it to receive this news?
Rhys - That was real childhood dream stuff. I’ve played that game since I can remember, so to be a part of it was honestly bucket list material! All of my boys were properly gassed about it too. Fingers crossed we are on it again, cos slapping the game on and hearing your tune is a great feeling!
Harvey - This was one our best achievements to date, growing up, buying FIFA year in, year out, it was a proper bucket list moment for us and one I’ll never forget.
What’s your favourite ever footballing memory?
Rhys - We were invited to play at Vicarage road the other day with the Soccer AM lads. So playing on a Premier League football pitch was another dream come true. But on top of that I managed to bag 4 goals. So although that was only recently that’s hands down my favourite footballing memory. One of my favourite days ever..
Harvey - QPR v Derby in the playoff final, that was unreal. The euro’s this year are up there as well.
What are your predictions for United and QPR this year?
Rhys - Well we’ve got off to a great start, but there’s still a very long way to go. I think we’re gonna do well and I think we can compete with the likes of City, Liverpool and Chelsea this season. I don’t think we quite have the squad depth City and Chelsea do but we have an exciting squad now that play like they want to win. So I’m not saying we will win it by any means, but I think we’ll definitely be amongst it.
Harvey - I think playoffs is on the cards for us this year. Realistically I don’t think we’ll win the league but we’re definitely good enough to be challenging for it. There’s a buzz amongst the fans and around QPR again which is good to see. As for united, I think they’ll be wanting the win the title and rightly so, they have a great team and made some great signings, that said if Ole doesn’t win a major trophy this season it wouldn’t surprise me if they let him go, he’s had enough time and now has the talent.
What’s the influence behind your latest single Radio?
Radio was really heavily influenced by the late 90’s/early 2000’s garage scene. Both the lyrics and beat. It was another tune we made with Joy Anonymous and as soon as we got in the studio together the lyrics and melodies came out so naturally. For us it feels like party tune on our next project.
We have loads lined up now that I’m really excited about. We have our EP ‘Just For The Times’ dropping on 1st October, as well as going back on tour in November. After the last year and a bit it feels great to be releasing a real big body of work and hitting the road again.
Photography: Jonathan Tomlinson