Party for one at Splendour
IT'S the early hours of the morning and you are riding free on a bicycle.
When Kele Okereke described his idea behind his nearly finished book, what he has spent the past 12 months working on as he barricades himself in his New York City apartment, it seemed almost autobiographical.
While the other members of famed indie rock band Bloc Party take time off, Kele moved from London to New York in search of a new creative direction.
He said he felt like he “had to get out of London” and was in “two minds”, and those have translated to his newly released indie dance tracks and a book of short stories.
Kele teamed up with producer XXXChange to release his first solo electronic album, The Boxer, and he is now strictly trying to finish his book, titled Midnight on a Bicycle.
Only a few things can pull him away from this newfound form of writing and the “inspirational” city, and that is performing at festivals.
He will return to Australia again for his second solo tour, this time for this week's Splendour in the Grass as well as side shows in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth in August.
“It's important to be able to perform to people who care, that's what is important to me,” he said.
“There are some things we are toying with right now but we are keeping it under a hat, but I'd expect some surprises for sure.”
Disappointingly though for Bloc Party fans, Okereke blatantly said there were no immediate plans for the band's return.
He slightly stuttered as he dispelled rumours that the band would return in September after almost two years in hiatus.
“Maybe the others are meeting and not telling me. Maybe they are going to issue me with some legal document saying that I have to do stuff in September, that would be interesting,” he half-joked.
“I'm taking each day as it comes, really. We will see. No plans as of yet but we will see.”
For now, Okereke is focused on the tour and finishing his book with the help of the “hustle and bustle” of the city.
“I wanted to go somewhere, either New York or Sydney,” he said.
“I thought I shouldn't come to Sydney, I would have ended up sitting on the beach every day. It (New York) is inspirational, everyone is doing something, and it's a backdrop that is undeniable.”
In the book, he is seeking a new creative endeavour, and he doesn't know what he will do next.
“The best feeling is to find yourself and immerse yourself in something where you don't know the rules and you are trying to work out what the rules are. It's a sense of discovery for me,” he said.
He said the release of his book, hopefully in June, was going to be a “new ground”.
“I'm looking forward to seeing the new ground,” he said.
Okereke will perform at Splendour in the Grass, which runs from July 29 to 31 at Woodford, and side shows in Melbourne on August 2, Sydney on August 3, Adelaide on August 5 and Perth on August 6.