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Photography Isabel MacCarthy, Styling Scruff Studio

Meet Nukuluk, south London’s ‘weird, digital, punky’ hip hop collective

The group discuss the magnetism of Noel Edmonds, their erratic new EP, and whether or not being in a band when you’re over 23 is the most depressing thing you can do with your life

It’s hard to label Nukuluk, but they like it that way. The South London collective – made up of vocalist Monika, bassist Mateo, vocalist and guitarist Syd, synth player Olivia, and drummer Louis – would prefer that you just enjoy the chaos. There’s plenty of it across their discography, with tracks like “Kick Snare” playing out as an abstract aural collage of the unfiltered human psyche, with outbursts of rage, confusion and loneliness. There are moments of intimacy and softness also, found in cyber-ballads that perfectly capture the band’s ability to execute a wide, dynamic range.   

There is something distinctly robotic about Nukuluk’s sound, heard in the glitchy drums, contorted samples and cold soundscapes. Yet Monika’s emotionally charged vocals, paired with their white-hot live sets, show that there is still a very human band putting the pieces together. The band’s new EP SUPERGLUE marks their first extended release since 2021’s Disaster Pop, and sees them at their most experimental yet, mixing live instrumentals throughout alongside their established electronic sound.

The strength of the band comes from its separate and varied contributions. “We’ve been told a few times that we look like five people from totally different scenes that have all come together and are doing the same thing,” Olivia tells Dazed. Each member’s uniqueness is what makes the collective’s sound so eclectic, but also their obvious chemistry keeps things cohesive across their releases. Down below, they tell us more.

How would you describe the sonic landscape of your new EP?

Syd: We hadn’t really been playing live when we made the first EP. With this EP, we made it over the first year of us playing loads of shows and developing that live sound; there were no live drums on the last EP, for example. Our dynamics have shifted a lot more into that, our live show is quite punky sometimes and I think that comes through on the new record in a way that it really didn’t last time. 

What is your approach to playing live? What do you want to translate to the audience when you play live? 

Syd: It’s very theatrical, we go from being super intimate and vulnerable to super high energy.

Louis: That’s what makes [the band] so unique as well, you wouldn’t be able to make this type of music which we’re making with any other person. Everybody is so valued and so important, if we lost a member, it just wouldn’t translate at all. We’re playing with themes that people can relate to, something that people can have an emotional response to.

How would you describe your collective creative practice? 

Mateo: We are an experimental group, and we don’t fit into a genre necessarily, and I don’t think we’re necessarily looking for a home either with that. We want to be able to push around and be in different scenes. One of the things for me that’s so exciting about this project is that we can metamorphose and become this different thing on the next record or in the next video. 

Syd: We don’t have the resources to have a fancy studio, but we are quite adept technologically, so we can make that work in this weird, modern, digital, punky way. 

Olivia: A lot of our production is quite spontaneous and we’re always finding horrible plugins to try and use. 

Monika: There are also some really intentional elements. For me, with lyrics, I spend hours and days chewing over them, it‘s just my writing style. The music aspect, the rhythm and delivery over the beat get to be more spontaneous. Music is a lot like that: there are some things that you chew on for days and hours, you can be really intentional with them, and then maybe they happen in a flash on your first take. 

I got told being in a band when you’re over 23 is the most depressing, pathetic thing you can do with your life’ – Syd

What’s the worst advice you’ve ever been given? 

Olivia: When my cat died, I was crying in Luke’s kitchen and he told me that it was good that I could feel that pain for my cat. He was like “oh, come on man! It’s amazing!” 

Syd: I got told being in a band when you’re over 23 is the most depressing, pathetic thing you can do with your life. 

Monika: I have a ‘vibe’ of advice: people who are advising you from a place of their own fear and think you can’t tell is the most frustrating thing. 

Syd: Also, don’t swim for half an hour after you eat.

What’s your weirdest internet obsession? 

Syd: Ronnie O’Sullivan. I don’t even like snooker but I just watch stuff to do with Ronnie O’Sullivan. 

Louis: I want to take this time to shout out OnYourComputer. It gave me a lot of joy on YouTube. That’s how Olivia and I became friends.

Monika: I go on Reddit all the time. I just read anything really, [but mostly] people’s relationship problems. I used to be really obsessed with the subreddit Female Dating Strategy. I really spent days and days trying to understand it.

Olivia: I like the five great mass extinctions, and I really like going on maps on my phone and zooming in and finding my favourite mountains.

What conspiracy theory are you quite into actually? 

Mateo: Me and Luke used to go on Noel Edmonds’ blog,, and [I remember reading him say] that, when you get the little orbs in pictures from light streaks, it was apparently an alien species invading Britain. 

Syd: Noel Edmonds is the greatest conspiracy theory that ever happened.

Olivia: I’m quite into Graham Hancock, the guy who has that Netflix show, Ancient Apocalypse. He starts it by saying ‘I am not a scientist!’ and then it goes downhill from there.

Monika: I read that dinosaurs were made up and the explanation was that the dinosaur toy industry is huge, so they are protecting their profit. 

Any recurring dreams? 

Louis: When I was younger I used to have two, one of them was being chased by a swarm of cyborg wasps and the other one was like the Goonies.

Mateo: I’ve been friends with this pig for as long as I can remember. At the end of the dream, the pig and I are frolicking around, then I climb up to the top of the barn and look down on it and a fox comes in and bites the pig’s nose. It gets crazy graphic and fucked up, and then I wake up in a cold sweat and I’m like “what the hell has happened!?”

Noel Edmonds is the greatest conspiracy theory that ever happened’ – Syd

What would be your funeral song? 

Louis: If I were the first one to go, I’d like a four-piece Nukuluk performance.

Mateo: This George Clinton song called “Super Spirit” – it’s really upbeat. 

Syd: I’d go with “Blank Expression” by The Specials because it’s just so fucking jolly.

Monika: I would go with “Soldier On” by Richard Hawley, which is one of my favourite songs ever. It’s really sad. 

Olivia: Silence. I’d make it noise-cancelling in there.

What adjective would you least like to be described as? 

Syd: Zany.

Olivia: Spunky.

Monika: Derivative.

Mateo: Scaly.

Louis: Reptilian.

If you could only listen to one musician for the rest of your life, who would it be? 

Louis: Beach Boys.

Syd: Ryuichi Sakamoto.

Monika: Gil Scott-Heron.

What fictional character do you most relate to and why? 

Monika: I really like Gorō Inogashira in The Solitary Gourmet. It’s just a guy that works alone and so he always has lunch in weird places. I have a day job and I don’t like my colleagues, so I just go to random places and have my lunch alone and just think really hard about food and its intersection with life. Love that guy.

SUPERGLUE is out now.

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