Bonobo’s rise has been stealthy but unstoppable, and Simon Green, the man behind it all, is now one of the biggest electronic artists of our time. 2017’s Migration album was his biggest yet, achieving a Top 5 position in the UK and nominated for best Dance/Electronic album at The GRAMMY’s, cementing his breakthrough in America.
It all began in the southern English countryside, perhaps appropriately for someone whose music often has pastoral undertones. Si's upbringing was rustic, first in Hampshire, before gravitating towards Brighton. The open-minded music scene there was the perfect place for his fertile creativity.
It was here that he met Amon Tobin, who he watched and learned from in the studio. He also hooked up with Rob Luis, a DJ mainstay in the town, and Will Holland aka Quantic. The three of them started a club night called Phonic:Hoop. Rob signed Si's first productions to his Tru Thoughts label. The dreamy first single “Terrapin” caught people's imagination far and wide. Not long after his debut album “Animal Magic” (2000) he was signed to the larger Ninja Tune and the steady ascent continued with the release of the albums “Dial ‘M’ For Monkey” (2003) and “Days To Come” (2006).
He and his gradually expanding band began touring bigger and bigger venues across the world, including multiple trips to America, where he now resides, in Los Angeles. The release of the album “Black Sands” (2010) was a milestone. A record of epic reach and massive emotional pull, all held together by Si’s understanding of composition and arrangement of live instruments as well as his mastery of the bleeding-edge techniques of the digital age. It was progressive, absorbing developments of the dance scenes around him, his sound had matured yet further.
Next came the rich and resonant album “The North Borders” (2013). Big names were lining up to work with him, with Erykah Badu providing vocals on ‘Heaven For A Sinner’. The tour for the album climaxed with the gigantic show in London's Alexandra Palace – a tour which would see him going around the world for three years solid and play to two million people. The big picture has been one of slow and steady growth, as evidenced by the fact that the Migration Tour in 2018 saw Bonobo play a further two sold out nights at Alexandra Palace. Other recent live highlights include headline festival slots at Sonar, Lovebox, a main stage performance at Coachella, a sold out Red Rocks performance and debut live South American tour.
Si Green might profess to have outstripped his own goals and being very contented with his success, but another chapter of the Bonobo story has begun, and you can bet on it containing as much excitement and constant exploration as everything he's done up until now.