Producer, Ben Dabson and Guitarist, Dafydd Dabson, formed Codewalkers in 2016 when they recruited vocalist Seun Babatola to provide a message to their music. The trio were joined in 2018 by Bassist Chay Lockyer and Drummer Aled Lloyd.
A heady sunshine infused conoction of rock, rap and reggae ingredients. Featuring a mix of live and electronic instruments, their sound moved from catchy reggae hooks to hip-hop grooves. Often drawing on his childhood experiences in Nigeria, lyricist Seun Babatola can cover serious issues in his writing – gender, violence, societal expectations – but the music is always full of life and energy. It makes you dance, it makes you think. With their roots in Cardiff they reflect the multicultural spirit of the city. Vocalist Seun says of the hooky skank of their recent single ‘Part of the Pride’: ‘This track simply reminds you that every problem you faced brought you to where you are now, and that no matter how alone you sometimes feel, you are still part of someone’s pack, someone’s pride. Even if that pride is just a bunch of music junkies twerking at the club or smashing through the mosh pit.’
We sent Codewalkers our 20 Questions:
Hi, how are you today?
Daf: Good thanks. Ready to answer some questions!
How did the band meet?
Daf: Ben and I met Seun through a previous band and I played with Aled a bit at uni. Most of us didn’t know Chay before he joined but thankfully he’s turned out to be a great guy!
Where did your band name come from?
Ben: We were a bit stuck for a while and then Seun suggested that you can stick anything after the word ‘code’ and it will sound pretty cool, so we did!
How do most of your songs start life?
Daf: When it was just the three of us it’d be mostly an instrumental by Ben that we would write to or occasionally something I’d done but now Aled and Chay are throwing ideas in too, which is great. Seun mostly comes up with lyrics on the spot, it’s pretty ridiculous really.
What inspires your songs?
Ben: Mostly fire I think, Seun likes fire.
What was you first release?
Ben: Street Philosophy. Biggidy Bo!
Vinyl, CD, Download or stream?
Chay: All of them.
Ben: Stream I guess because of the accessibility, but you can’t beat having some of your favourite records on Vinyl
What’s the best cover version you have ever heard?
Chay: KC Roberts and the Revolution’s version of Uptown Funk
Seun: Obadiah Parker’s ‘Hey Ya’
With the close of Gwdi hw and Buffalo bar, do you think the local music scene needs to be protected?
Daf: Absolutely, these places are so important to cultural life in Cardiff.
What are your favourite local artists?
Chay: MADI, Chroma, DJ Veto.
Tell us about your new single?
Seun: The new track’s called Part Of The Pride and it’s out now! Breaking chains and making moves is a common theme across the musical spectrum, because everybody has faced some sort of struggle.This track reminds you that every problem you faced brought you to where you are now, and that no matter how alone you sometimes feel, you are still part of someone’s pack, someone’s pride.
What would be your dream collaboration?
If you weren’t doing this what would you be doing?
Seun: Walking the streets with my lyric book, shouting the contents at strangers.
What five albums would you choose to take with you to a desert island?
Seun: Fugees- The Score. Fela Kuti – Anthology. Skunk Anansie – Stoosh. Erykah Badu-Baduizm. Sneaker pimps – Becoming X
What’s the best record you heard recently?
Ben: I’ve been digging Count Me In By Rebelution recently. Nothing like roots reggae music.
Labour or Tory?
Chay: Neither thanks.
Leave or Remain?
Should Wales be independent?
Chay: If it wants to.
Are you playing any festivals/shows this summer?
Daf: We’re booking dates now. Details coming soon!
What are your future plans?
Daf: We shot a couple of live videos before Christmas so they’re gonna be coming very soon. Otherwise, gig more and release more music!
Seun: Make music, make more music, speak to people, write more lyrics, change the world one word at a time.