Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke Is Just Getting Started

In an Advocate cover interview, Okereke sets the record straight, so to speak.




The new Bloc Party album and another writing project are his priorities now. “I’m writing a book at the moment, a book of short stories set in New York, and it’s been my main preoccupation for the last year,” he says. “And I’m noticing now that we’re assembling the record that a lot of those ideas I was exploring in the book have bled into the record, lyrically at least. I don’t know if the book will ever see the light of day, but I’m enjoying doing it. It’s almost finished.”

As Kele, he released the EP The Hunter late last year. His solo projects have been “a brilliant experience,” and though he’s not sure what form they’ll take, there’s more to come. But he’s keeping specific plans, if there are any, to himself: “I don’t know what the future is going to be with Bloc Party, but I do know being creative is part of my blood. It’s part of me, and I’ll be very surprised if there’s not another album in me.”

New York, where he’s been living for the past year, has been invigorating, he says. “I’ve been able to have a very Bohemian lifestyle, just writing and walking slowly around and seeing what there is, in a city that’s probably the most intense, work-driven city on the planet. I’ve been able to witness or observe a way that people interact completely removed from the situation. And I’ll never forget this time.”

But maybe there’s a bit of downtime awaiting him after the new album and a tour. “Part of me is thinking that I need to just do nothing for a while, just be still for a while, because I won’t be for the next year and a half.” And that’s the truth.