Digital Talent: Kokokaka
You can thank a Carribean Calypso artists named Choke Choke for the strange name of Swedish digital production shop Kokokaka. "We played in the same band," says founder/creative director Jimmy Herdberg. "He was trying to teach me to play reggae on a synthesizer." During one session Choke began to wave his hands up and down, screaming, "You gotta bubble, like this! Ko-Ko-Ka-Ka-Ko-Ko-Ka-Ka," recalls Herdberg. Seven years later, the sound's still stuck in his head?and on the door of his shop.
The name means various things in different languages?in Indonesia it translates to "brother and sister," for example?but in the global digital media community, Kokokaka represents some of the finest interactive productions of recent years. The shop partnered with Forsman & Bodenfors on the award-winning "Dream Kitchens" websites, as well as other sophisticated online efforts for Volvo and Telenor. Like its name, the company itself has sonic roots. When it was founded in 2001, "it was all quiet on the web," Herdberg says. "Markus [Hasselblom, music director] and I had played music together and thought it was time to put sound on the music to the internet. That became the core of Kokokaka." With the advent of broadband, the company expanded its skillset, bringing in talents to cover all facets of the media spectrum: sound, music, animation, design and, perhaps most important, tech. "We create prototypes, animatics, calculate framerates, lengths of movies," says Herdberg.
Kokokaka's skills are so impressive that F&B web director Mathias Appelblad once described the company's talents to Creativity as no less than "complete geniuses." Since its founding, the shop has grown from three to 10 members and continues to evolve its processes alongside the industry's growing demands. "We need to experiment a lot," Herdberg says. "We try to be the opposite to the web and seek ideas beyond the technology. We never think of the technical limits when creating ideas."
Why do you think Sweden is such a hotbed of digital creativity?
Herdberg: It's cold nine months a year, so we have to be inside working all day. We are also good at collecting other ideas, combining them and refining them to create something new, hopefully.
What is the one piece of technology or software that you can't live without?
Herdberg:My stopwatch is fantastic! Flash is also an amazing progam. I'm still programming Actionscript everyday.