Holy Crap -- Kongos' "Come with Me Now" Goes Platinum

Categories: Local Wire


With apologies to Andrew Jackson Jihad, there's no doubt Kongos is the hottest musical export Phoenix has created in years, and we have the news to prove it.

Their smash hit "Come with Me Now" has now gone platinum, meaning digital sales of the song have exceeded one million.

What was the last time a Phoenix artist went platinum? Jordin Spark's self-titled debut received the certification in 2007, though her sound isn't homegrown in the way Kongos is. Nate Ruess' fun. has two platinum songs, but Ruess had abandoned the Valley by the time of the certification. Dierks Bentley's first two records, Dierks Bentley (2003) and Modern Day Drifter (2005), both went platinum, as did Michelle Branch's first two records, The Spirit Room (2001) and Hotel Paper (2003). But the most recent one might be Lindsey Stirling, whose 2012 self-titled debut topped a million in sales.

Kongos has come a long way from playing shows at Lost Leaf. The band has made national television appearances, performed in prime-time slots at major festivals, and toured the country as proud headliners, mainly on the tremendous success of "Come with Me Now."

Not bad for a song released in 2011.

If the band has any tips to share on how to get a three-year-old song on national radio, I'm sure other local musicians would love to hear.

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How'd they do it?  No problem.  The keyboard player's father John had a hit or two years ago, and he had some industry connections.  These guys recorded this one, brought it here from South Africa (where their connections were getting them some otherwise-unattainable opening spots for big touring acts), and then activated an industry/promoter connection to get the track some airplay on hit radio in Chicago and Denver (in exchange for promotional spending only, mind you...).  After 30 - 40 spins a week in those markets, it racked up a lot of "Shazam" hits -- on that basis, the record company came calling, put more money in, and blew it up as only a record company's budget (and near-exclusive access to Clear Channel, Cumulus, etc. stations) can.  This was no miraculous "local boys hit it big" miracle story.  It was an inside job, as they nearly all are these days.

Ruben Cota
Ruben Cota

Their song is in the new borderlands pre-sequel trailer

Paul Wetzel
Paul Wetzel

Local? I didn't realize that Phoenix was in South Africa.

Adam Piontkowski
Adam Piontkowski

I would consider them more of a Rogue/Sail Inn/Last Exit Live band than a Lost Leaf band, did they play there?


Apparently, the trick is to get Beef Vegan to play you on TMI.  He's the only reason anyone knows who KONGOS are.

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