Indie king Ezra Koenig and actor-rapper Jaden Smith finally released the trailer for their collaborative work “Neo Yokio,” a Netflix-produced anime. Yeah, we weren’t expecting this either.
Koenig & Smith
Ezra Koenig rose to fame as the lead vocalist of New York-based indie bandVampire Weekend with Rostam Batmanglij, Chris Baio, and Chris Tomson. Their last album, Modern Vampires of the City, won a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album in 2014 and have been in preparing for the release of their next LP. Earlier last year, Batmanglij announced his departure from Vampire Weekend but continued his contributions to the fourth record.
The oldest Smith offspring, Jaden made a name for himself with “The Pursuit of Happyness,” a touching film co-starring his dad Will Smith. From there, he moved on to “The Karate Kid” and “After Earth” while focusing on music. He currently has two mixtapes out: “The Cool Cafe Cool Tape Vol. 1” and “Cool Tape Vol. 2”. Check out “Offering,” my favorite track of his, up on Nostalgic Jams:
In 2015, Koenig tweeted a photo with Smith with the caption “things are bubbling in the sea beneath 14th street.” They kept mum about their collaboration all this time, and we kind of forgot they were working on something. Two years later, they finally dropped their little secret: “Neo Yokio.”
A play on the name of New York, Koenig describes “Neo Yokio” as a “postmodern collage of homages to classic anime, English literature and modern New York fashion and culture.” The series stars Smith as Kaz Kaan, the youngest offspring in a family of “magistocrats.” His character receives the gift of demon-slaying but Kaan instead focuses on his personal life, more specifically, the end of his relationship.
Production IG and Studio Deen signed on to create the anime along with guest voices from Jude Law, Jason Schwartzman, Steve Buscemi, and more. Even if Koenig’s only penned as a creator, we’re crossing our fingers for a few episode guestings. “Neo Yokio” drops on September 22, exclusively on Netflix. Happy binge watching!