Who Is Ezra Koenig? New Details About Rashida Jones' Boyfriend — And Their Surprise Pregnancy!

He's a jack-of-all-trades.

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If you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, you’ve probably never heard of the band Vampire Weekend. This Grammy Award winning rock band was formed in 2006 and is currently working on their fourth studio album, with three critically-acclaimed albums already released.

People may recognize frontman Ezra Koenig for his vocals and world music influence with Vampire Weekend’s songs, but what they may not know is that he’s much more than an accomplished musician. He's also a new father! A few months ago, he and his girlfriend, actress Rashida Jones, welcomed their first child together, though apparently, they're very good at keeping a secret. Hardly anybody knew she was even pregnant! 


So, just who is Ezra Koenig? Here are 7 things to know.

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1. He’s a musician.

Ever since he was young, Koenig has been into music, and many of the artists he heard growing up greatly influenced him. In an interview with Vulture back in 2014, he said, “My dad is a massive music fan, so even just growing up in the house, he was buying new cool music, up through when I was born. So I was very familiar with the Ramones, Run DMC, Blondie — core New York music. My parents would often play the Ramones song, ‘We’re a Happy Family,’ so I remember when I was 9 or 10, learning the lyrics and trying to understand.”


As Koenig entered into high school, his tastes shifted a bit, though: “I had some older friends who were really obsessed with hip-hop, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest. There’s something about Midnight Marauders; it feels like a late night in the city album.”



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During college, he worked on multiple music projects, forming the band The Sophisticuffs with Wes Miles of the band Ra Ra Riot. He then formed the rap band L’Homme Run with Andrew Kalaidjian and future Vampire Weekend band mate Chris Tomson. Koenig also worked as an intern for the indie band The Walkmen.

Finally, in 2005, Koenig formed Vampire Weekend, an alternative rock band. He met his band mates at Columbia University, playing their first show in 2006 “at a battle of the bands in a campus basement.” Eventually, they appeared on the cover of Spin before even releasing an album! By 2008, they released their first eponymous album, appearing on Saturday Night Live, playing for 40,000 fans at Glastonbury Festival in England, and selling nearly half a million albums.


2. He created his own cartoon.

In addition to being a talented musician, he also created the animated comedy series Neo Yokio, which is available on Netflix. He wrote and produced this cartoon “about a depressive, demon-slaying playboy voiced by Jaden Smith.”

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Koenig said that the show is not traditional anime: “First of all, out of respect for true anime, I've always called Neo Yokio ‘anime-inspired’ — it's a hybrid. But I've always been a fan of anime, and I always wanted to do something that was kind of an homage to it. Maybe a loving parody. Initially the people I was working with thought I should be the voice of the main character, but I was, like, ‘I just spent seven years being the frontman of something, using my voice all the time. What I need right now is to slip into the background of something.’”

3. He’s worked on music for other artists.



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In 2016, he received a Grammy nomination for his work on Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” album, credited as a writer on the song “Hold Up.” He also composed and produced the song “My One” on Lily Allen’s album “No Shame,” and worked as a composer, instrumentation, and primary artist on Chromeo’s album “White Women.”


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4. He’s a former teacher.

After graduating from Columbia University with a degree in English literature, he taught eighth grade English through Teach For America in Brooklyn, New York. He’d often bring his guitar to class and his former students described him as a laid-back teacher who knew how to communicate and bond with them. He taught until the fall of 2007 when he got a record deal with XL Recordings.

5. He hosts his own radio show.



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He hosts a radio show called Time Crisis on Apple Music, which features himself and notable guest stars, discussing news topics, rock music, politics, and other miscellaneous subjects. His guests have included Mark Ronson, Jamie Foxx, James Corden, Jonah Hill, and even girlfriend Rashida Jones! Since 2015 when the show aired, he’s had 67 episodes.


6. He’s appeared on many albums for a variety of artists.

In addition to composing music for others, he’s also lent his vocals to bands like Discovery, The Very Best, Theophilus London, Chromeo, Major Lazer, SBTRKT, and was featured on “I Promise You” by James Corden for the film Peter Rabbit. He also appeared in the music video “Boys” by Charli XCX.

7. He just welcomed his first child.



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Surprise! Apparently, he and Rashida Jones welcomed their first child together some time ago, though the couple never revealed this news! Jones gave birth to their child “a few months ago,” and debuted her baby bump in March at the Vanity Fair Oscar party in Beverly Hills. The couple has been together for two years, but have never confirmed their relationship.

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Samantha Maffucci is an associate editor for YourTango who focuses on writing trending news and entertainment pieces. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.