Most of the artists that have transcended to other borders have a reputation for being bizarre. The eccentric ones make wonderful and creative music, and I think this will be the case of our interviewee KenKode. Discover more about this enigmatic character and his Electronica project down here!
1 – How did you learn to produce music?
I started doing music fifteen years ago, a dear friend taught me the basics and then I continued alone as self-taught. I continued using virtual instruments until 2009, then I started designing my music with analog machines. I had discovered a way to make my music sound more organic and improved its quality. It was also more exciting because I started applying the effects normally used for punk and rock music such as distortion pedals and heavy analog compressors. The result was a completely new, dirty and aggressive sound that contradicts Cyberpunkers and naturally evolved into KenKode.
2 – How would you describe your musical style?
It’s a hybrid of so many genres of music and moods. There’s a lot of 90’s electronic and indie rock. In the past it was characterized by a few stems but enormous, now it’s still huge but more complicated, totally not involved in the sound or metric standardization. The atmospheres are almost dark, bizarre and melancholic but at the same time full of energy. Distorted synths and heavy compressions are always present in my tracks. I don’t like trends, my tracks are always the result of my strong emotions translated into music as it should be if you have respect for music.
3 – What is your favorite electronic track of all time?
I’ve been feeding on The Prodigy, Bjork, and the old Daft Punk stuff but there is no track in particular that comes to my mind. In the last two years, I listen a lot to Lorn and Tobacco. They are a source of inspiration for me.
I did not leave Cyberpunkers. After 10 years of madness, we decided to take a break just for the musical productions. We’re still doing shows. I have decided to launch KenKode because for a long time I felt the need to explore new sounds and horizons without having any kind of filter and with a fresh eye.
5 – How long did it take you to make your new Electronica track “MK Ultra”?
In order to be able to create my sound, I spent a big amount of time focusing on sound design with my analog synthesizers and drum machines. I spent about a year to create a personal big present library that I’m using today to create the future tracks of KenKode. When I do a track, the longest part of my work is dealing with finding the right atmosphere through the bassline and melodies that I have in mind. Once I’ve done this I deal with the rest accordingly. All this process takes something like two weeks.
6 – Where did you get the vocal samples? Can you tell us more about it?
The “MK Ultra” sample comes from a real testimony during a process of a victim who has undergone mind control experimentation during the 60’/70′ in the USA. there is a lot of this material on the net especially on the Deep Web.
7 – Do you think is it possible to control people’s mind with music?
Absolutely yes. It has been happening every day since a long time. Music in its primordial form is a state of being and it’s a 360 degree show for the listener. Especially if the artist accompanies his music with hot performances. Sometimes the listener suffers a kind of “falling in love” state that may result in the obsession that motivates him to reason in a certain way, especially in younger subjects. Yes, it mind controls but however, this is out of our control as musicians.
Many artists use drugs to speed up their creativity. I think it to be a huge mistake because in this way we get to make music in a state of over-excitement that in the long-term risks to block creativity and even worst getting to a point in which you can’t do music without being on drugs. If you have the music inside for real you don’t need anything, just to know what you have to do in order to translate your visions into music.
9 – What has been your career highlight?
I spent 10 awesome years in Cyberpunkers. Even if it was an underground project it brought us around the world playing our shows. Fans have given a lot of energy and love in recent years. Maybe we can consider ourselves as one of the chief of Electro movement in Europe from 2009 to 2013 with Crookers, Boys Noize, Justice, EdBanger crew and The Bloody Beetroots. This year we took our first golden disk thanks to the collaboration with the rapper Salmo. I can feel satisfied and I hope to receive some attention also for the new project.
10 – What can we expect from your future releases? Where exactly can we listen to your music?
The future KenKode releases will be grouped in two different styles.
– To Listen saga:
Like “The Primordial Soup” and “MK Ultra” in which I allow myself to go beyond sound or metric standardizations. Bizarre and experimental sounds are the key points. It’s the craziest part of this project.
The frustration of having to follow all the rules created by the market and trends imposed by the system is over.
– To Rave saga:
Powerful tracks, designed for dancefloors. Also with original heavy sounds and a lot of oddities but with much more groove for raving. Almost all the tracks will be released on my creepy label “KK62636”.
You will be able to listen everything on Spotify and SoundCloud, of course also on my socials. Some super bizarre contents will be added soon to discover and interpretate some cryptic information that I’ll divulge from my socials.
Exclusive Interview: Jenna x On Debut Single “When The Party’s Over..”
Jenna x emerges in 2021 with “When The Party’s Over..” which is an incredible debut single that plays equally as well at the party, at the afterparty, or the next morning. Definitely, the best asset is her melodious singing voice. Scroll down and learn more in this exclusive interview.
1 — First of all, how would you describe your sound?
My sound is constantly evolving within Pop, but it’s more cinematic. I envision each of my songs as a scene from a film and try to capture everything that would be there—the temperature of the sunlight, the scent in the air, the city sounds, and the words that are being spoken.
2 — Why did you pick “When The Party’s Over..” as your debut single?
It was the exact type of sound and message that I wanted to release as my debut single. I also think that it’s a good representation of me as an artist because it’s a song that I really tried to be honest with myself about, as well as the other parts of myself that I am revealing, like my inner thoughts, emotions, and philosophies.
3 — Is this song based on a personal experience?
Yes! The party in my song is both literal and figurative—I, like anyone else, have gone to a party or a large gathering just to fill the emptiness I was feeling inside, only to leave with a greater sense of loneliness. I’ve also felt like I have nowhere to go emotionally, which is the figurative part of the song.
4 — What’s your favorite line from it? Why?
The entire chorus is my favorite part, especially the “will there be anyone to watch me die / someone just shows me how to cry” part. I think they really capture the essence of the song and are the parts where I am the most direct with what I want to say. The second half of the chorus is almost like a cry for help you can’t ever let out.
For me, they usually come together but for this song, the lyrics came first. I had a clear idea of what I wanted the song to be about lyrically and then used the melody to fill in the blanks.
6 — Given the situation the world is in at the moment, do you miss partying?
I’m not the type to usually enjoy large parties, but I do really miss gatherings with my closest friends. But who knows—by the time this is all over I might be dying to go to a huge party.
7 — What makes you different from other singers?
I like to think of my music as very visual—I always try to paint a picture with my music and focus on what the music is painting. Each sound is like a color I use to paint the song, and the way they are delivered are the brushstrokes.
I think I had a lot of phases where I was into different types of music and different artists. I grew up listening to singer-songwriters like Stevie Wonder and The Beatles. I was always fascinated with how brilliant and revolutionary their melodies and lyrics were. Later in my teens, I had A Great Big World’s albums on repeat. A part of me is also in love with classical composers, like Elgar and Rachmaninoff. The second movement of Elgar’s Serenade for Strings is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I’ve ever heard.
9 — When you’re not at the studio, how do you usually spend your time?
Usually prepping for studio time! But if I’m not working on music, I’ll watch movies or binge a show. Right now I’m on season 4 of Criminal Minds, and it’s been sucking me in. I’ve also been really busy these days with my new release and everything that goes along with it, but I’ll still find time to video chat with my friends and listen to my favorite albums on repeat.
10 — What are your plans for the upcoming months?
Working! I have an EP coming out in February, so I’m prepping for the release and other music that I’ll release during this year. The upcoming EP is part two of the story of loneliness I started telling with “When The Party’s Over..” and the more colorful, visual part of the story, so I’ll be working a lot on perfecting that. I also hope to be wherever I can be with my music, doing whatever I can to express myself through it.
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Dar.Ra Talks Latest Single And Confirms New Album In 2021 — Interview
Following the release of his latest single “Rise Like The Sun” along with its proper EP, Dar.Ra also plans to drop a new album in 2021. ‘Ballads For The Down-Trodden’ has been confirmed to be out by the end of January. In this exclusive interview, the British artist talks about the recent single, the most important details on the upcoming album, but also his various side projects, which include his own radio show.
1 – Can you reveal to us the name of your upcoming album?
I have two new projects out, a single called “Rise Like The Sun” with 6 killer remixes. One from Columbia and one from Sri Lanka from a killer Producer called Vidula who did the “Lights” remix from the new kinda normal album.
I did the other mixes which have a tribal House feel and an Ambient 6 am Chill Out mix. All mixes have a Sunshine title, from UK Sunshine mix, Indian Sun mix to Australian, Indonesian, USA, and Columbian mix. It’s all about not being dictated too in your time here and “Rising Like The Sun” every day of your life.
The other project is more of an alias back vibe and is a compilation of slower more Ballad type songs that I have had released over the years. I am doing a radio show called The Kusha Deep Radio show which is going out around the world through various Radio outlets and I did this show which featured some of the laid-back tracks I’ve done and I thought it would make a great album of torchlight songs. The album is 12 tracks long and is titled ‘Ballads For The Down-Trodden’ and is out later this month.
I am also working on a new album of songs for the spring with a new single planned for the first quarter of the year release.
2 – Were there specific things that helped you get creative?
I’m always inspired by life, it’s hard not to be unless you shut off from what’s going on around you. Even in the middle of a global pandemic, I had two singles out “Stand Up For The Heroes”, “Rise Like The Sun” and the ‘Whisky n Honey’ EP plus two remixes out. I also started doing a new project which is now syndicated around the world called The Kusha Deep Radio Show, which started off playing tracks that I had out over the past 25 years.
I also started doing a TV show with a Washington DC-based journalist MJ Godfrey which is a cultural review show looking at things happening in the UK and the USA. I’ve also written the next album to follow up on 2019’s ‘New Kinda Normal’. If you stay open to ideas and let them flow it’s a natural vibe for staying creative.
3 – Are you discovering new sounds on this new record?
I explore different sounds all the time, I’m getting known for merging styles and creating new hybrids like Rock Step a vibe that featured on the ‘New Kinda Normal’ album which mixed the elements of Rock and EDM together which you can feel on tracks like “Nightstepper,” “The Beat” and “Heart Shape Pill.” There’s also a genre called Gothic Soul which you can hear on tracks like “The Lights” and “Whisky n Honey.” I was feeling the Latin vibe on “Rise Like The Sun.”
I wanted something uplifting that holds no allegiance to what’s happening in the charts but has a classic Santana vibe mixed with that Gothic style vocal.
The actual record itself is truly global, the mixes and mastering were done all over the world, the drums recorded in Italy, the Horns in Portugal, the rest in the UK. I love that about the technology vibe that you can work with people everywhere now.
4 – How many tracks will there be on the album?
The album ‘Ballads For The Down-Trodden’ has 12 tracks and “Rise Like The Sun” single has 6 mixes on it. The new album will have around 12 tracks on it as well, value for money I say!
5 – What themes will the new album explore?
The new album has some wide themes such as loyalty on a track called “No Time For Tears” which has a cool Rock vibe about it. There’s a track about power struggles with relationships on “Don’t Make Me Beg.” There’s a track about migrants looking for a safe place to call home on “Renegade Serenade.” At the moment, it’s looking very love-oriented in one way or another.
6 – Did you collaborate with other artists?
I do work with other artists when the vibe is right. I’m doing a track with a producer called KDX in the UK, a Deep House kinda groove.
7 – What makes your latest single “Rise Like The Sun” special to listeners?
It’s honest, it’s real and it’s played with passion.
8 – What exciting projects can we expect from your label Kusha Deep Records?
All the above and more.
9 – Can you tell us more about your 2021 tour?
We were supposed to be doing a US tour last year, not sure how things will pan out this year but would be good to get out on the road again for a bit.
10 – The global pandemic forced the music industry to try innovative things. What do you think about private live zoom concerts?
I played Rock the Lockdown back in May and we had a few thousand people all rocking out to the set. I also did a US online tour in the summer which broadcast shows into the venues from my studio. I’ve been doing lots of interviews from Brazil to America, Australia, and the UK online which is ace as you don’t have to drive anywhere. Less hit on the climate and you can hit so many more people with a live stream if it’s set up properly.
Nothing will take the place of a jam in front of people, but I think the live stream is here to say alongside the live gig. I love technology though so it’s all good in my book. Be safe out there and looking forward to partying with you all soon!
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Quickfire Interview With: SOUNDQ
Hailing from Krakow, the cultural capital of Poland, Kuba Kubica aka SOUNDQ carries the flag of innovation when it comes to producing electronic music. The interview below is very clear and gives you a deep insight into his art. Scroll down to read his answers.
1 – You’ve been composing songs since…
Year 2000. The year when computer records got screwed by the two 0s was the year when I started programming a dodgy Korg workstation.
2 – You got involved in the music realm because…
I found it liberating not to have to depict anything. To be able to express what I feel without saying or drawing what it was.
3 – Your sound is…
As incomplete as I am. There’s always at least one element causing some imbalance. You’re never quite sure if it all won’t fall apart.
4 – Your biggest inspiration is…
I am most creative when I’m deadbeat and stressed out. So, in a way, pressure inspires me – or rather makes my creative juices flow faster.
5 – People should listen to your new track “Bad Lot” because…
It offers a glimpse into a complete world – fatalistic, sexy, and dangerous.
6 – If you want to know who SOUNDQ is, listen to the track…
“Bad Lot.” And if you’ve heard it already, give “This Heart” a spin.
7 –Your most memorable career moment so far has been…
Crossing the Ural Mountains in -30 degrees Celsius to play a death metal gig in Jekaterynburg.
8 – Your dream is…
Long forgotten the moment I wake up.
9 – Your next release is called…
“Disco Turista Antifascista.”
That’s a tough one. I’ll go with “My Kingdom” by Future Sound of London.
11 – Your favourite place to write songs is…
I love coming up with ideas when I’m traveling. Not a lot of occasions for that in 2020 though.
12 – If you weren’t an artist, you’d probably be…
An Instagram influencer pretending he’s a XIXth Century French flaneur. All dressed in epoch clothes doing product placement for travel gear and shit.
13 – You’ll only stop making music if…
I don’t think I have it in me to stop.
14 – In a few years, you want to be…
Able to go out without a mask, play gigs, laugh together with large groups of people. Travel to big cities and get lost wandering through them.
15 – What are you doing for the rest of the day?
It’s evening already, so I’m going to be busy writing music till late.
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