Katkano is a new anonymous project from an international touring DJ, who has several successful aliases. Katkano has previously collaborated with rapper/producer Dashius Clay (Kendrick Lamar/Chief Keef/MMG) & UK rapper JMC (Cassidy/Sheek Louch) & has just remixed the debut single from Skyler feat. Snoop Dogg. The first Katkano releases have picked up over 4.5 million streams, DJ support from Steve Aoki, DJ Snake, Zedd, Annie Nightingale…Read this exclusive interview below!
1 – When did you start this music project?
I’ve been DJing & producing music professionally for many years, under several different aliases. I began experimenting with bass music styles in late 2014 & Katkano began in early 2015 & decided to keep this as an anonymous project.
2 – Who were your early passions or influences?
My early influences were legendary artists like Michael Jackson. My father was a big music fan & had a good collection of records, such as: The Rolling Stones, Kraftwerk, Jean Michel Jarre, Yazoo as well as the odd recorded musical, interviews, sound effects and similar. His hi-fi was in many ways his prized possession when I was growing up.
3 – How would you describe your own music style?
These days, my musical style is very diverse. I’ve always been eclectic, yet in my other projects, I felt I got dragged into having a sound & concentrating on just that. As Katkano, I’ve been adamant that the project will be very musically diverse. That may be; trap, future bass, moombahton, hip hop, house or something totally different. Sometimes it may be hard to pin down, but experimentation is the key, I think especially in this time of Internet saturation. You gotta keep the surprises coming! I feel only doing one sound would bore me at this point.
4 – For most artists, originality is first preceded by a phase of learning. What was this like for you?
I spent my teenage years in & out of recording studios, working on various projects. This was back in the time where you needed a room full of equipment to make a good track. Slowly, as technology permitted, I began producing at home, making awful demos, to be honest. Over time, my production improved. My biggest tip for new producers would be to A/B your tracks all the time with some of the biggest tracks around. Don’t feel you have to copy them musically, but use this comparison to gain knowledge on why your tracks may not be hitting the mark.
5 – Have you remixed the debut single from Skyler feat. Snoop Dogg? How did it happen?
Skyler is a cool new pop artist coming out of LA. Snoop is on her debut single. Before that, I’ve done Katkano remixes for rapper producer Dashius Clay (Kendrick Lamar/Chief Keef/MMG) & also for UK rapper JMC (Cassidy/Sheek Louch), plus some original tracks which have picked up awesome DJ & international radio support. I’ve now been approached to remix several very famous acts, which I’m currently working on, plus I’m working on new songs with a couple of them too.
6 – Do you have a musical vision that you haven’t been able to realise for technical or financial reasons?
I definitely would say I have a vision for Katkano. I’ve been lucky in the respect that my other projects have been successful & I’ve toured the world with those. With Katkano, it all feels fresh, new & exciting. I have a totally different vision for this & it’s a lot of fun.
7 – What’s the best advice you’ve ever received from a popular artist?
I think the best piece of advice I’ve had with regards music, actually came from a very well known manager, who said “If you feel your development has hit a glass ceiling, change something major such as your musical style, your image or even your production knowledge until you are moving forward again”. Very good advice!
8 – What’s your creative process to remix a track?
When remixing a track, I always listen to the original mix to hear the artists intention. Then it depends on what individual parts my team have been sent. If it’s a remix for a major label act, we’ll tend to have the full studio mix, that’s everything individually from a single kick drum, to the recordings of different microphones on a choir. If it’s an act on an indie label or smaller, more often than not, we’ll be sent an acapella (just the vocals) and sometimes a few other musical parts. I’ll just decide what to use from there, then start building my own vision for another direction the track can take.
9 – Are you open to collaborations with other DJs? How can they contact you?
I’m always open to collaboration with other producers & DJ’s. I’m actually about to collaborate with a couple of really awesome bass music artists. Best thing to do is get in contact with my manager.
10 – What are your future plans?
We are taking Katkano out on a full US/European tour this year. As this is an anonymous project, I will be in costume. We found an amazing designer, who works on lots of Hollywood movies. He has built a bespoke cat head, with moving jaw & in built fan system, which we’re taking out on tour. Studio wise, I’m producing remixes for some well known acts & I’m in the studio with a World famous pop star working on songs for her new album. Unfortunately, I’m contractually obligated to stay silent on this until it’s officially announced. Should be a busy year. Looking forward to see what else 2016 has in store!