Straight into 2016, we got a hit of freshness from our new friend in the UK, that is ‘Kidd Kool’. Kidd has a very unique blend of garage and techno for his signature sound, and being based in the UK naturally influenced his sound with the local flavors. Lets get to know him a bit!
What is the first thing you want anyone reading to know about Kidd Kool?
Taking my music very seriously, I have to work in such an environment that sets my mind free to accomplish what I love. With this in mind, almost every track I produce is done in my underwear. Accompanied by a nice cup of Yorkshire tea of course.
Is there any music that stuck with you from your childhood? Any tunes you still can’t get out of your head?
Of course and what a brilliant question. Yes, I could go on for days talking about music from my childhood. On almost all my baby videos I have something musical around me wether that be a microphone in my hand from a karaoke machine or a keyboard in the background. Music was a huge part of growing up for me. My most favourite tracks would have to be Vibe by R.Kelly and Fresh by Kool & The Gang. Its safe to say that my dad introduced me to very funky music from an early age.
When you mention the UK in the same sentence as anything musical, it gets a nod in almost every genre, why do you think the UK is so infamous for its contribution to the music world?
This is an hard one, and to be totally honest I don’t know. As an individual, I could actually listen to anything really regardless of where it came from in the world. I try not to get caught up too much with this type of thing, I just really appreciate the beauty of sound.
Have you lived in South Yorkshire all your life? What was it like growing up there? Were your friends and family into music as much as you? Were you encouraged?
Yes I lived here all of my life, apart from when I moved out to go to university. I lived in Leeds, West Yorkshire for 3 years during this period before moving back to my home town. Growing up in South Yorkshire was great. I couldn’t have asked for a better childhood thanks to my amazing mum and dad. I wasn’t ever encouraged to do anything I didn’t want to do as a child and neither was my younger brother. I could go on forever with the countless hobbies I had as a kid. Although my dad is an excellent singer and music was a passion of his he brought me up to believe I could be anything I wanted to be as long as I was happy. He didn’t push me into music but I feel it was firmly embedded within me to become a musician with hearing him sing around the house as a child.
Loving your track ‘Trouble’ – I can’t help but have it bring me back to memories of the Mj Cole Remix of Rodney P’s Trouble, very similar (not just in name) but the ‘bumpyness’ of it – the groove, oh it’s good! Are either of those artists of any inspiration?
Thank you for the compliment I appreciate that! Although these guys are brilliant at what they do with music I can honestly say they have not been of any inspiration to my track “Troubles”. I have actually noticed over the years that my music is written based on my mood and current situation in life. At the time I wrote Troubles I was actually going through a bit of a rough time due to being made redundant from my day job (which is good because now I have more time for music). The record was simply a way for me to express my feelings, hence the sample. Troubles! I would say all my music has a similar style or sound but each track differs in personality.
Which UK artists do you most gravitate toward? Who would you most love to do a collab with?
That would have to be Shift Key. The records that guy produces are just insane. His record “Touch” made every hair on my arms stand the first time I heard it.
Now lets ignore borders, world wide, who would you most love to play alongside?
To be honest again, I don’t really have an artists I would most like to play along side. Every one is an equal in my eyes regardless of their status in music. I do however, have people I look up to in the scene like Claude Vonstroke, Shadow Child & Chris Lorenzo. Its a pleasure and a privilege to play along side any DJ that shares the same passion as I do wether that be a close mate in Sheffield or a big international DJ.
Ok, how about from an entirely different genre, if you could feature anyone on a track, who has the golden voice (or skill) that you’d dream of seeing on an LP with your name on it?
Adam Levine, Maroon 5’s lead singer. His voice is just so distinct and I love that within music. It would be an honour to have him on a record.
As soon as we push play, the garage influence in your music shines through, is that something you aim for with your sound or is that a byproduct of your surroundings?
Yes thats correct, its definitely a byproduct of my surroundings mixed with what I have grown up listening to. Nothing in my music is forced, its simply my personality translated into sound. In my home town of Sheffield garage music is the sound of the city so of course this will play its part in my style as well. When I was a teenager and i was first allowed by my parents to go into the city with my friends, all we did was go around record stores looking for vinyls to play on our decks at home. Most of the records I purchased was garage from my favourite store Studio Beatz which has now sadly closed down.
Tell us about the techno side of things, how does that come into play? What got you into techno?
I honestly don’t know. I think Its mainly because i noticed a change in the speed of the tracks getting played in my hometown. Again my music became a byproduct of this occurrence as I gradually adjusted to this change. Dj’s here played a local genre called Speed Garage at around 135-140BPM but then this slowed down dramatically. I think this along with current trends online sparked me to try and adapt to the sound you hear me produce now. The music industry is constantly changing here in the UK and genre trends are passing rapidly. Techno is noticed globally so I feel that this was the best decision I could make for myself. Adapting to this genre allowed me to concentrate on a single style of music instead of many.
You certainly are true to melodic basslines, much of your work has wicked LFO automation, can you talk a bit about what is your workflow process is like when starting with a fresh track?
Thanks, Yes sure. The most fundamental part for me when starting to write a track is obviously laying down a good beat to start off the creative process. Having some sort of vocal or sample to work from is also key for me. From then on, I don’t have any strict rules or ways of doing things as I feel it really restricts me. The most important lesson I learnt from my grandfather was to “Always tek thih time”(Yorkshire Accent). This along with experimentation and perseverance delivers my sound. As for the melody, there is no way on earth I could begin to tell you how I come up with them. They just happen. Like I mentioned before, I was listening to funky music from a very young age so I think that part of me is just firmly embedded within. My close friends & girlfriend say I have a cheeky personality. All I do when I make a beat is try to let that shine through.
The vintage Esque microKorg synth gets big love from you, what brought this hardware into your possession?
I stayed up watching videos on youtube all night one time. I saw an incredible musician using one and making the lead synths bend and stuff. I instantly fell in love with the sounds so I went down to the local music store to check one out for myself. I was hooked to the sounds it created so I just had to buy one. I didn’t realise it was gonna break my bank as much until I got to the checkout. But I was a music tech student, we do crazy things and i didn’t mind living on baked beans & chicken nuggets for a year!
What is a music production trick you have learned which you think would benefit most producers knowing?
I don’t think there is any tricks at all in terms of what I do. The main bit of advice I could give to anyone who enjoys my music though is to just experiment as much as possible. If you spend a day just making your drum kit or a bass pattern then thats totally fine. Never be scared to try something new with your music and just be yourself. Listen to someones else’s music and take inspiration to make your own. Dont listen to someone else’s music and try to mimic what they create because all your doing is producing a byproduct of them. Originality is vital and dont over complicate things!
The BBC has their eye on you, that is wicked! Much respect for that and hey it’s well earned! How have you felt about your quick rise in the scene?
Thank you very much I appreciate that. I don’t know how I feel really its overwhelming. I don’t really make music with things like that in mind initially but of course every producer wants to have their music heard. I do set myself targets and this was one of them. I just never thought I would have achieved this goal so early on and for that I will be forever grateful.
Go on! Is mum proud!?
I really hope so. I know i’m not super rich financially or anything but I find happiness in making my music and I know thats enough for my mum.
What countries would you most like to perform in or see your sound reach more people in?
Anywhere I am welcome. I will always have time for the people who listen to my music. Its so amazing that people appreciate what I do. I just need a good agent to help me find my feet with that side of things. Wink! Wink!
We can’t talk about your music without nodding our heads to the graphic artwork that comes with it! Please point us to some LP presses with it featured! Who does the artwork? How did you come onto its style? Huge props for it!
Thanks, but I really cant take credit for the artwork. Thats down to my childhood best friend Marcus a.ka Marcus Method (Facebook: www.facebook.com/
Unfortunately, I don’t have any physical releases out yet as my alias is relatively new. Hopefully one day those nice colourful sleeves will be on the shelves in record stores though.
If we need a high dose of Kidd Kool, what’s the best place to find you online?
My soundcloud, everything I feel is good to go gets uploaded there. You can check that out at the following link: www.soundcloud.com/itskiddkool
Also you can connect with me via my Facebook page. Its nice to talk to the people who listen to my music. All of my social media links can be found on my soundcloud.
Your music is refreshing. You have made it your own and that’s something we really like about you. We know it’s a Kidd Kool tune within seconds of hitting play! Thanks for your time and we’ll be sure to keep our ears tuned to the sound of Kidd Kool!
Thank you so much for taking time to listen to my records and no problem at all it was a pleasure! Have a great year guys!