At only 15 years old, UK based producer Kyogi has a pulse on electro music which excels beyond many contemporaries. Resident b3scientist Brian Litwin recently had the chance to chat with the young producer for some insight on his evolution as a musician, forthcoming super secret projects, Usher and more. Check out their conversation below.
B3SCI: Had never heard of your hometown and so I had to look it up. What’s it like in Totnes, Devon, Britain and how is the music scene there?
KYOGI: It’s a pretty town, but a lot of people here have a pretty backward attitude to just about everything. It’s totally riddled with the sort of people who are too scared to admit that some aspects of politics might not actually be bad ideas for fear of it compromising their bohemian, carefree image. Luckily, the music scene here is amazing. My best mate Frank produces house and techno under the moniker Endlines. Obviously I recommend you check his stuff, but I’d honestly be recommending him even if he was some Austrian hermit whom I stumbled across on Soundcloud, his music’s fantastic. Totnes is also home to Alfie and Caleb, better known as Circula and Hanga. These guys have begun making some waves in the wider techno scene, which is well deserved as their tunes are just tooooo much. They’re also two of the core members of the Groundvibes Collective; a local soundsystem who’ve thrown some amazing free parties down here recently. Check it.
B3SCI: How did you get involved with music? Was there a specific path that lead you into the electronic ethos? What lead you to start producing?
KYOGI: I got into producing by complete coincidence really. There was a skating competition at my local skate park, so Frank and I thought we’d go and see what was happening. There were a couple of local guys DJing for the afternoon – Pat and Romek. I had no idea what they were playing at the time, but I remember being completely fascinated by what I was hearing. I now know it was drum n bass, and I suppose I’ve just been into electronic music since that day. I’ve always been musical, I’ve been drumming for years, so I guess learning to produce came naturally after listening to electronic music for a little while. I was making dnb and dubstep initially, and I’m just making what I am now after discovering new genres in Youtube’s ‘related videos’ section, stumbling upon people on Soundcloud, things like that.
B3SCI: Here is a fun fact, you were 3 years old when Usher’s “U Got It Bad” was first released. Your take on it is pretty awesome. Assuming Usher is an influence of yours, who else inspires you to write?
KYOGI: Haha, that song has aged so well! And thanks, I was never too sure about it but a few friends convinced me that putting it up would be a good idea, and sure enough, Fat! wanted to release it.
I’ve always been into the French label Ed Banger; home to Justice, Breakbot, Sebastian, formerly Daft Punk and the late DJ Mehdi. Also, French producer 123mrk is a big inspiration. Closer to home, I’m really enjoying tunes by Bondax, Maribou State and Werkha at the moment. There’s a mysterious American producer called Anthony Ellect whose music I love, and my friend Salute from Austria is putting out some stunning music, I think he’s one of the most consistent producers in the game. Lastly, our styles are very different but my mate Oli, known better as Network, is making the fatttttest house tunes I know of.
B3SCI: Google translate told me that Kyogi or 虚偽 means falsehood or lies. When choosing Kyogi as your name, is that what you were going for or something completely else? Does the name factor into a philosophy behind your music… or music in general?
KYOGI: That one’s actually quite simple, Burial’s Untrue album is one of my favourite records of all time, and Kyogi translates as untrue. It’s something of a homage to him, I guess. I kind of feel like everyone owes something to Burial, this scene wouldn’t have happened without him.
B3SCI: You are getting comparisons to some of the better hot dj/producers out there right now like Disclosure, Ryan Hemsworth and Flume to name a few. Do you see yourself in that same field of young flag bearers of the genre?
KYOGI: Disclosure and Flume are huge influences, Flume in particular, so that’s pretty insane. I guess I’m bound to be lumped into the same category as those guys regardless of my age, because a scene like this has never really happened before, so no one’s really sure what to make of it. Pretty amazing category to be lumped into though, right? I don’t really have much of a say in how people perceive me but I think that I’ve got the same mindset as those guys. Just a kid with too much spare time, making music for the love of music.
B3SCI: If you had a choice to collaborate with any artist out there right now, who would it be with and why?
KYOGI: Probably (would’ve been) Curtis Mayfield. I don’t really need to do much explaining, he just wrote amazing songs and had a brilliant voice. I’d also love to work with a proper UK Hip Hop MC, someone really pioneering and influential, maybe Jehst.
B3SCI: What does the future of electronic music sound like to you? What are you listening to right now and is there anything that we can anticipate inspiring you next?
KYOGI: So many directions it could go! I don’t know how long the current deep house revival will last, but after that, God knows. But, given how much influence Daft Punk have over just about everything, I don’t think a disco comeback is looking too unlikely since the release of Get Lucky. The embarrassing Dad in me would love to see that. I’ve begun working at slower tempos to try and separate myself from the house scene as there are so many mediocre producers trying it now, it’s getting a little difficult to stand out and be taken seriously. I can see a lot of other producers also dropping the bpm by 10 and getting a bit funkier. Take Armeria for instance, he’s started doing this low slung, dusty, 110bpm slo-mo underwater funk thing, and it’s insane. If every producer starts doing something a little different to the next man, then the future of British bass music is sounding very nice indeed.
B3SCI: Can you tell us about some upcoming projects or releases that fans can keep an eye out for?
KYOGI: DE$iGNATED’s Valentine E.P is out in about a month, featuring the remixes from myself, Applebottom, Carling Ruse and Knuckle. I’m getting an E.P together too, no idea what label will release it, but I know what one I want it to be released on. I’ve also got a super secret project with another producer underway now, but that’s the thing with super secret projects, they’ve got to remain super secret…