Stamp Mix 109: KG

Regardless of whether she’s DJing, producing or broadcasting, KG’s infectious energy and dynamism never fails to comes through. Inspired by afro and tribal house, the London-based artist has built her reputation as an innovator in her arena, be that through her heavy bass-laden DJ sets or her unique, hypnotic productions — both of which see her fuse African polyrhythms with rattling basslines and intoxicating melodies.

Over the last couple of years her anthemic creations have seen her work closely with Sony Music Australia and collaborate with Scratcha DVA on Hyperdub, while more recently – alongside the likes of HAGAN, Kayso and Dapo Tuburna – she’s contributed to Free Borga, a capsule compilation   across music and fashion that features producers and artists who share dual heritage from the African continent to the West. 

Lacing together the Afro and tribal sounds she’s become synonymous with, KG shares some original material, as well as demos and cuts from her favourite producers at the moment. This sits alongside an interview about her musical education and creative processes.

Free Borga – Heaven’s Gate No Bribe is out now on Python Syndicate.

Let’s start with an ice breaker, what’s your earliest musical memory?

My earliest musical memory would be me singing Sister Sledge’s ‘We Are Family’ at 4 years old in the mirror (I am the only child, I had to make my own entertainment!) with a hairbrush in my hand as my microphone. Love that record. Incredibly nostalgic!

Did you have a particularly musical upbringing?

From childhood, I knew that I was deeply enamoured with music just by the way I’d process sounds. I had a huge sound system in the house – music was always blaring loudly out of the speakers. I’d subconsciously (without any major thought) lock into specific sections of any songs that were playing and sonically assess the detail behind that or sing it out! I did have an acoustic and electric guitar in my households and a drum machine. I also toyed with production DAW’s at a very young age because I was a bit of a gamer. I had all the latest game consoles. I made that transition from playing video games to wanting to create sounds – it was engaging.

What led you into music production?

With DAWs, music production magazines, school music courses etc all of these materials contributing to the expansion of my music programming knowledge, I wanted to delve deeper into the technical aspects of engineering and production – it became an obsession.  My formative years were spent honing in on my craft as a musician – being a part of my school steel-pan band as a drummer –  going on to familiarising myself with music tech procedures. I learnt everything from live recording, composing, to the basics in post-production mixing. 

Are there any producers or artists who have inspired your production?

I have always had eclectic tastes, listening to Barry White, Phil Collins, Enya, Annie Lennox, Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross, Chic, Prince all the way through to Shabba Ranks, Ghanaian giants like Blay Ambolley, Daddy Lumba, Ofori Amponsah – the list is endless!

I often draw inspiration and techniques from these top tier producers; Timbaland, Tim & Bob, The Neptunes, Darkchild, Missy Elliott! These amazing new-age producers: Kaytranada, Snake Hips, IAMNOBODI, Disclosure, Blaq Jerzee – have been great musical influences also.

Producing other hybrid versions of House myself – i.e. UK Funky, Broken Beat, Afro Bass/House etc producers such as DJ Gregory were the blueprint alongside Karizma, Black Coffee, D-Malice, Apple, Simbad, Scratcha DVA, Hard House Banton, Lil Silva- I wanted to emulate their artistic fluidity and richness.

What’s the most important bits of kit that make a KG track?

I work digitally but often have live instrumentation in my tracks. Percussion, guitars etc.

I love shaping my drum transients and bass lines, beefing them out, so Decapitator from the Sound Toys series is a favourite – the closest you can get to analog saturation hardware in my opinion. I use Omnisphere which has an amazing sound library, one of my favourite software synths to use – the strings/pads are my go to! Serum is another plugin I tend to use for my sub-basses or leads. I have a range of KG style drum kits and percussive instruments/hits in my EX24 folders. I use Logic Pro X’s Virtual Sampler quite a bit to design my sampler instruments.

Could you tell us a bit about the mix you’ve put together? Any tracks that are particularly special to you?

I am still rebuilding my catalogue so a few KG tracks and demos are included in the mix fused with some demos/tracks from my favourite producers! Every track is special! I tell you what, the making of the instrumental ‘Sensei’ was a turbulent experience. It was a very late studio session here in London, I was working away from home and it was raining heavily that night. In a rush, upon entry, I had dropped and cracked my glasses on the floor in a puddle outside the studio. I had to travel an hour back home to grab my back up pair. I was so tempted to scrap that whole session altogether out of sheer frustration but grabbed my glasses and came back. My track Sensei was birthed in the early hours!

Anything on the horizon for you? Any releases we should know about?

Working on my forthcoming EP – Sensei II – with some very exciting artist collaborations for 2021! That is all I can say for now!! Stay tuned 😉

KG – ‘Body’ [Unreleased]
LR Groove – ‘Bass Kick’ (Major Notes Remix)
KG – ‘Obsession’
KG – ‘Midnight’ (Flute Riddim)
DJ Gregory – ‘Don’t Panic’ (Karizma Main Remix)
KG – ‘909’ [Unreleased]
Hard House Banton – ‘Sirens’
KG x Scratchclart – ‘Baga Drmz’
KG – ‘BBM Remix’
Shingai x KG – ‘Hey Hey’
Rod Lee – ‘Buss 2000’
KG – ‘She’s a [808] Bitch’ (CreativeBonsu Refix) [Unreleased]
KG – ‘Sensei’
KG x IAMDDB – ‘Drippish’ [Demo]
KG x Scratchclart – ‘Touch’ (Reprise)
Tribal Brothers – ‘Brother Kojo’
KG – ‘HoRizon’
KG – ‘The Rain’ [Unreleased]
LR Groove – ‘Planets’
Mixmasters x Short Dxck Man (KG Edit)
andrew – ‘Bombtrack’ (feat. なかむらみなみ, Peavis & Saint Vega) (Roska
Griffit Vigo x Ree – ‘Gqom Planet’

Free Borga – Heaven’s Gate No Bribe is out now on Python Syndicate.

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