Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Exclusive Interview with King Britt

Photo courtesy of Pier Nicola D'amico

This Thursday, April 22nd, King Britt will be gracing the decks at New York’s hot spot, Cielo for the release party of The Intricate Beauty, his latest compilation and the last conventional dance album from this seasoned house music kingpin. This finale is certainly not the end of King Britt, it's his way of closing a chapter – and a very long one, indeed. With twenty years of mileage under his belt as master of rare remixes, established DJ, versatile producer, performer and musician King Britt is about to embark on a more experimental musical career. So in a sense The Intricate Beauty is a graceful bow to his past, embodying the sounds and styles which make him King Britt and not just any house producer. In this beautifully constructed thread of original productions, The Intricate Beauty rides seamlessly through a luscious, deep journey fused with Afro-soul, warm vocals and sharp beats meant to work bodies to a sweat.

As King Britt embarks on this next stage of his musical career he plans to break the mold, forge new traditions and brave the unknown. Such aspirations – experimentation and challenging one’s set skills – are no doubt shared by many artists at some point along their career and they certainly sound exciting in print. However, taking the plunge is not so easy when you have a reputation to lose. In this brief email interview with Don’t Forget to Go Home, King Britt chats about what he really feels about taking the jump, his latest aural concoctions and why he’s all about living in the moment.

1. I’m curious about how you created this album – I understand it was achieved through an elaborate process using Ableton. But how long did it take you to compile and produce each track? Or are they all a product of each other? It flows so perfectly.

The process wasn’t complicated at all. I just took a day and sampled sounds from various sources in my collection. I then started to arrange random pieces using Ableton. After I had an array of combinations, then I wrote and arranged around that then gave them to the singers.
I feel while doing it, i started creating songs that would actually go with the previous one...so it became a mix CD without event knowing it!

2. Are you satisfied with the final product?
Absolutely. It represents exactly what I wanted to get across. Good dance music from different subgenres. Just creates a very nice mood.

3. I agree. Now moving on from the album…I’m very interested in this next stage of your career…
Me too.....I have always just wanted to dive into the experimental world. Sometimes you need a push. So my fiance, Rucyl, along with a series of interesting coincidences, pushed me to pursue this side of me. Saturn Never Sleeps is kind of my new home in terms of creative inspiration and things. It's definitely another world which we are creating out of our pursuit of the unknown.

4. Why this move towards more experimental and improvised music? What triggered this decision?

I grew up with fusion and experimental music through my mom. Going to Sun-Ra's house and listening to avant-garde sounds. So I have come full circle. I’m tired of traditional things. Its time to create new traditions, no?

5. Indeed! So what kind of avenues do you hope to explore in terms of experimentation and improvisation? Will you still be producing dance music?

Definitely still doing dance music but pushing more into techno (like The Nova Dream Sequence) and hopefully creating new genres. The Saturn Never Sleeps label will be exploring all the possibilities.

6. In the fast-paced world of dance music, do you find it difficult to live in the “now” and the future, even though you strive for that? How do you do it?

I do the music that’s inside me now and the rest lives on. So in this respect I always live in the moment of creation.

7. I read a quote a quote of yours where you said “mentally, physically and spiritually I have grown multitudes and have a very clear understanding of who I am and what I’m here for…” can you elaborate on that? Has this enlightenment been a result of your musical career?

In a way yes. I have come full circle with who I am and what I’m capable of. Now that I know this fully, it’s time to push into the unknown and see what happens. The universe provides!

8. What upcoming projects do you have lined up for 2010 following the release of The Intricate Beauty?

Saturn Never Sleeps label is going to be in full swing! The Soul Litchfield project I just produced is going to be released in June. Killer. I am also starting production on Bedouin Soundclash's new album. They are a Toronto based band. That should be loads of fun! I also produced a song for the new King Sunny Ade comeback album. Going to tear up dance floors worldwide!

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