On the second day of SulaFest 2018, a while before the festival came to a close we had the pleasure of chatting with French producer and DJ, Kiwistar about music, career, influences and more.
Could you describe your music for us?
As a producer, I make electro-swing, sort of like Parov Stelar who performed yesterday, but less of a band performer and lot more clubbing influences. Jazz, swing and electronic music are still common backgrounds though. I perform a wide variety of electronic music.
How long have you been performing as a professional DJ?
I think started about 8 years ago. Yeah, my first professional gig was about 8 years ago.
So how have you been touring and putting music, independently or through a major label?
Depends, I have my own label in France. I also release some tracks through other labels. And lot of times I just put my music out for free because it’s important to do it for your audience. I alternate between these options, depends on how I want to promote my music. With the internet today, we have so many options, so many platforms to promote yourself.
So when it comes to performances, are you always on the decks or do you have live instrumentation or midi performances?
It depends, I’m mostly alone on the stage or I perform with different DJs based on which festival or which show I’m playing at. Some gigs, like in Prague this summer, I was performing with a saxophone, sometimes with trumpet, a blend of a DJ set and live instrumentation. It really depends on the audience and where I’m playing the show, a lot of things to take into consideration.
What DAW do you use to produce?
I’m using Ableton Live right now, I’ve used Logic Pro as well.
Do you ever do live looping performances, since Ableton is very flexible in that sense?
I could do it but I prefer doing a DJ set because it lets me adapt to the audience. When I play a festival like SulaFest, there are more chances of me boring the audience whereas playing on the decks lets me adapt, it’s far more reliable.
Where do you draw your musical influences from?
Oh, it’s complicated. I listen to way too much different music. A lot of French bands who are electronic music or jazz music. Also guys like Parov Stelar who are doing something brand new. I listen to a lot of different French bands.
When you say French bands, first thing that comes to my head is Gojira.
Yes, of course! I played with them in a festival this summer. I love Gojira! In fact, I used to be a metal guy, a lot of different influences like I told you. I have a a drum and bass project that is completely linked with metal, very violent with saturated guitars and heavy basslines, influenced by bands like Meshuggah and Fear Factory.
So, yeah, I can listen to classical, metal, jazz, different kinds of electronic music, no boundaries, I try to stay to open.
If you weren’t doing music as a profession, what do you think you would be doing?
Probably teaching, I have a master’s degree in geography. I used to teach history and geography in the beginning of career. All my students could easily recognise when I’ve had long weekend because of the gigs.