Hello my fellow bass freaks-
I know I have been very silent recently. I’ve just returned from the Mudson Project and will be updating regularly from now on.
Additionally, I will be posting a recap of the festival soon. This will cover the music, which was incredible. Not so much the staff and camp grounds, which as everyone has said were blatantly unprepared and inconsiderate.
Look for us on an indie domain soon, as we blow this tumblr stand for bigger and better optimized things.
Keep it 100.
Kito & Reija Lee, one of the most intriguing vocal production duos around, were nice enough to take time out of their busy studio schedule to answer some questions for me.
Many of you may be familiar with their single “Sweet Talk" a few years back. Since then, they have become known for ambient, forward thinking production and melodic vocals. They have had some recent mainstream recognition, being sampled in Big Boi’s "King Sh!t" and Trinidad James’ “Females Welcomed.”
"working this comes naturally,” Reija proclaims in this sexy new cover. Well, putting out great vocal mixes seems to come naturally for these two. Reija’s soft, alluring vocals match Kito’s (often) minimalist production style flawlessly. These two prove, time and time again, that less can be so much more. 808s in all the right places, and a synth progression to back it up, give this track a futuristic feel that’s fitting for the Perth-born duo.
They came up in the UK and, after working with Skream, attracted the attention of Diplo—later signing on with Mad Decent, and now jointly with Ultra and Payday.
Who have been some of your favorite artists to work with and learn from along your path to mainstream recognition? Who really pushed you to make your work a career rather than just a hobby?
Kito: “We loved working with Zebra Katz on WORD$. That song was written and recorded in a day in a studio in London. I adore Ojay [Zebra Katz] – he’s a very creative person to work with and has such a rich, deep voice which contracts perfectly with Reija’s voice.
Both Diplo and Skream have played significant roles in encouraging me to pursue music full time. Skream was the first person to give me a chance and release my music.”
Reija: (apart from Kito obviously) I’d have to say my brother. He has always been my biggest believer and biggest critic. He pushed me into electronic music in the first place when he got me my first feature vocal when I was about 18. Before then I was playing in bands and never considered making electronic music. He is a musician as well (ShockOne) and we continuously collaborate together. He always pushes me to write my best material, and give my best performance. I think it’s something about being family - there’s a connection that allows us to be 100% honest and maybe a bit harsher with each other. We guide each other in our individual careers and I am truly grateful for that!
Kito, how did you start out in music production? What artist /track/ show convinced you that this was something you had to pursue?
I left Australia and went travelling in Europe when I was 19. I had played around on Fruity Loops and Cubase as a teenager, and also had been DJing through my teens but it wasn’t until this trip that I really got motivated to put in the hours. While I was in London during that time, I worked at The End Nightclub, which exposed me to so much different music. I also used to listen to Rinse FM and Mary Anne Hobbs’ show on Radio 1. In fact, Mary Anne Hobbs was the first person to play one of my tracks on Radio.
Reija, when did you first start singing, and how did you and Kito first meet? How did this collaborative effort come to fruition?
Well, I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember.. my mum and dad are both singing musicians so I guess it was just natural for me! I met Kito through my cousin when I was about 12 or 13.. and we used to hang out in school holidays. We didn’t start doing music together until I was 19, when she asked me to sing on one of her tracks for the Kito EP on Disfigured Dubz. That day spawned our first track together ‘LFO’, and we’ve been working together ever since!
Have you experienced any difficulty [as] women in an industry almost dominated by men? It really frustrates me off when I hear someone say “wow they’re good for a female DJ,” like most recently when I saw Jen Lasher play in DC.
Kito: I don’t think it’s hindered us at all. I like to think we are where we are because of our music – nothing to do with gender. Sexist comments exist everywhere and the less attention we give them, the better.
Never Say Die (on their sub-heavy dubstep revival kick) is without a doubt my favorite label right now— what label(s) are you big on at the moment?
Kito: Some of my favourite labels right now are Night Slugs, Numbers, Mixpack, Pelican Fly and Lucky Me. Will always love Mad Decent too of course.
Who are some artists that I may not know of that I should be listening to right now?
Kito & Reija: Lido, Sudanim, Nadus, Neana On The Track and S Type are all amazing.
Thank you so much for the music you continuously put out. I’ve got to say that your remix of Split the Atom (Kito) has really stuck with me. I invariably carry a bass face wherever I’m walking when it comes on! Reija, thank you for the haunting vocals you’ve provided. Sweet Talk is one of the first vocal dubstep tracks that got me to realize the complexity of that style and kept me listening to this day.
Kito & Reija: Thanks so much – we really appreciate it :)
Check them out on soundcloud (if you haven’t already) and get excited for a huge EP release.
Keep posted right here for all the latest in new music and exclusive interviews as we go behind the bass with the DJ’s you should get up on.
Follow us on twitter @theDChooks so you and my friends can hang out on the weekends.