In the grand scheme of electronic music, there are very few people who definitively stick out through the power of their music. This past weekend, I stopped by one of the greatest venues in Miami to catch him on his first ever North American tour and ask him a few questions. The producer and DJ I’m talking about is none other than Kill Paris.
Born in a small town in Indiana, Corey Baker moved around the U.S. living in Florida, Nashville, Los Angeles, and currently Colorado. Around the age of 15, he picked up and learned to play the guitar paving a road to his musical career. When he met and moved in with fellow producer and DJ Jake Dubber (a.k.a. Shock To The System), he began to play more shows and honed his DJ skills. After releasing tons of free music, his Kill Paris project was picked up by Skrillex‘s record label OWSLA and it was here that Corey would release his To A New Earth EP and his Foreplay EP. Currently, Corey released his debut album Galaxies Between Us and did so on his own record label called Sexy Electric for free.
On Saturday, May 30th, Grand Central held Kill Paris “Galaxies Between Us” show and included to opening sets by Bee’s Knees and Louis Futon. First up was Bee’s Knees, made up of Adam Novodor and Aaron Spiro, who together kicked things up with plenty of groove and energy. Dropping their own tunes and mixing it with tracks such as “Get Down 2 Get Up” by Mat Zo, “Fast Forward” by Oliver, and the A-Trak remix to “Oh!” by Boys Noize amped an incoming crowd for the party the evening was to become.
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To follow up Bee’s Knees’ disco house set was Philadelphia’s Louis Futon (real name Tyler Minford) who changed the pace of the night with plenty of trap bangers and future bass. From his newest free download “Oakland Tho” featuring Vell and DJ Mustard to tunes like the GANZ flip of Flume‘s remix of Hermitude‘s “HyperParadise”, Louis took the crowd down a notch and raised them right back up and just in time for the main attraction.
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With a little bit of an epic intro, Kill Paris hopped on stage and greeted by a big room full of zealous fans ready to jam some more. He kicked off his set with tons of songs from his new album including “Arrival”, “Summer Daze” and “Space Forest”. He ventured into a vast amount of his older songs including his remix of Wild Cherry‘s “Play That Funky Music”, his remix of MONSTAS‘ “Where Did I Go” with Dillon Francis, and his bootleg of “Midnight City” by M83 titled “Keep Your Secrets In Midnight City”. Whether he was turning knobs on the turntables or shredding on his keytar, Corey was swaying side-to-side keeping the energy alive continuously.
After his impeccable performance, we took a step outside the venue and we began chatting about what’s on Corey’s mind on some hot-button issues ranging from his origins to his most recent endeavors.
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Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions. First off, how are you enjoying your stay in Miami?
No problem. Oh man, it’s been hot, but it’s been good. Refreshing. We did some pool diving for a while and we’ve been driving the entire time. We’ve been rolling in a van.
When did you get into music and what time did you start playing instruments?
When I was younger, I was always kinda into music but I never had the patience to sit down and play guitar. My dad always had a guitar, but I never spent enough time. Like I would always bang on it like I should have played drums. But around 16 I started playing guitar and then from there it just kind of picked everything else up. You learn one thing and apply that to other instruments. I know guitar, keyboard, and keytarthe last one obviously being a combination of the two [laughs]. I know some drums and I’m taking some vocal lessons. I tried the violin. Didn’t work out.
Do you think you could ever work violins into a Kill Paris set?
I don’t know. I would love to get Lindsey Stirling come out and do violin live because that would be like the best show ever!
At what moment in your life did you take the plunge to make and play music for a living?
I don’t know. I lost track, man. It’s been a long. It’s been a really long time.
Many people would describe your music as “sexy”. What is it that’s in your music that gives off or holds that quality?
The pheromones. Probably the pheromones. It’s because of this weird mp3 thing that you can encode or something [chuckles].
What inspired the move to the inception of Galaxies Between Us and your new label Sexy Electric? Was it like a combined-packaged deal or where they two separate ideas?
It’s like they were separated. Like there were “galaxies between them”. The rest of this interview is going to be puns now! [laughs] But, it all happened at the same time.It was all part of the same idea and doing things solo.
Although you are no stranger to releasing music for free, why did you decide to put out your debut studio album for free?
I don’t think anybody should have to pay to hear me express myself. I think it’s stupid for you to pay for something before you even like it. This is why Spotify has trials. This is why XM has trials. People can try it and they’ll be like, “oh okay”. I don’t want to put that pressure on the people listening to like my music. There’s nothing to give up to get into the music. You just have to listen to it. If you like it, you can come to a show and listen to it or whatever.
Are you still an Ableton Certified Trainer? What is or are the most frequented questions you receive relating to Ableton?
I have not lost my license, if that’s what you’re asking [laughs]. There’s no one question that sticks out. There are so many things that people ask about. The thing about Ableton is that everybody uses it slightly different, even though it is the same program. There’s just so many rabbit holes to that program that once you learn to play with it, it’s just no… It’s a very deep program. Unlike FL Studio that works on a timeline, with Ableton you have to disconnect yourself from thinking on a timeline and move things “sideways”.
Do you still use Ableton to produce your music?
All of it. The entire album was made through it.
Who can we expect to see on your new label Sexy Electric?
Bees Knees, Alma, and myself have already put music out on Sexy Electric. Virtu will be putting a new EP and some singles that will be awesome.
I got a chance to review your album on our website and I loved it. I gave it a 6 out of 10. How did you go into the studio when making the album?
I went into the studio not thinking that I was making an album. I went into the studio figuring stuff out. It’s real. That music is real. I always liked that [approach] than trying to do something specific because it doesn’t always work out exactly like your aiming for.
A few years ago, you were kicked out from a venue in Hawaii for playing the music you were paid to play. Now you are headlining your own North American tour. Not too many people can say that they’ve done that. How does that feel?
No. Anyone can do this. If I can have a tour across the country, anybody can do this too. We are in the age of the Internet. There are no boundaries anymore. I’m grateful that I can do this. This is it, for me. This is the home-run for me. I waited tables for years, I went through college, and that’s the only way to go further in life is to be grateful.
What would you give to get a date with Lana Del Rey?
I don’t know man. She lost it for me. I mean, I think she’s sad and that she needs a friend. I feel bad for her because this is what happens to people who become super, super famous. Especially, because she never wanted to become famous. It’s weird because it’s like you want to be indie but you’re on a major label. It’s weird in that it’s not the same thing. But, I’ll always have a place in my heart for her. I think that she just needs a friend, a true friend.
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Make sure to catch Kill Paris on the rest of his tour which will end June 13th in Salt Lake City. After that, he will embark his Australia/New Zealand tour from July 1st to the 11th.