With house music at its peak, it’s the perfect time to be Shift K3Y. The young British producer has taken his affinity for hip-hop and UK Garage and parlayed it into massive success here in the states. He’s a musician first, whether working closely with other artists like his recent collab “Misbehave” with Born Dirty, or singing on his own tracks like “Name & Number.” Your EDM managed to pin down this busy producer in middle of his US Tour to talk about his recent productions, music videos, and more.
You just celebrated a birthday, right? What do you hope to accomplish this year that you didn’t accomplish last year?
Aw thanks, well this year I’m focusing on club tracks and more soulful stuff. I will be putting out an album next year so my priority is that.
Which is more difficult: playing a festival in the US or a festival in the UK?
I really enjoy both, Playing US festivals took me a while to get into, to be honest. But after a few weeks I was able to blend my sound with sounds slightly more catered to the US.
How many new tracks are you testing out while on the road right now?
I always have about three completely new ones as well as whatever is recently released or to be released. I tend to play 40% originals on average.
Can you tell us more about this new track “Misbehave” with Born Dirty? How did you guys link up?
Well Born Dirty are two of my favourite dance producers at the moment as well as two of my best friends. One half of the duo Linden Jay – him and I have been making music for nearly 12 years, both in a band and as a producer, he’s been killing it both behind the scenes and in front. Mika aka Son Of Kick is an amazingly talented and all-around sick producer who has always pushed the boundaries in electronic music, and he makes up the other half of the potent duo.
You’re one of many artists who have been affected by Soundcloud takedowns. What changes would you like to see with the way music is being shared over the Internet?
I’m pretty interested to see how Apple Music/Beats 1 affects everything. I will still be releasing music on Soundcloud and Spotify. I recently put out a statement on my Facebook and Instagram as to why a lot of my Soundcloud tracks were taken down.
Can we expect another music video for your new tunes like “Name & Number?” How involved are you in the music video process?
I love music videos. I have always watched them as a kid and still to this day. For all singles I will always do a video, and for any tracks that need a video I will always take the opportunity.
Is the production process different when you’re working with other artists and their music, or do you stick to a certain rhythm in the studio?
Honestly, the same attitude musically is applied to both. The difference with working with other artists is that I have to cater to their project, which is something I find really enjoyable and a bit challenging at times, but if the chemistry is correct then no/very little compromise has to be made as you will both be heading towards the same goal.
How many products do you bring on tour with you for that hair?!?
Oh, just the standard blow dry :).
There are a lot of new artists starting to play in Ibiza. Do you think Ibiza culture is still focused on house and techno, or is the musical landscape about to change dramatically?
The Ibiza music scene right now pretty much encompasses every side of dance music. I’m spending a lot of the summer playing Tinie Tempah’s Hard Rock pool party which is mostly hip-hop. But for my set I play house and garage which goes down really well as well. In the nighttime, most of the events will be the same legendary house, techno, trance. etc. so the balance is still shifted in that direction overall.
Do you find it challenging to produce on the road without all your studio equipment, or do you bring other tools on the road with you like a small keyboard?
The studio is my favourite place, just because I know exactly how the room is meant to sound. The vibe of the tracks on the road are always unique and interesting but are consistently problematic when it comes to the mixdown process. I’ve been told Sub Pac is amazing for this, but I think just in headphones generally it is tricky to get levels correct.