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Exclusive Headline Interview

with

Kiffie

When did your passion for music start and what was your motivation to begin making music? 

 My earliest memories include a passion for music. I was quite young when I realised that music was affecting my emotions. I have always loved music and my life without music wouldn't be a life at all. Motivation has always been there but I only had the time and energy to begin making music from April 2020 AKA 'Lockdown 1'. I had been through years and years of being very unhappy at work, dealing with bullies and injustice every day, so I guess I started to make music to give myself an opportunity to heal.

What music do you listen to and how does that influence your work?

 I listen to almost all genres of music. Everything from Beethoven to System of A Down, excluding trap. The music that influences my music the most is probably new-wave and synth-wave but not directly. I don't sit there and think 'how do I make my music sound like that?'. Hip-Hop and New Jack Swing are probably the biggest rhythmic influences.

What song of yours would you recommend for our readers to fully show your best work and why?

 There isn't one. No single song demonstrates everything. However, Not The End Yet is probably the best in terms of lyrics and structure. Hold On To Me is probably the best in terms of tricks and build ups to a great crescendo, and Piano Song (Featuring Richard Davies) has some great gentle piano and jazz sax. Everyone likes a different track, so people should listen to a few and they can decide for themselves.

 

What would you like to happen in the future and what do you have planned for your music to evolve it further like we can see from your music already?

There are two things. I am going to finish my third album 'Look Into My Eyes' which will hopefully include a collaboration on the majority of tracks and I am working on something secret. Will remain a secret until it is released. In future I would like to sell enough music to give up my day job. I don't want to be a star, not famous, just cruising along making music for a modest living.

When lockdown is over what can we expect from your music and your career?

 A lot of collaboration and studio quality recordings. Simple as that. Collaboration is so much easier in person because performing music has so many non-verbal instructions and signals.

If you could perform your music at any venue where would it be and why?

 Colchester Arts Centre or The Waterfront in Norwich. Both venues are small and intimate. My music doesn't suit stadia I think.

What have you been up to personally during Lockdown and what has happened for you in your career and your music?

 I have been working from home. And since a lot of that requires input from others that doesn't always come I have time (and energy) to make music. I have gone from someone being completely ignored so someone that has been played on radio, sold music and is recognised as part of the 'new music' family (I hope).

What are your feelings towards the following aspects of your music career?

 

Producing ,Social Media , Promoting your music.

 My production skills are the best I can make them at the moment. I enjoy production but it is this that limits me the most. With time I know that this will improve. Social media is a two edged sword. I am trying very hard to not ever unfollow or block anyone, we know the dangers of creating an echo chamber. People are free to say what they want. I am only on social media to hear about new music, connect with people about music and promote my music. Music promotion is often seen as the job of the artist. This shouldn't need to be the case. How can an artist be good at composing music, writing lyrics, playing instruments, making beats, production and mastering AND promotion. That is ridiculous unless you are a polymath. So in terms of promoting music for me it is simply about finding enough open minded people who will listen to the music. Then they decide to take it further or not. There are some cases of some twitter users abusing this need to be heard and in my mind they are talentless opportunists. The worst I have ever seen was $20 for a retweet!

How do you feel when producing music, and how do you know when a piece of your music in finished?

 I feel lots of things. Too many to list. I know when the piece is finished because I tend to produce in a sequence and when that sequence is finished the song is finished. Beat, Progression, Flourishes (i.e. strings, highlights), Lead, Vocals. The last part takes twice the time of the rest and even then i'm not happy with the end result.

If you were not in the job you are now what would you be doing?

 Jungle explorer.

What would you say is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

 There are no rules in music. I tend to agree. I don't follow rules, I follow my heart and my ears.

What things do you like to do when you are away from music?

 I like to be outdoors, walking, picnics, bike rides. I never listen to music when I am outdoors (except at concerts and fests etc). Nature has it's own music. 

If you could say one thing to your followers what would it be and why?

Thank you for giving my music a chance.  Why? Because everyone that listens has taken 4 minutes out of their busy lives to listen and that is a compliment enough. 

What would say to someone thinking about becoming a musician and getting into the music industry?

 Do your own thing. Ignore the rules. It you feel it, make it. If you can't make it, don't fake it.

Can you talk to us about your desire to collaborate with other producers and musicians and what you are looking for ?

 I am not looking for anything in particular. Lead instrumentalists, singers, songwriters. Anyone willing to give it a go. I have had three collaborations already and they are all awesome people and talented musicians. Collaborating is a great way to work. Mostly I am looking for people to add something I didn't hear... it is just so interesting. Collaboration also builds connections and each connection brings 'my' music to new people.

If you could have written one song from history which would it have been and why?

Today I will say 'Uniform' by Bloc Party. Tomorrow it will be a different song. Why that song? In my opinion the structures, build up and lyrics are perfect.

'There was a sense of disappointment as we left the mall,

All the young people looked the same,
Wearing their masks of cool and indifference,
Commerce dressed up as rebellion.'

 

Brilliant.

 

What things make you uncomfortable?

 Witnessing corruption and injustice and most people being willing to watch and do nothing. 

What has the rest of the year got in store for you?

Back to work, holidays, making more better music, selling it. I hope. That's all.