An Interview With Kevin Knapp

A few weeks back we caught up with an absolute legend within the music scene, Kevin Knapp. We spoke about his new video series he has been recording, what new music he has coming, his new record label plus so much more.

Hi Kevin how are you doing?

Hey there! I’m doing pretty well actually. I’ve just been figuring out how to allocate my time in the most efficient manner during this work from home stint. I thought this time was supposed to be conducive to playing video games and watching movies but apparently not for me. I’m busier than ever.

We’ve seen you’ve recently started a new video series. To anyone who hasn’t yet seen the opening video, what are the purposes around the videos?

The video series is called Kevin Knapp Beats N’ Eats. Basically it centres around DJs and their knowledge and relationship with food. I often find that that wherever you find a solid music producer that you often also find someone who knows their way around a kitchen. My creative partner Mario Munster and I created this series to have a place to explore this relationship further.

What can we expect to see on the next coming video uploads?  

We just released the San Francisco episode in April, and are aiming to have a quarantine episode from my current city of Berlin released by the end of next month. There is also an episode from CRSSD Festival in San Diego last fall that will be released in July of this year. So lots happening for sure.

Has it just been you and a camera guy traveling around, or are there more people involved?

Everything so far has been shot by our Director of Photography, Gabriel Santos.  He usually has a couple assistants that accompany him to any shoot. Mario, my partner I mentioned before, usually generates and advises on the narrative arc of each episode and we talk about what we think is feasible at each location we will be shooting, and how to maximize the ground we can cover in these 10 to 12 minute episodes.

Then of course there are the artists themselves that take part. We have been fortunate enough to have Doc Martin, Audiojack, Walker and Royce, Worthy, VNSSA, Sacha Robotti, Porky from Desert Hearts and many others take part in the series so far. It’s really been a lot of fun.

What countries will you be traveling to whilst filming?

So far we’ve done Costa Rica and the USA. As I mentioned we’ll be putting an episode out in Berlin, Germany next month. I can see us highlighting Europe a bit more going forward.  I think Spain is a natural choice because of Ibiza, and London makes a lot of sense as well since I play in the UK so frequently.

How are your own music productions going?

I got a lot of music done over the winter and into the spring so I’m super stoked about that. I actually just signed a track yesterday that I did with Mat.Joe and Maximono to Dirtybird. That will be my second release on the label this year, which is exciting.  I have a major collaboration I’m working on with a bucket list artist that’s coming along nicely but I can’t disclose their name just yet. 

I’m also super stoked that Carl Cox remixed “Call Me”, a track that I did with Hannah Wants, and that remix comes out next month on Toolroom. Right now I’m holding all my solo original stuff for release on our new label Plump which I hope to have the first release for this fall. 

What can we expect to hear next from yourself with your own productions?

My new productions are somewhere between Chicago House, Bass House, slowed down more heavily produced Ghetto Tech, and shuffley Tech House. I’m actually quite proud of the new cuts and cannot wait to share them with you.

We hear you’re about to launch a label… what can you tell us about it?

The new label is called Plump Records and it is a creative effort I’m excited to launch with my fiancé and business partner Jessica “Hutch” Hutcheson, AKA Hutchtastic. She is a visual artist, vocalist, Detroit native, burgeoning producer and overall performer and art personality.

Without being explicitly political, we want to center more marginalized voices, to be a space for uplifting all bodies, people of all genders, all sexual orientations, all races and all nationalities. Think feminist Ghetto Tech, uplifting while militant, raw and empowering. Essentially, all things Detroit, Berlin, Chicago and New York. Gritty with a playful dose cheekiness to boot.

When did you first decide that you wanted to be a DJ?

It just kinda grew on me and never let me go, haha. I started playing records for the first time at the same time I started law school back in 2001. A friend of mine needed a place to store his sound system and he left it with me for 2 years. I continued to work as a staff lawyer by day and a DJ by night for years until finally one of them had to win out. That was obviously DJing, and the rest as they say is history.

With the current situation most of the world is in with this Covid-19, how do you keep your brain active throughout the days? 

With the label, Beats N’ Eats, Captivity Cuts (my live stream), music production and planning a wedding I have more than enough to keep me occupied. I’m actually struggling to figure out how to incorporate more downtime, haha.

Any recommendations to anyone struggling  at home whilst being on lockdown?

I would strongly recommend taking this time to go inward and do personal growth work. I think this is a great time for it, and I feel like there is extra room for the clarity the exercise requires since we are all not a busy as we usually are. When I get a moment that’s what I’m doing.

Describe to someone who hasn’t heard of you, what do your music productions consist of?

My productions are kind of a funky, tough, wompy and rolling journey that are balanced out by a bit of nuance and introspection.  I refer to them as being fraught with bass lines and beats that make you move while maintaining a higher frequency composition that keeps the mind engaged. Ass on bottom, head on top. Come kick it!

April 27, 2020