Fade Up :: Kun
January 21st 2014
Every week, Fade Up sets you up on a hot date with an emerging Australian producer who Sandro Dallarmi thinks are worth getting to know. You can hear the new Fade Up mixtape before it hits the Flog by tuning into Sandro’s show on FBi, The Mixing Bowl.
With a buzzing SoundCloud account but almost zero recognition in his hometown, Kun is definitely a 21st century muso, and he’s got a forward-thinking sound to match. His take on Childish Gambino’s ‘Urn’ is house music from a hip hop perspective. That track and this mix are the perfect stepping stones to the exquisitely soulful hip hop beats that make up the bulk of Kun’s ever-expanding streamography.
Sandro :: Your Childish Gambino remix is pretty special. I haven’t heard anyone else making this type of stuff in Australia. How did you come to create it?
Kun :: I’m first and foremost a fan of hip-hop music. And Childish Gambino is one of a few recent artists to catch my attention. He’s part of that breed of freshmen rappers who’s completely in touch with today’s generation, creatively dope and multi-talented. Naturally I copped his new album, ‘Because The Internet’, and one track really stood out to me – this short but sweet track called ‘Urn’. It has these lush, soulful chords over a dusty, lo-fi breakbeat, all the while dude is channeling his inner Prince. The song’s only a minute and a bit long and I wanted to extend that, add my own flavour to it. So I chopped it up and started getting these Daft Punk inspired house grooves from the sequencing, and I never looked back. It was definitely good fun to make.
It’s funny though, because that track is quite different to the rest of your material. Where do your musical roots lie?
I guess when I first started making beats seriously I was your typical beat fanatic. I was influenced by a lot of beat makers like J Dilla, DJ Premier and Pete Rock etc. I would spend all day cutting up soul/funk records and tweaking my drum sounds, chasing that perfect loop. I was quite boxed in, thinking this is my craft and I’m gonna master it. Then as the years progressed I was exposed to different types of sounds and learnt new techniques. Fresh inspiration started flooding in and I began breaking away from sample-heavy beats to really compose, design and produce some original music that sounds current but still has those soul vibes inherent within it.
What’s interesting to me is that your Soundcloud account is buzzing with international activity, but no one seems to have heard of you in your home town (Sydney). Do you plan to change that?
Definitely! And being featured as a Fade Up producer on your show, Sandro, will hopefully be the beginning of it all haha. Phase 1 of my plan is to shamelessly plug my work thus far with local artists. Those include Sydney MC Chux (produced most of his last EP, ‘Words, Work & Women’). I’ve also been working closely with my long-time collaborator and good friend Nehzuil – dude is an absolute beast! And I’ve got some unreleased material with Thandiwe Phoenix who was on Ta-ku’s ‘Songs to Break Up To’. Phase 2 would be to start doing live shows, I guess, and just keep putting more music out there for the masses. Consistency is key!
- Kun :: Fade Up Mixtape #22
Toro Y Moi :: ‘Rose Quartz’
Banks :: ‘Warm Waters (Snakehips Remix)’
Destiny’s Child :: ‘Bug A Boo (GANZ Flip)’
Common :: ‘I Want You (Kaytranada Edition)’
Janet Jackson :: ‘Rock With You (Milo Mills Edition)’
Pomo :: ‘Work It Out’
Exmag :: ‘Give It To Me Right’
Kun | The Mixing Bowl | Fade Up