5 Minutes with Shift K3y

Shift K3y has been making waves over the last couple years for being one of the top hit-makers out in the UK. With an eclectic mix of dance, R&B, and splashes of pop, the young artist has been making a serious name for himself with irresistibly catchy songs like “Touch” and “Name and Number.”

The artist was having a press day earlier this month, just in time for his release of the visuals for “Gone Missing,” and we were lucky enough to have a chance to sit down and do our “5 Minutes With…” segment. Learn more about Shift K3y’s influences below.

Hi there, how are you and what are you up to today?

Hi Kristi, i’m currently sat in a booth within Columbia Records doing a whole bunch of interviews. It’s very nice to talk to you today, how are you? [We’re great!]

To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?

My sound is RnB, Dance Music; but i’m heavily influenced by UKG and House.

Can you the name albums and artists that have influenced you the most?

Chaka Khan “Watcha Gonna Do For Me?”

Mile Davis, “Blue & Green”

John Coltraine “Ballads”

Led Zeppelin “Led Zeppelin 2”

Stevie Wonder “Talking Book”

Which other artists are you into at the moment and why?

I’m very much into Ty Dolla $ign – i have an infatuation with late-90’s and early 00’s RnB… with a slight Hip-Hop influence to it. I feel like Ty is doing this today.

What would you say some of the challenges electronic artists face today in the music industry today?

Breaking perceptions. The perceptions of DJs today are very rigid, and there’s very little room for personality, which isn’t always a bad thing; but i’m here to make a change in that.

Where do you gather song writing inspiration?

I find inspiration in the down-time when i’m not doing anything; when I’m watching movies, playing video games, etc – i just absorb it all. Then when i get to the studio, I’ll be thinking back to all the great sounds i’ve heard over the last month and try and be better than that.

Take us through your production process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?

I often write songs 20 bpm slower than they actually are – it’s a significant amount to move it, without pushing it too far. I do that to give songs a remixed feel without them actually being remixed. That’s my secret.

What’s the best gig you have ever done and why?

Boardmasters 2014. 14,000 people who all knew the words to “Touch” and “I Know” – that’s what i live for. It felt amazing.

And the worst?

There was a show i did in Southend, i won’t name the promoters or the venue because they were so lovely; but the whole club got flooded so the only people there were the people running the event. The rain was so bad, so we had to walk to the promoters house and stay there as they couldn’t get a ride home for me.

If you weren’t a musician what would you be?

A Magician. There was a period of my life where that was a big obsession of mine. I was doing it for magazine launch parties and birthdays, etc.

Do you have any particular gigs or festivals that you dream about playing?

Somewhere in London where my family and friends can come, and it can be a nice get-together. When i get to do Brixton Academy and KOKO that will mean the most to me.

Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?

I’m performing at The Nest in East London on the 30th of January alongside a few of my friends, come down!

Thanks Shift K3y. For more music by the 22 year old, check it out here, and listen to his recent BBC Radio 1 mix for Mistajam below.

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