Interview: Five Minutes with AK

German-based producer AK has recently released his latest single, ‘Smoke’ via Monstercat Silk. The single is the third of three releases from the artist and label, with the first, ‘Back Again’ released earlier this year. ‘Smoke’ is created to convey a sombre message of the recent climate issues, released in a timely manner as most of the northern hemisphere are inundated with an astonishing heatwave.  Finding inspiration in striking nature juxtaposed by bustling cityscapes, AK frequently incorporates aspects of both into his deep house meets ambient sound.

Stream / Download ‘Smoke’

Join us, as we learn more about the environmentally conscious musician below.

Set the tone for us. Why the arts? 

Initially, I was drawn to electronic music because I really enjoyed tinkering with computers/coding etc., but over the years I’ve come to realize that I just enjoy the act of creating things a lot.

Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea? 

Depends – usually the sound, but on some occasions, I’ve also got a rough concept I want to try out.

Does your material feature any collaborations? 

Yes! There’s actually a couple being released soon.

What’s on your current playlist? 

Fred again.., Rome in Silver, Ashe, Dayglow, Doja Cat, and many more!

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage. 

Unfortunately I don’t do any live performances.

What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound? 

More recently I’ve been trying to break the rules that I’ve set for myself over the years. I also really enjoy the process of working with any form of hardware.

Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”? 

I honestly think I had that moment the second I tried making electronic music, but I didn’t want to admit that, because it wasn’t considered a “proper job” amongst the people I was surrounded by. I only really started telling people that I wanted to make music full-time one day at around 17.

What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set? 

I don’t really play any sets.

What gets your creative juices flowing? 

Trying new things outside of music usually really helps me get inspired.

Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression. 

I use Ableton Live as my DAW, as well as a collection of third party plugins. I’ve been trying out a Launchpad Pro MK3 instead of a midi keyboard, and I’ve really been enjoying how different it is so far. I also use my Korg minilogue xd a lot. 

Any side projects you’re working on? 

None at the moment. But I’d really love to do more bespoke sync work.

How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry? 

I think I’ve really improved the production quality of my music over the years, because I’ve gotten more familiar with the technology I use.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year? 

More music! I’m contemplating whether or not I want to work on another EP/album, but I haven’t made any final decisions yet.

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By Sarah Britton