Interview: Five minutes with JKP
Some producers know that it’s their calling from an early age. Others, stumble into the role via frustration for not having their own music displayed in their envisioned way. The later is the case for JKP, who discovered his love for production as he learnt to record guitar on a laptop in his bedroom for his band. Embracing this method of creating music, the avant-garde House producer receives heavy influences from London’s nightlife as he combines organic sounds with ethereal synths.
The London-based musician has just released his double A-side single ‘Blue Sun/ Quiet Place’ via Byson. The pairing of the two tracks is an interesting one, displaying JKP’s considerable talents in one release. ‘Blue Sun’ transforms from delicate ambience into a thrumming dancefloor track. ‘Quiet Place’ is the metaphorical plunge of your head into cold water the next morning after visiting the dancefloor. Jarring at first, the silky bass and tight percussion soon soothe the listener into contemplation.
Set the tone for us. Why the arts?
When I was about 5, my dad had a band and played lead guitar. I thought it was the coolest thing ever and learnt to play the guitar as well. Over the years this then developed into recording and then writing/producing and now here we are today!
Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?
I’ll normally have a concept before starting a song, but am definitely led more by the sound! Experimenting is a core part of my approach to making music and new sounds always lead to new inspirations. When creating I try to remain as reactive as possible to what I’m putting down and let the feel of the song guide the process.
Does your material feature any collaborations?
Not currently, although I started out properly in music predominantly as a ghostwriter/ producer so frequently collaborating with others.
What’s on your current playlist?
Floating Points, Avalon Emerson and Ross From Friends are getting the most playlist love from me at the moment!
What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?
I do a lot of sampling in my production. When selecting samples I typically listen for interesting textures as there is so much you can do to manipulate the sound and transform it into something completely different. Sample heavy production I find always retains a distinctive natural quality which brings about a uniqueness that feels organic.
Take us through a day in the recording studio.
It always changes and often depends on who I’m in with! If I’m doing a session I’ll try and keep it as focused on the overall vibe of the song and not get too granular. I experiment more when I’m by myself as I often get into a very deep into trial and error mode, it can be quite an alienating experience for some…
Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?
I can’t pinpoint a specific moment as I’ve always loved creating music, but about 2 years ago I started doing a lot more sessions in proper studios and started collaborating with artists from all over the world. I’ve always found it fascinating hearing other artists stories and where they’ve come from, and they continue to inspire me today.
Any emerging artists on your radar?
Haai – seeing her sound and following develop throughout her Phonox residency was something special. Township Rebellion a duo from Australia I think are sick as well and (even though are getting more recognition now) are still massively underrated.
What gets your creative juices flowing?
The dead of night normally
Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.
I produce on Ableton, I actually have a very minimal setup and try to do everything on my laptop for speed and flexibility. Massive is my go to VST due to how versatile it is. Otherwise, I mainly use out of the box plugins. For sampling, when I started using Splice it was a bit of a game-changer for me as well, due to the breadth of what was/is available and sonic possibilities it instantly unlocked. I’ve been vibing off Synplant as well recently, it has some truly strange and weird sounds that I’m very alright about.
How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?
Definitely – I produce a lot faster now, not just for efficiency but also I find my best stuff comes when I don’t overthink a track.
Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?
More music, more sets, more fun
Famous last words?
Make Soundcloud great again.