Interview: Five minutes with Ka Fu
Experimental Wave producer Ka Fu has shared his debut single ‘Where Everything’s Ours’ from his upcoming debut album Encoding: Master, via Hidden Vibes. Ka Fu is the new experimental music project with roots in Russia. Born and raised in the previously closed military Russian city of Severodvinsk, which produced nuclear submarines on the banks of the White Sea, and now based in Milan, Italy, Ka Fu developed an insatiable desire for new openings, new knowledge, and new experiences.
Ka Fu’s music is driven by the constant change around him, anything – whether it is waking up at 3 am and heading straight to the club or taking a flight across the world – that keeps him from returning to the frozen reality he experienced in his childhood city. Ka Fu’s identity is defined by freedom from restraint.
We took the time to sit down with this experimental producer to learn a little bit more about what makes him tick.
Set the tone for us. Why the arts?
The decision to create music was spontaneous – the same as taking the flight in a couple of hours. I’m not a classical musician who step by step created his/her way starting from the proper education and more than it I don’t want to be perceived as a musician at all. I’m a self-made person and my way in music is the same – learning by doing is my answer to everything you want to achieve in life. 4 years ago I wasn’t thinking about music at all and now this is all about my being, let’s say I spent my last free hour digging the classical plate reverb from UAD and damn it’s a great toy.
Still, what differs music from everything else in my life is the endless opportunity for the new experiment and development. My main fear that it could become boring with time as a lot of things and maybe all things in my life are gone. You know when I realised that I said: “Here we are. Finally, I’m home now”. This particular feeling of being home never was understood by me since I was running away from any fixed places. I remember when my mother was shocked by the answer that there was no home for me because I needed the whole world to live in. And now being home for me is not even the place it’s the feeling that is blooming inside my soul, I’m basically singing together with every place I visit because in every place I’m creating music. That’s how I communicate with the Universe. I found my language – music – since then I have the biggest home in the world than anyone else.
Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?
I’m creating my waves from the idea. And the idea usually comes from the open channel with the Universe where I see the picture of sound. I could hear the particular element and then build around the track concept. Still, this would be so dull without the real magic. For me, the magic comes from the feelings what this first draft is calling and awaken in my soul. Since this moment there is no me at all, I’m as a character being switched off and the universe energy is drawing the rest flow. If you ask me how I created this or that song I would be in a kind of doubts because I don’t remember exactly myself in that moments like how I created those chords – well they just came out. So I think my role here looks like a switcher – so I’m creating the basic draft and somehow switch on the universal energy flow with it – all the rest is the magic and my favourite state of mind at the same time.
Does your material feature any collaborations?
Hip hop track ‘Opposites’ that I did with my man Roubs who is from London and lived many years in Berlin as well. He is a brilliant freestyler and the poet whose speech I heard at some club show – this was brilliant. For me, this guy has a gift from the Universe to use words as sharp as possible just to describe people’s behaviour and he is always nailed it. So I’m very proud to collaborate with him, especially on this particular track because it has a huge sense and heavy strong message.
What’s on your current playlist?
The Chemical Brothers, Jungles, Christian Loeffler Tash Sultana, Kareful, Noah B, Depeche Mode and the whole bunch of artists from Kompakt records.
Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.
This would be 100% emotional touch as I read somewhere If I see people crying on the show my message is delivered then.
What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?
I’m layering a huge amount of soundscapes with my Sub 37 and some digital synths creating really here emotional tension. The magic comes from at least 40-50 stems per one session usually. Yeah, I’m really detailed and technically deep in my sequencer but as I told you before, it’s not hard when the Universe takes control of the flow.
Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?
The whole way led to this moment. But this is not the question about what I want to do. The question I was lucky to answer who I’m and why I’m here. That’s more important than any plans to do something in your life. This should be solved first.
What gets your creative juices flowing?
May there is already an answer before. But the place where I’m currently is the first step to creativity. I put myself on a pause and listen to the vibes of the current place and then it gives me feedback. This works always – listen to people, listen to places, listen to nature… Silence keeps the truth.
Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.
In my studio the Queen now is UAD. And the King is Moog Sub 37 synthesiser.
Any side projects you’re working on?
A lot! But mostly no name to keep them free from my ego.
How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?
Before I worked with the sounds now I work with the clear vision of what I want to say. It’s a long way from your ego to “the giver” mode – but that’s the only way.
Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?
A lot of music with deep emotional journeys.
Famous last words?
Just do it. Literally, all the options you have in front of you must be worked out whatever time it takes.
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