I was recently put onto Klsr by SeKwence, and I learned that like me he lives in the UK, a place where the sort of hip-hop he makes is practically a dead art. He kindly spoke to me about the differences in being a UK producer, his influences, and his role within the Souless collective.
1. To me, your production is reminiscent primarily of J Dilla. Who would you say has had the biggest influence on you when it comes to making beats?
K: Ah thanks man, that’s a huge compliment! I take influence from a lot of producers to be honest, but the main one has gotta be Knxwledge, I think he was one of the first producers I listened to that made me think “wow I really have to learn to make beats” lol
2. Would you say your beats have a lot of emotional depth? I get bright, summery and quite nostalgic vibes from a lot of the songs on your kome_around EP.
K: Yeah I like to think they do, it depends on what mood I’m in. I love making stuff that bangs but a lot of the time the best stuff I make is when I’m at low points, like the kome_around EP, I made the whole thing in less than a week because I was in a really low place emotionally but I needed to make something that reflected that I think.
3. How long have you been producing? Your beats are impressive and I’m wondering how far you think you’ve come with your craft.
K: I’ve been producing for around 4 years now, sounds crazy saying that long haha. Thanks man, I think I’ve come a long way, I still listen to the first beats I made on my old hard drive and they suck so bad. I’ve only been really happy with my beats in the last 5/6 months where I feel like I can genuinely make the beats I wanna make as opposed to trying for them to sound like something else.
4. How did you become affiliated with Souless? The production on SeKwence’s ‘Crush’ is in my opinion some of the best you’ve done and I’m hoping you have multiple beats on the compilation tape.
K: I think I got involved with Souless about a year ago, maybe summer of 2017? Sek was the first dude I spoke to about it, it feels like forever ago but he told me he was starting a collective and it sounded hard so I was down for it straight away. I love all the dudes in Souless because they all make sick music and don’t give a fuck what people say, you see a lot of collectives that all make the same sounding music but these guys all have they’re own sick twists on things I love it.
5. Like me you’re from the UK, a place where hip-hop is much less culturally important. Has this impacted the way in which you conduct business with American rappers at all?
K: Nah I don’t think so at all, hip-hop is culturally less significant here I guess but to me I just want to make great music and share it with people, most of the people listening to my shit on soundcloud are from the US so I guess if they fuck with it I’m very appreciative of that. The main thing to me is putting prices in $ instead of £ aha.
6. You mentioned to me that you were from Brighton. In Sheffield, hip-hop is seemingly non-existent bar a select few acts. Would you say the same of your city or is there a larger scene?
K: Brighton’s great but there’s definitely not a huge scene, I see cool things about but there’s not a huge scene for beat heads that I’ve been able to get involved with. I feel like London is the only place to be when it comes to music like this.
7. The snippets you put up on your Soundcloud about a week ago sound ace, do you have a project on the way using any of these?
K: Thanks man, nah I don’t have any plans for snippets like these, most of the time when I make beats like that it’s for the purpose of sending to rappers. I have a project coming on the way but it’s more fleshed out and interesting to listen to in terms of structure and sound selection, I’m thinking of putting out another EP around May.
8. In terms of rappers, who would be your dream collaborator? Outside of Souless of course.
K: My dream collaborator would have to be Earl, I’m sure most people say that aha but he has to be one of the best around. The few tracks he has with Knxwledge and Samiyam are too sick.
9. Aside from making beats, what do you do with your time? I believe you mentioned you were in your final year at university just as I am.
K: Yeah man I’m in my final year of university now, things are getting stressful aha. At the moment I’m just working to pay bills and studying, any free time I have goes into making music.
10. Do you have an end goal with your music? I’d like to see everyone in Souless win but especially UK producers who I feel don’t get as much shine.
K: I’ve never really had an end goal to be honest, when I started out I wanted to be famous and all that but as I’ve been progressing I’ve been happy with what I’ve got. I’m so grateful that anyone even listens to my music at all, I’m just going to keep going because it makes me happy and it’s a good feeling knowing people have been listening to my shit, hopefully it makes them happy too. Souless are gonna go far, big things are gonna happen this year!
Check out Klsr on Soundcloud. He’s also on Twitter at @klsr_. You can find me on Twitter at @108mics.