an interview with kazell

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Who is Kazell? For one, he is someone who is traveling across North America on a spring tour, appearing at each stop with one of the most simultaneously daunting yet sought-after tasks – opening each night for Sasha and John Digweed. On another count, he is a prolific producer and owner of Influx Audio. Last week I had a chance to ask a few questions of the only person that Sasha and Digweed want opening for them on every stop of the tour..
But before I get to the interview, I have to mention that my new single, Seismic, is now out on Pacific Front Recordings and is for sale on Beatport, and rumor has it, iTunes is soon to follow. I wrote Seismic with Dustin H and remixes come from Stefan Anion, Shiloh, and Powerplant. Have a listen to Seismic. Hopefully I didn’t just break the internets with all these links.
And on to my interview with Kazell:

How long have you been DJing? How long have you been producing?
I’ve been DJing for 17 years and producing for around 5 years.
What brought you to the US from the UK? How would you compare the scenes?
I had wanted to visit the US from a young age and finally made it over in 1992, I came over with a promoter and another DJ from Manchester looking to set up some gigs in Miami. The Southern US was still developing when we arrived which was quite a contrast to what was going on in Manchester at he time. I think I was really attracted to the US scene when I arrived as it had a funkier eclectic edge.
What is your philosophy on DJing? Why do you do it, and what do you hope others will get out of it?
I think any DJ’s aim is to do something unique with their music. Although you’re mainly playing other people’s tracks its really satisfying to put a mix together that has your sound embedded. I hope that the people that come to hear me play leave ready for more!
Between your tracks that you wrote with Mike Hiratzka and your latest collaboration with Habersham, your sound appears to be very diverse. How would you describe your sound as a producer?
I like to mix things up in the studio and spend a lot of time hunting down diverse sounds to draw inspiration from. If I had to describe my sound as a producer I’d say its currently a blend of dub, funk and electronic house music but it changes all the time and I’m fine with that. I personally respect producers that keep evolving and trying out new things.
How would you compare your sound as a producer to your sound as a DJ? Do you find your DJing influences your production, and vice versa?
I think they differ quite a lot as I write lots of tracks that aren’t necessarily aimed for the dancefloor. I do sometimes come home from a good gig and try and capture a certain type of new sound i’ve come across though.
What is the focus of your label, Influx Audio?
Quality forward thinking music
How do you see MP3’s effecting the underground music scene?
I think Mp3’s have undoubtedly changed the face of underground music in a terms of easy accessibilty but illegal downloads are really killing the scene too.
CD’s or Vinyl or Serato?
CD’s and sometimes Traktor Scratch
As a DJ known for warm-up sets, you must have a different set of influences than most DJ’s who are associated with Sasha and John Digweed. Who are your influences as a DJ, and what effect have they had on your sound?
Well the warm up sets are just a part of what I do as often headline too. For the warm up sets I like to play a lot of the deeper, atmospheric music that I collect. I think Terry Francis’s “Architecture CD” was a big influence in terms of a great chilled tech house cd as well as Swayzak’s first album “Snowboarding in Argentina”. The sound has changed quite a bit since then but the mood is still alive.
What future singles do you have in the works? Any plans for an artist album?
Habersham and I are planning a follow up “Paradise Rockers” single later this year and I’m currently working on a new band project which I’m really excited about. I can’t really say much about it yet but watch this space!
Websites you’d like to plug?
Well Kazell.com of course 😉 but I’d also like to give a plug to liquified.com, they throw some amazing parties and I’ve been there resident DJ for years, and mention my PR and marketing company, Volume Communications.

Thanks to Craig and Ali for setting up this interview, and of course to Kazell for sharing his thoughts.

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