[Interview] Kyle Watson Reveals Favourite Track, New Music, and Much More!
On Sunday, February 17, 2019, Canada's capital was blessed with a truly spectacular performance by one of South Africa's biggest music exports. The incredibly talented Kyle Watson showcased his well-known eclectic and unique sound at Mercury Lounge for a very special edition of Sunday Sessions. Ottawa marked the last stop during his successful 'Into Canada' tour on behalf of Dirtybird | This Ain't Bristol, and trust us, it will be imprinted in our hearts for years to come.
If you were lucky enough to attend the sold-out show, you can vouch that the undeniably talented artist unleashed one of his best and hottest (seriously, the venue's windows fogged up) sets to date. We'd also like to take a moment to praise the local talent: Rick Laplante, Tone A, and Return of the Jaded as they are all outstanding DJs and always deliver killer performances - that night was no exception!
Although the entire night was simply fantastic, we must say that having the opportunity to sit down with Kyle Watson before the event kick-started was one of the greatest highlights of the evening. The forward-thinking musician revealed his favourite track from his debut album, the reason why he prefers house music above all other genres, the importance of bringing his wife along for the journey, how he first started learning the basics of music production, among much more. Check it out!
1. Which track on your new album ‘Into The Morning’ evokes the strongest emotional connection for you personally, and why does it stand out among the rest?
Without a doubt, it would be 'Song for the One'. The downtempo track features vocals by Apple Gule and the lyrics are actually written about Tash, my wife. From an emotional connection point of view, that’s definitely the one! I’ve known and worked with Apple for a few years now, which allowed us to form a great relationship. He’s also an emotional guy, so he was able to pour some of those feelings into the track and pinpoint the vibe perfectly.
2. Do you have any production rituals that you feel as though you must do during the overall album creation process?
I don’t really have any production rituals, however, I’ll either sit down with an idea and know the direction that I want to go, or go in with nothing and just start messing around. Generally, when I’m playing around, that’s actually when I come up with the more interesting pieces. I'd have to say when you don’t actually have those core ideas, that's when the magic flows through.
3. What is it about house music that speaks to you more so than the other genres?
I think the connection that you make when you’re playing an artistic piece, especially when it’s your own music - i.e. one in which you wrote your own music and then being able to take it into a venue and play it for people who paid money to come and hear your music; the connection that you make with the crowd is the most special thing about the whole process. In a way, it’s better than actually sitting in the studio and simply thinking that this particular track is really good. That connection makes it all worth it.
I’ve been on tour for a few weeks now, and I have to say, everywhere that I’ve played has brought truly special moments. I always appreciate the connection that I make with the crowd, no matter where I am, or what specific genre that I am playing.
4. We've read that your father was in the music industry, & is one of your go-to people when it comes to music-related questions. What has been the best advice that he’s given you, & how has it influenced your productions?
From a technical point of view, he was a producer as well. He knew how all of the different software worked. He was the one who got me kick-started. He didn’t teach me how to write music, which I thought was great because it allowed me to experiment. He simply gave me the tools. When I was shown the software, I was studying music in school, thus I already had the knowledge. I studied and played the piano for a long time – that’s what gave me the base of my information. Every time that I had a question, I was able to go to him, which was really helpful. For a lot of people, the technical side of writing is complicated, and it was the same for me.
When I got the vinyl back for ‘Into the Morning’, I took it over to my father's home. I sat down on the couch and listen to it with my dad and my entire family. We just sat there and listened to the entire album from start to finish. It’s something that I’ll remember forever.
5. Speaking of family, you’ve been happily married for some time now. That said, we noticed that you made a stop in Calgary, Alberta, during your tour on Valentine’s Day – did you do anything special for your spouse, and how do you keep the love alive when you’re apart?
I’m very, very lucky. Tash actually always comes with me when I’m on tour. I always say to people, there’s so much stuff that happens when you’re on tour. The important thing, to me, is that we get to experience everything together and be able to recount the memories together, as opposed to me going off somewhere, for a few weeks, and then not being able to have shared these moments with her.
It’s something that we decided together, a long time ago – if we’re going to do this, we’re going to do this together. The bad moments are usually related to travel – like missing flights; all of the other memories that we’ve created have a special place in our hearts. The good always trumps the bad!
6. We've heard through the grapevine that you have new music on the horizon. Can you tell us about what you have been working on, and when we can expect to hear these soon-to-be masterpieces?
I usually take January off to recharge and launch myself into writing; that said, I’ve written a bunch of new music! I am still working on some new tracks. When I get back home to South Africa, I am planning on playing around with those unfinished productions and finding good homes for them all.
There’s also a remix EP of ‘Into the Morning’ that's on its way! What we’ve done is handpicked up-and-coming artists that I really like and that have a lot of potentials, and we’ve given them the opportunity to choose which track off of 'Into the Morning' that they would like to remix. Artist wise, I don’t want to give too much away, just yet – but it’s going to be a really cool pack! It’s going to be coming out on This Ain’t Bristol in April.