DJ Spotlight: French House Export Kulkid

From Daft Punk to The Hacker, from David Guetta to Gesaffelstein to Madeon, electronic music is France’s forté. And the new wave of talented French house music producers is coming thick and fast, with Kulkid the latest name to step into the country’s spotlight. With a huge remix for the Foals and an acclaimed Drake bootleg both making waves and spreading his bold sound far and wide.

His debut EP, ‘Forgot About Kul/ I Need U’ is available for a free download, paving the way for big things in Kukid’s future. “Forgot About Kul” kicks things off with moody bassline and ominous pad sounds, pitched-down vocals looping as layers melody slowly build. A plucked guitar line recalls the classic hip-hop anthem referenced in the title, completing the atmospheric soundscape in infectious style. Lashings of sub energy boom away as the delicate refrains play creating a powerful track with bundles of character.

“I Need U” enlists a slice of a classic house diva vocal as its focal point, the track kicking off with a sizable breakdown / build that propels it into life. ‘90s organ bass and deft chime melodies give way to a more driving low end, vocal chops and a stabby old skool riff. It’s a track that blends Kulkid’s contemporary influences with the Euro dance heritage of yesteryear that no doubt soundtracked his upbringing in France.

VIBE say down Kulkid for a tête-à-tête. Check it out after the jump.

VIBE: In early 2013, you started getting hype with your remix of Bon Iver’s “Flume.” One year later, you released your first two-tracks EP ‘Forgot About Kul / I Need U.’ Do you think your style has evolved and changed in one year?
Kulkid: I think my style is constantly evolving and ever-changing as my influences vary especially. I started this project producing smooth and deep tunes with a dominant tropical vibe, and now I’m way more into old school house, similar to what I used to listen when I was just a kid in the ‘90s. I think it may be due to the fact that I’ve been playing in a lot of different clubs around the world noticing that what I really was into was that lovely old school warm analog vibe that is slightly different from what you can hear in most of the French electronic scene.

What’s the French scene like from your perspective?
The French scene has two sides. The first one is led by techno and underground beats, personified by labels such as Infiné, Bromance and artists like Agoria, Brodinski, The Hacker, etc. On the other side, there’s this new school vibe led by labels such as Marble, Sound Pellegrino, Partyfine, and led by artists like Para One, Yuksek, 123Mrk, etc. They don’t really produce the exact same kind of music, but they are often teaming up. I’m not exactly saying I am completely DIFFERENT to the French scene; rather I’m strongly influenced by a few names quoted above.

This is all in the past, but where do you see yourself in 10 years from now?
I love to imagine myself gigging all around the world, producing house tunes in my own big studio. I have a Masters degree in Interior Architecture and Product Design, I’d also love to have my own gallery, building, editing and selling my own creations. Doing both music and design would be awesome. And doing it in LA would be even more awesome.

Talking about gigs, what was your best performance memory?
I’ve had a really good time in La Union (Philippines). It was in October 2013. I left the cold and grey autumn in France to meet the sunny and warm beaches of Philippines so it made those memories even cooler! I played alongside RAC, Classixx and Panic City on a beach, facing a packed crowd. The guesthouses were amazing, with swimming pools right in front of the ocean. Nothing else was needed.

What about the worst?
Well, I had a gig in Marseille (South of France) last summer (2013). It’s such a shame because the venue (Dock des Suds) was amazing, with a super nice staff, awesome artists such as Fatboy Slim, Bakermat, and others. I was scheduled right between Fatboy Slim and Bakermat, but because of permit issues, there was only two stages instead of three. So I had to play exactly at the same time as Fatboy Slim. And it was in the middle of the summer, he was playing on the outdoor stage and I was inside, with no air conditioning. There was like 20 people dancing in a place that can easily handle something like 6,000 people. And I think that 10 of those 20 people were friends of mine.

What can expect from you this year?
I kinda miss the good old ‘remix times’, so I’m gonna release a remix I’ve recently been spinnin’ a lot at gigs. I’m also starting a bunch of collabs with some exciting up and coming names, can’t wait to release them. My team is also working on a US tour later this year, I’m really really excited about this too. And I have a HUGE amount of fresh original tunes (some finished, some still in progress). I’m currently being approached by really cool labels so hopefully I’ll get them released throughout the year.

Any tips for producers to get their music heard?
Do what you love and what you’re the best at. This is essential. If you force yourself to produce something because it’s hype and not because you deeply love it, you will never produce something really fresh. Remixing big and new pop/folk/R&B hits is a good way to get noticed. Just be sure you can then follow up with good material. Find your signature sound, it’s also important to be recognized as soon as a tune starts.

Turn it UP, drink UP and live it UP with 7UP.