Kaytranada isn’t your typical EDM producer. With firm roots in hip-hop and heavy electronic influences, he delivers melodic rap and dance grooves that anyone can get down to. Currently on a debut European tour, Kevin Celestin took time off from rocking his soulful remixes to chat with VIBE.
VIBE: What made you get into music?
KAYTRANADA: I was listening to too much music, all day everyday. I wanted to be a rapper at first, but my voice sucked so I started making beats for my brother who is a rapper, and then I just got addicted. From there I went into house, electronic, or whatever you want to call it, but hip hop is the main thing I do.
You bootlegs are dope, in particular Janet Jackson ‘If’ and Missy Elliot ‘Sock It 2 Me’. If you could work with one of the artists you’ve bootlegged who would it be and why?
I would definitely want to work with Missy Elliot, because we have a similar hype to our music, it would good. Also I think if I existed as a producer in the ’90s, Janet Jackson and I would make a slow jam classic, it would be a hit.
You’ve just released a track on Bromance ‘Free Things In Life’. It’s pretty different from a lot of music out there. How would you describe the sound and could you tell us how a bit about the thought process behind it?
It’s what I usually do behind the scenes, straight hip-hop. Hip-hop is where I started so I’m just bringing it back. I wanted to do something innovative on the label Bromance, something different, something the people wouldn’t expect. The inspiration comes from West Coast dances like jerking, c-walking, etc.
You used to be an artist, so it must be pretty sweet to have Benajmin Marra do the cover of the Bromance release?
Ya I think it’s dope, he did Lil B and Madlib, who is one of my biggest inspirations so it’s cool. I want him to do the artwork for my album, he’s too dope.
How did you come to working with Bromance?
Well Brodinski dropped some of my songs in his mixes, and then one day he emailed me to give me props and asked me to drop a track on Bromance, and I was like “damn it’s Brodinski” because I was really into his music back in like 2009 when I started into electronic music. I told him to hit up my manager about this, so my manager and his manager started talking and that’s where the relationship began. Il be meeting the whole Bromance crew on June 8th at Social Club Paris, it’s going to be dope.
You also did a mixtape for the label which we dug massively. It’s so diverse in taste and style. Do you plan to adopt the same approach when it comes to your own productions?
Yes, well I was trying my best to put together a mix that the people would love. Hell ya, I don’t want to stay in one genre, I want to be very diverse, and ya what’s in that mix is what inspires me.
How’s the European tour going? Any crazy tour stories you can fill us in on?
It’s going great, very nice ladies in Brussels, and I had an artist paint me a dope portrait there which was a special moment for me. Shout out to CASH. I really love Lyon as well, the French cities are welcoming me well, it’s nice.
What have you got coming up with year? We hear your album ‘Kaytrathomas’ has been in the pipeline for a while, so when can we hear it?
Haha yeah everyone asks about that, in 2014 y’all will hear my album. I don’t want to put out my album until it’s perfect. Right now I’m just focusing on touring, and making remixes that inspire me.
Who do you idolize?
Madlib, J Dilla, Michael Jackson. Straight up.
Top three records in your record box right now?
Stevie Wonder, Too High. -Diana Ross, Have Fun Again. Marvin Gaye, Just To Keep You Satisfied.
Where do you hope to be in five years?
Living my life in Montreal, with money in my pockets, and working on a new studio album.