Q&A: KASTLE

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We’ve long been swooning over Kastle, a producer whose love for philosophy and science translates into atmospheric beats with the soulfulness of R&B and the dancefloor rhythms of house and garage.  We speak to Kastle below about his influences, his favorite R&B records, and what the future holds for this talented musician.

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How does your experience as a sound engineer influence your music production?

Going to college for engineering definitely helped me think more about EQ’ing, dynamic range, frequency balance, and mastering. Knowing the frequencies of all your sounds and where they sit in the mix is essential.

R&B seems to have quite an influence on your music. What are your top 3 favorite R&B records?

That’s a tough question… but off the top of my head: Aaliyah’s self-titled album, Lauryn Hill’s Miseduction of Lauryn Hill and Sade’s Soldier Of Love.

Some people say R&B is dead. How do you feel about this? 

I think it’s just been in a transitional period the last couple of years. I think a lot of the traditional commercial R&B artists started going more pop/dance, which really made room for the indie artists like The Weeknd, Frank Ocean, etc. Now you have artists like Inc., Johnny Rain, JMSN, Xavier, How To Dress Well, etc. all doing it their own way and to me its very exciting. Feels more real.

What are some records or influences that might surprise your fans?

I’m influenced by a lot of things and I’ve made it no secret that I enjoy studying philosophy and science which has been the biggest inspiration to me. I’ve also recently started running at gyms and I’ve found it puts me in a zone that just opens up a lot of creative space in my head.

Tell us a little more about your collaborations on your recent albums. How did they come about? Is there anyone you’re just itching to collaborate with? 

All the collaborations happened very naturally. The first couple collabs were the tracks with JMSN and Austin Paul. JMSN and I worked on those two shortly after I had finished the remix for his track “Alone”. Austin just hit me up randomly on Soundcloud one day and we clicked. Same with Ayah Marar, she contacted me on Twitter and we instantly connected well. All of the collaborations were done via the internet.

Your music is often described among some of my friends as “babymaking” music. How does it feel to know that your music might be accompanying some very, uh, “intimate” moments?

It can be a little awkward, especially when I have been told in person at a show. Or people will leave Facebook comments about details. I guess I appreciate their honesty? Haha.

You are one of the most engaged musicians I’ve seen on social media, taking time to interact with fans, bloggers and followers. Why is this important to you, and has it influenced your music at all?

I try my best to keep involved and the airport downtime definitely helps with that a lot.  Honestly I don’t really think about it that much. If I see something and can respond… I just do. I know I miss a lot though and sometimes I do need a break from all that. But I think its great that we are all connected. I’m not trying to separate myself. Open, honest communication is good.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years? Will you stay in San Francisco?

Always such a hard question. But I will most definitely still be writing music. I love San Francisco. I think the only city that could possibly take me away from there in the next five years would be LA.

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See Kastle perform live tomorrow night at the Low End Theory. Cover is $10. More info here

Photo Credit: thesupermaniak

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