Hey Kieran, how’s things?
Hey! I’m good thank you, enjoying the Edinburgh festival at the moment and trying to make the most of our Scottish summer.
When did you start DJing, and what encouraged you to start producing?
I actually got my first set of turntables when I was around 14. Back then I mainly listened to hip hop, and me and my friends would mess around in my room. I never really took it seriously, but I was always extremely passionate about music. A couple of years later I started getting into house, but purely as a clubber. I actually started throwing some small parties in Edinburgh before ever playing a gig myself.
When I was 21 I moved to Ibiza for the summer which really inspired me, from that point on I completely immersed myself in music. After a year or two of DJing at parties around Edinburgh, I began learning to produce. My friend Aymen gave me some lessons initially, then in 2016 I made the decision to work part-time so I could really give it some focus. I’ve been lucky to have friends that are producers, so I’m always able to get advice, or a fresh set of ears on something I’m working on. Theo Kottis has been especially great for this, and he’s always very encouraging.
You put out your debut production (a free download entitled ‘Andy Murray’) via Chapter 24 Records, and are about to release your second EP on the same label. How did your relationship with Chapter 24 come about?
It actually came about through the DJ/producer Neil Flynn, we became friends after having him over to play in Edinburgh. He told me he’d just finished a remix for the label, and I was digging the music the guys were putting out so I dropped them an email with some demos. Within the next couple of days, me, Marcus and Sam were all on a Skype call and were instantly getting on really well. They’ve really looked after me, and I’m very happy to be part of the family.
What was the inspiration behind your ‘All I Want’ EP?
With the title track, I was really going for a certain mood more than anything. I draw a lot of creative influence from experiences I’ve had on the dance floor. Once the drums and melodies were written, I let my friend Sandeman hear it and he told me that I should get a vocal on there. I had worked together with Leon Power on music in the past, but we never finished anything off. As soon as I played the track to him he instantly started improvising vocals over the top, I had goosebumps. Eventually we refined it together to where it’s at just now. Leon is a real talent, and I’m very lucky to be able to work with him – his vocal makes the track.
The B side ‘Elle’ was completely inspired by the TV series ‘Stranger Things’. I watched the whole thing in one week and felt really moved by it, I loved the music also. The next day I made the track, and it all flowed really naturally.
If you could collaborate with any artist in the future, who would it be?
I’d love to work with Sampha, he’s one of my favourite artists. I went to see him recently in London and it was amazing. I think different sounds make for a great collaboration, and his is voice is incredible also.
What upcoming gigs/events have you got planned?
This Saturday I’m actually playing with Dixon for Nightvision’s Edinburgh Festival closing party, which should be great! Next week I’m doing a live stream from a London rooftop for bloop. radio with the Chapter 24 crew and some other great guests. Then in October I’m playing in Amsterdam at the Chapter 24 x When We Dip ADE showcase.
I recently started a residency in Leeds for a new brand called ‘truelove.’ and I have a residency at Sneaky Pete’s club for ‘L’ANATOMIE’.
I also run a party here in Edinburgh with my friend Simon Bays called ‘Tweak_’, which happens once a month. We’ve had some great guests, but we usually play together all night. The club is always full of our friends, it’s a proper party atmosphere!
Can you tell us anything about what the future looks like for you?
Yes! I’ve got more music coming out soon, should be before the end of the year. Leon Power and I have been collaborating further: writing, producing and Leon laying down the vocals again. I also made a track with Sandeman; it’s been great working with other artists as I learn lots from it. For the next while I plan on getting my head down in the studio, between that and the release schedule I’m very excited for what’s to come!
You can pre-order Kieran Apter’s EP here.