Dutch artist Kind Of One delves deep into how his year has been, the recent projects he’s been working on, including his recent ‘The Return Of Time’ EP on Descend Records. His deep, progressive and melodic sounds are continuing to turn heads and we’re pleased to welcome him to the ongoing Get to Know series.
How are you, how has the year been so far?
It has been one hell of a rollercoaster ride this year. It has been terrible for the industry and I feel so bad to see so many companies and artists suffer under the circumstances. For me personally and as an artist I took the time to reflect on life and my future in music. Just before Corona hit I made the decision to make a major change. After producing and releasing music for years under a different name I felt I had to make a fresh start and focus on absolute musical freedom in the studio. The best move I ever made. Since then I’ve been making the best music I ever finished and Corona actually gave me more time to stack up on productions. Besides being an artist I also run 50:HERTZ. I feel terrible that we have to miss our annual activities during ADE but this period also gave us the chance to create completely new projects which we hope to launch by the end of the year and next year.
What do you miss most about life pre lockdown?
Of course, I miss the festivals the most like any artist will, I’m sure. I got very spoiled, living in the Netherlands, the country with the most festivals. We used to have multiple massive festivals every weekend during summer. Something we might never have like that again. Either way, we got used to having so many and because of this crazy time I’m sure we’ll appreciate any festival way more once we get a better time again.
Do you think DJs playing parties again now are irresponsible and harming the scene’s return for all of us?
When it comes to living with Corona regulations, I think people should live according to the day to day status. When hospitals get overflown again with very severe cases, you won’t find me at any party, not performing or as a guest. But here in the Netherlands the numbers have been very steady for a couple of months now. No big rises in cases and especially hardly any rise in hospitalizations nor deaths. So yeah, therefore I do join in on an occasional intimate party here and there. Not on a weekly basis or with just anyone, but I pick my moments. Last week for instance I got to play at a private party. They actually created a boiler room setup in a bedroom with a mirrored wardrobe closet. I did a full set with just my new Kind Of One productions. While I was playing word spread through the room and after a few tracks everybody knew that all the music was self-produced. To see all those people get so enthusiastic about my sound was incredibly intense. Especially during these crazy times. Moments like that are precious, artists should for sure pick their moments but always stay responsible.
Tell us about your new EP for Descend – what inspired it?
This EP represents a fresh start to me. A fresh start with brand new opportunities. I’m truly ready for people to get to know a brand-new side of me. Something they won’t see coming and they might not expect from me. For years I’ve been looking for what all artists calls “my sound”. A sound not copied from others but something that is personal and comes from within. Now finally, somehow, it’s coming out and it feels great. I’m proud of the music I make and the response so far has been more then motivating to stay on this path.
How do you feel about how social and political dance music has become. Is that good or bad?
One of the main things we work so hard for with 50:HERTZ, is to create a community with a free mindset and a lot less backstage politics. I say less, because you can never go without. The dance music scene is a business scene in which a lot of money is concerned. Within every business landscape there is and will always be politics, both on a social as well as on a business level. If you’re in it for a career, you’re going to have to play the game and you’re going to have to be great at it. You’ll have to stand out, anticipate on the audience and be 5 steps ahead of others. But that said, the game has to be played as fair and credible as possible. The best and most original have to come out on top, not the ones with the most friends, connections or money. It still always has to be about the creativity as the leading element of success. An idealistic thought I’m afraid but still if we aim at it, we might be able to get closer to a better scene.
Do you have a process in the studio you go through when making music? Any rituals to get you in the mood?
Haha…well my process is also my greatest handicap. I always need to get everything else done to clear my head before I can focus on making music. Once I get started, I almost always get into it and lately I can say that almost every session something interesting comes out. But getting to the point to actually getting started is my greatest battle. I’m doing so much that once I’m hardly ever really done with all that I need to work on. But once I get going it’s all about having fun. For my tracks I try to experiment with new techniques for every track. Therefore, my process is very playful, I just go for it and if I find myself enjoying a sound, I move forward on it. If I feel that I’m going in circles or find myself adding elements to make it sound interesting I taught myself to sometimes throw all the main elements away and start over. That really has helped me over the last year to get to the sound I’m releasing now.
Are you someone who works in there for set work hours or only when the inspiration takes you?
I think my previous question kinda answered this already but maybe the background story about my new name fully explains further. The name “Kind Of One” of course comes from the phrase “One of a kind”. But for me it’s not about being different so much its more about producing my personal style. So it’s all about that one specific kind that belongs to me and only me. It’s very personal so I get inspired by anything. Good moments and bad, which I’m sure is the same for many people. But many people do produce a certain sound of which they think many people will like it and therefore will give them opportunities. I did the same for years too. But now, I really produce what I want to produce. So yeah, I will produce when I get inspired which can be any time and from anything.
Do you have go-to bits of gear or software when making you tunes that really define your sounds?
Yeah for sure! I love very big spatial sounding tracks. Therefore the effects plugins “Shimmer” by Valhalla, “Replika XT” by NI and most of al “Portal” by OUTPUT really do the magic for my productions. Furthermore I work with Maschine Studio, Minilogue XD and the Behringer Model-D. But my absolute go to synth for all my productions is Omnisphere. All the stories told about it is so true. Once you discover its potential, you’ll never go anywhere else anymore. It truly stands out over any other synth for me!
What’s next for you? What you doing after this interview?
Talking about producing is of course a trigger to get excited to hit the studio. So yeah a very cliché answer, but me and my two Techno cats will be hitting the studio after this session!
What was the record, party or DJ set that had the biggest impact on you so far?
As an artist I got to experience a lot if impacting moments, both on and off stage. But as Kind Of One it was for sure that intimate event I mentioned last week. I got so much appreciation for my music that it had an amazing impact on me. It was the first time ever I got to do a set featuring only my own productions and to get that kind of response was insane. It feels great to be appreciated for your music and I can only hope this was just the first of many moments to come, on which I can proudly showcase my music like that. I can’t wait for Corona to end and get ready to grab on to any opportunity that comes my way!