Exclusive Interview: Five Minutes with Koloto

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Like a much-needed breath of fresh air, Koloto arrives on the scene with her lively, IOA EP via Interstellar Music Ltd. The EP was released last Friday and features the track ‘IOA (Part 1)’ which sets a tone of high-level energy. A self-taught multi-instrumentalist, Koloto displays a skill of bringing organic elements to electronic music with bold and cheerful percussive rhythms. Five years as the bassist for Delta Sleep provides only a hint at what this producer is capable of as she has also toured and played with a variety of other bands. 

Starting to become curious about the songstress? So were we. Find out more in our exclusive interview below.

Set the tone for us. Why the arts?

It’s hard to say. Like all kids, I loved to create – making a mess with colour and sound is just something I never grew out of. My mum is a phenomenal painter and she always nurtured my creative side, and my big brother is a virtuoso guitar player, so probably a lot of it is down to their influence growing up.

Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?

It usually always starts with a harmonic Idea. For my last few releases I’ve been creating my own artwork and I’ve found this to be really useful for informing the sound since I always try to evoke a strong sense of place in my music.

What’s on your current playlist?

Chon’s pitch dark and rosewood, Ólafur Arnalds  Saman, Alarmist’s Cordillera, Luminism’s Roblox Girlfriend and If you want love are all on repeat at the moment.

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.

I’m quite a shy reclusive person, so standing in front of an audience has always been huge a struggle. I’ve been doing it for over a decade now in various forms but it has never got any easier.  Because of this struggle (or perhaps in spite of it), there is a moment just as I hit the first note where it feels like a switch just flips and I enter a sort of meditative state of pure concentration. All the anxiety just dissipates and I’m completely in the moment. It’s a state that I can’t get into in any other circumstances, so I guess that’s why I continue to do it.

What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?

The Koloto sound stems from using allot of tuned percussion. Once I have a melodic idea, I use various editing techniques and effects to try and obscure that idea so it becomes more of a suggestion. 

Take us through a day in the recording studio.

A day in the studio can vary wildly depending on what I’m working on but the one constant is Tea….lots of it!

Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?

I’ve pretty much always been involved in music on some level, I started writing in my teens and went on to study music production, I also played in a few different bands. So there was never really a single moment, It’s always been a natural progression. 

What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?

Water

Any emerging artists on your radar?

I really love the music of Fjun, its really fun and playful. I also really love Human pyramids and Natalie Evans to name but a few.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

I wish I could answer that, there are plenty of things I find inspiring but that doesn’t necessarily translate into the inspiration to create. It all seems subject to some unknown variables, I can go from feeling completely uninspired to a sudden wellspring of creativity. I often think that this feature of creativity is it’s saving grace, it’s something that I can’t self administer so when decides to grace me it’s something truly magical that I savour.

Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.

I have a whole bunch of different instruments that I use for jamming out ideas; guitar, bass, drums and a whole bunch of tuned percussion.  I recently acquired a fisherman tripleplay wireless MIDI guitar controller, this is a total game-changer as it saves so much time transcribing, so I use this a lot for inputting melodic ideas. I have a Roland SPD-30 and AKAI MPD232 which I use for creating beats and I use a combination of Logic Pro and Ableton for sequencing and recording. 

Any side projects you’re working on?

I’m currently working on an EP with a London based singer/songwriter called Shania. This project is quite a departure from my usual sound so it’s been a really fun challenge. It’s also really refreshing to work on music with someone else, something I haven’t done for quite some time.

How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?

My experiences have been really varied, I’ve played a few different instruments in different bands as well as producing music for other people, so it’s felt like a bit of a “wax on wax off” scenario to get to where I am today.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?

I’ve been working really hard on a new live set, so this year was going to be focused around playing lots of shows, although current events have put a bit of a dampener on that, so expect to see some live streaming. I’ve also got a whole bunch of new music to share.

Famous last words?

I’m fine

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