Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bright & Shiny Interview with Sticky K

Before he had even graduated from college, Californian producer Sticky K was already signed to Dubsided Records, the label of UK house titan Switch (1/2 of Major Lazer) alongside heavyweights like Herve and Sinden. Three years later, at the age of 23, he's remixed everyone from Crookers to Larry Tee and released multiple high quality original productions that show he's one of the most exciting young talents emerging onto the dance music scene right now. Based out of San Francisco, Sticky K has made a name for himself both in California and on a global scale with performances at major festivals like Los Angeles' HARD Haunted Mansion and killer tracks that have been supported by big name DJs across the world including everyone from Diplo to Foamo. He played in Santa Barbara earlier this year alongside Destructo and I was lucky enough to get to meet and talk to the man himself, and I can say he's one of the chillest and humblest DJs you'll meet anywhere. He was good enough to answer a couple questions for the Bright & Shiny nation, so check them out below along with some of the dude's best tracks.

[Bright & Shiny] You've enjoyed a lot of success recently, such as your inclusion in the lineup at the 2010 installment of the legendary HARD Haunted Mansion, but I want to rewind a bit and talk about your roots. I'm a student at UCSB, and I know you graduated from here not too long ago. How did being in Santa Barbara help craft where you are as an artist now?

[Sticky K] I can't say if Santa Barbara in particular was important in my development as a producer, but I think more generally just being in college and having a bullshit easy major that I did made it easy to find time work on beats. As far as DJing though, because of the social lifestyle of Santa Barbara, it did lend to more house parties and chances to try stuff out and get shit crackin'!
Larry Tee - Let's Make Nasty (Sticky K Remix)

[B&S] How did you get into electronic music in the first place?

[Sticky K] My roots in electronic music are deep in Warp Records, like Boards of Canada, Autuchre, Jimmy Edgar, what was considered at the time as "intelligent" dance music, whatever that means. At the same time I was listening to this kind of music I was really into bay area hip-hop and this was the peak of the hyphy movement in 05' and there was a lot of weird crazy drum machines and synths. This was important because I first started making hip-hop beats and then started making house tracks.
Crookers feat. MC Leka - Para De Gracinha (Sticky K Remix)

[B&S] How do you think your sound has changed since the early days of your career? I remember hearing the Willowz remix you did as well as the Maru one (two of your more recent releases), and being extremely impressed because they were really good and they also seemed to have a different feel from most of the other stuff I had heard from you. Is there any particular direction you're trying to take your sound right now?

[Sticky K] My number one rule for making music is to never force no matter how bad I need to make a club banger, if I feel like doing something more deep than so be it. I'm not really in control of the vibes they kinda control me...
The Willowz - I Know (Sticky K Remix)

Pance Party - Maru (Sticky K Remix)

[B&S] 2010 was obviously a huge year for you, between playing at HARD Haunted Mansion alongside some of the biggest names in the game, and your inclusion on Beatport's favorite Electro-House of 2010 list. What can we expect from you in 2011?

[Sticky K] In 2011 I have a bunch of new singles coming out. "Prince of Persia" came out on Dubsided on March 15. I hope to break out a bit more this year, just to have the general awareness of my music increase a little more and hopefully do some more touring... You never know though... you can't plan these things.

Sticky K - Prince of Persia [buy on Itunes or Beatport]

[B&S] What's your studio setup like? Any one piece of equipment you couldn't live without?

[Sticky K] My studio setup is can be considered a perfect example of wabi-sabi. No, but seriously I don't like to tell people what I use because it doesn't matter what you use. I just have a computer/midi keyboard and some small M-Audio monitors. Modest, but gets the job done.
Sticky K - The Weirdo (Original Mix)

[B&S] What's your creative process like when you sit down to create a track? Do you go in with structured plans of what you want to accomplish or do you have a more free flowing approach? Is there a different process when you do remixes vs originals?

[Sticky K] As far as my process of making music I have to be a bitch and quote "to try and talk about music is like dancing about architecture." I cop out like this because in reality I have really no idea what hell I'm doing most of the time.

[B&S] Haha fair enough. Obviously the electronic music scene is totally exploding right now, with loads of great stuff coming out in all of the different sub-genres. What artists do you look at as being particularly inspiring or innovative?

[Sticky K] There are so many good artists out there right now it's mind blowing. Makes it harder for me. Some of the favorite guys out there right now are Savage Skulls from Sweden, along with another Swede, Tony Senghore. From France you have the Club Cheval crew and if you haven't heard of Canblaster go to his soundcloud page right now!

[B&S] Finally, if you could play any venue in the world, what would it be?

[Sticky K] If I could play any venue it would have the Social Club in Paris. It's small, but has character.

Sticky K - The Reason I Love Life (Original Mix)

Well there you have it. Thanks again to Sticky K, and be sure to head over to Itunes or Beatport and grab some more of the man's filthy beats.

Stay Classy,

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