For quite some time there has been frequent doubts that the EDM scene will ever have something to look forward to again. Fans outraged due to no originality in artists productions. Many feel that everything sounds so similar causing them to lose interest in the genre. Every so often you can hear pleas for something new, something original, different; Ken Loi has done just that. During the past 3 years Ken Loi has accomplished what many artists spend an entire career trying to achieve.
Ken Loi was previously named “Breakthrough Artist Of The Year” by none other than the Legendary Dutch Mogul Tiesto in 2011, making the name ”Ken Loi” something every Dance Music fan would go on to remember. Immediately after, Ken Loi went on to release a major production, “All It Takes” which was debuted on Tiesto’s label, Musical Freedom. If that isn’t enough to make you a believer, Ken Loi soon joined forces with Tiesto for a collaborated remix of Calvin Harris single, “Sweet Nothing Ft. Florence Welch” which made its way onto Tiesto’s world famous “Club Life Vol. 3” mix. The musical prodigy went on to remix tracks for heavy weights such as Kaskade, Tritonal, Bingo Players, Christina Aguilera, and Gym Class Heroes to name just a few.
Ken Loi took his revolutionary sound to a whole new level in 2013 by creating his own music label, ”Starbright Records”. Not only did this give Ken Loi the freedom to control what productions of his got released, but more importantly it gave his unique sound a home of it’s own. Just recently Starbright Records released its first official EP in early March of 2014 titled, “Amorphous”.
You can grab a copy of Ken Loi’s debut EP on iTunes HERE
Amorphous is a 3-Track EP in which listeners can expect a one of a kind, emotional, storytelling melody mixed with that adrenaline fueled club vibe Ken Loi is famous for. Audrianna Cole provides brilliant vocals and is featured on two of the debut tracks along with the previously released Zashanell and Infitinee collaboration “Too Late”.
Late last week Royale Boston gave the city a chance to see the limitless artist perform his live set. Immediately after his set came to an end I had the chance to sit down and discuss a variety of topics with Ken Loi, such as how “Amorphous” came to life, ways he handled the rise to fame in such a short time frame, methods and inspirations behind his legendary productions, and much much more. Check out what was said in the interview below.
Boston EDM: 2012 was a big year. Having done remixes for Tiesto, Kaskade & Gym Class Heroes, what is your reaction to all of this in just a short time?
Ken Loi: It was a lot to take in. I had been doing it all on my own for a while so when you finally get noticed it’s a good feeling. I actually had been producing for years before 2012 as a matter of fact, I had been doing it since 2006 so it was very nice to see it all come together. It was nothing crazy, but nice to see it slowly paying off.
Can you explain how you were able to deal with all of the success in such a short time frame?
You just have to keep going haha. It was like, “Alright, what’s next? How can I better myself?”
You said you have been producing since 2006, would you say during 2012 was the time you felt like you had found your ‘sound’ as an artist?
Uhm. It’s always changing I think. 2012 was just a year where I was doing the right things at the right time, I suppose. My production skills were getting up to par with other people, I am still finding my sound now. I would say I have a good idea but it takes a very long time and a lot of experimenting to truly develop your own ‘sound’ in my opinion.
In 2013 you had created your own record label by the name of Starbright Records what was your reasoning for this?
Yea, it was a part of finding my sound type of deal. The type of stuff I make is different than the usual stuff that other labels are releasing. So with my stuff, I felt like my style and sound needed its own home. It was a way to create a platform for my music and have more control and put out what I believe in.
I want to touch up a bit on your recent release on Starbright. You have just released the first EP of yours on Starbright called “Amorphous”, which has a lot of melodic vocals on it. How did it call come together?
Well I have so much music, and those tracks were the best that I felt went together. So I went with that and just released it.
First of all, what is the meaning behind Amorphous?
Well, it means that it’s shapeless. Not defined. I feel that my music is its own thing. It doesn’t really follow anything, It’s just music that I like hearing and making so that’s how I came up with the name.
“I have my own Label, and whenever I make a track I make what I like and try my best not to follow what others are doing or what the popular “sound” is”
– Ken Loi
What were some of the influences or inspirations that led to the making of the 3-Track EP along with the vocals?
Well I really enjoy working with vocalists so I went with that. How it started was I would make a track, send it out to get different vocals then when I got it sent back to me I just took it from there. See what worked best.
Speaking of vocalists, Audrianna Cole was featured twice on “Amorphous”. Any special reason why you chose her?
Haha I just love her voice. I actually had those tracks for nearly two years. So I had them for a while and finished them sometime last year so I had been sitting on them for awhile.
Do you have a favorite vocalist at the moment? Any out there you want to work with that you have not already?
I am working with a couple of new ones right now, but as far as favorite? Oh god haha there are so many out there. I love them all! But right now I am more focusing on new undiscovered singers. I found a few indie singers and people all over.There are truly some unbelieveable singers out there that no one has heard of so I always am searching for something new, raw, undiscovered. So I’m kind of going that direction versus the,” Oh this person worked on this track so I want to work with them”.
I was doing a bit of research on you, and I went to your Soundcloud page. I was blown away by how many bootlegs, edits, mashups and remixes you have out publically! How important is it for you as an artist to have so many?
Really I made them for my sets. Over time people were noticing these and asked me which is the only reason why I put them up. I wanted to be different and original during my set so that’s the only reason why. You probably heard a lot of edits during tonights show.
There is a lot of talk about how everything is “the same” or very “similar” at this current point in the EDM scene. What are your thoughts on that?
Ahhh! I think it’s true. I feel it’s not as exciting as it use to be. I mean, most of it works on the dance floor and people like it but originality isn’t as exciting. Whenever I see a label advertising a track preview and I listen to it’s like the same thing as other songs I’ve previously heard and don’t get excited anymore. It’s like the common trend is to make something louder.
Does this kind of chatter influence your productions at all? Or is there another reason for the variety and quality of your personal edit packs and mashups?
Uhm, I’m kind of doing my own thing. I mean, I have my own label, and whenever I make a track I make what I like and try my best not to follow what others are doing or what the popular “sound” is. I try my best to do my own thing and hope that people will follow and notice.
One thing I was very impressed by was the amount official remixes you have done over the years. Can you explain how you go about choosing a song to remix?
I guess it all depends if I can make the song different I suppose. Too be honest, it all depends on the vocals, because I really love vocals so I try to really only mess with that type of song.
You had previously remixed a track for Calvin Harris with Tiesto, which had a massive success by the way; along with tracks by Kaskade and Bingo Players, but then I saw you had gone as far as remixes for Christina Aguilera and Usher. What made you go that far out of the dance scene to choose these songs? Not many artists out there have made such a move as you did.
Uhmmm.. it’s fun for me to try new things. I like to keep it fresh because it gets so boring when you do the same things. I like to do all types of remixes. I don’t really follow anything I just do it. I actually have a new one coming out. Have you heard of Popeska?
Yes I have.
So I’m doing a remix for him right now. It’s a 120 BPM Track so it’s a bit different yet fun to experiment with different tracks.
Have you had any thoughts on producing a Ken Loi album?
I don’t know. Eventually I guess. If I do it will be a lot different actually.It wouldn’t be just dance tracks. It would be a bit of everything I suppose. If you listen to everything I have released, and what I’m going to release; if you take the beat away it’s really a song-song, if that makes sense. The album would be more down tempo I suppose. Not a lot of kicks or things like that.
Before the show a lot of your fans were tweeting me questions they would like me to ask. One of the questions was, “What are some of your favorite songs to play during your set?”
I would say I really try to throw in some of my edits during my set. I like it and hope people like it. It allows others to see my talent and ability as an artist, and want to be different during it. It makes me happy, I hope others feel the same about it haha.