Insight Interview: Koncide

We caught up recently with UK future garage producer Koncide to talk about music and what’s on the horizon in 2018. Check out our exclusive interview here…

Hey Koncide, thanks so much for agreeing to an interview. Where are you based? Do you tend to travel a lot, or are you firmly rooted at home?

No problem at all, thanks for having me 🙂 I’m based in a small town not far from Nottingham, UK, where my musical roots lie. I travel all the time, mostly for music. I’m in Leeds almost as much as I’m at home, I go to underground nights like Subdub and Highrise pretty regularly. I love the scene in Leeds, it’s a close knit community and I’ve met so many people just through music. The rule is, if I need to unwind, I’m in Leeds. When I’m in work mode, I’m in Nottingham.

Can you recall your first real exposure to music? 

Video games. I’ve not played them for years, but I still occasionally get the music from stuff like age of empires 2 or ocarina of time stuck in my head. I can honestly say that it was through gaming that I achieved any kind of musical sense, and I think that people who are in their 20s and 30s now are possibly the first generation to have that as a thing, music through games as opposed to just radio and TV. Guys like Koji Kondo who did the mario and legend of zelda music are pure genius, and it’s a shame they don’t get talked about as much as film or TV composers.

Apart from gaming, my mum was a massive influence as well. Stuff like Bowie, Queen, Motown. Bowie was almost like another parent to me. I have an early pressing of the rise and fall of ziggy stardust on record and it’s like a sacred object to me.

How and when did you first begin writing and creating music?

When I was about 13 I started playing guitar. I played in a few bands, jammed with friends, occasionally busked and played in open mic nights in pubs. It was a few years later that I started to get into the electronic side of things. I got caught up in that huge wave when dubstep started to surface around 2008-2010, and it changed me. I got myself a copy of Reason and started playing around, and began to meet people through going to raves who were on a similar vibe. I don’t make dubstep now, not in that traditional sense anyway, but dubstep is my first love as far as bass music is concerned.

How did you decide upon the name Koncide?

I decided on it as it’s to do with a nerdy interest of mine… it’s based on a couple of ancient languages though I wont go into that here 😉

Have you made or released music under any other name?

None. Koncide has simply evolved over time. A little Youtube or Soundcloud search of my name will show you the stuff I was making in like 2012/2013. It’s massively different to what I make now. I even thought about changing my name at one point, cause I thought the shift was too radical. But I’m not out for really making a “brand” of Koncide. The name is just a reflection of what’s going on with me musically. That’s always going to be subject to change, so the name follows me wherever I go. Maybe if I started making jump up or something I’d give it a change, but even though jump up is a guilty pleasure of mine I don’t see that happening any time soon…

Can you describe your music for us?

That’s a tough one… I guess it falls in with downtempo/future garage, but personally I’d just describe it as bass music. I do think that genre names are increasingly meaningless now, especially in underground music. So I’d just describe my music as deep bass music I guess.

Have you played live recently? Would you like to do more shows or tours in future? Anything coming up soon you’d like to tell us about?

I used to gig quite regularly when I was playing dubstep, but it died down a bit. I guess I actively stopped pursuing it when I started to get more into the mellow side. I still play at house parties occasionally, playing stuff similar to the old tunes I used to play. I’d like to give playing future garage a go, but it would have to be at the right event… and there’s nothing like that, at least not in the north. Not yet anyway.

What have been your biggest influences?

For the sound I make, Burial, without a shadow of a doubt, and I know a lot of guys into that future garage vibe would probably say the same thing. I don’t think I’d be too far wrong in saying that Burial kick-started this whole thing that I’m a part of. Though not to be a copy cat! I think a few artists have almost fallen into the trap of imitating Burial too much, and it shows in the sound, and even in soundcloud comments I’ve seen some listeners remark on how “Burial” a tune sounds… never imitate. Draw inspiration from yeah, and Burial was seriously ahead of the game when he first started releasing stuff, so it’s fertile ground to build on top of. But as an artist it’s so important to push the boat out a little and do something different.

As for influences I’d also name dubstep up there, like I said earlier. And just to clarify that I’m talking about the Deep Medi type dubstep, not the Skrillex type, although I’m not a dubstep purist, just throwing that out there 😉

There’s others I draw inspiration from as well. Vacant is a big one, guy’s doing some great stuff. Synkro is another big personal inspiration, it was probably between him and Burial that got me into what I’m doing now.

Do you think producing electronic music requires technical or creative skill? Or both?

A healthy mix of both, but ALWAYS creative skill as the priority. It doesn’t matter how much of a sick engineer you are, if you don’t have the ideas to convey, it’s useless knowledge unless someone is paying you to mix/master their tunes for them. And even then a good mastering engineer has to be a good creative musician to understand what the artist they’re working with is trying to do.

But then it’s a noisy world out there. There’s literally millions of producers, and you need to stand out. It’s technical skill that can help you do that. The combination of truly great musicians and engineers is rare, really rare. But when it happens you get great stuff. I always think of Noisia when I talk about that combination. Those guys make literally perfect tunes. It’s like it’s not even humanly possible.

Do you tend to find the creative process a cathartic or therapeutic experience? Has creating music helped you cope with difficult times in your life?

Most definitely. I’m quite a moody guy by nature, but that helps a lot, cause the emotion I’m trying to convey is real. It’s not faked. It’s weird cause I’m also very social, I love meeting and chatting to new people. But I also like to be alone, I like to work on stuff and get lost in projects, not just music but music is a big part of that.

And I wouldn’t say music has helped me cope with difficult times in my life. It’s more like music has helped me cope with life in general. Everything is better when there’s a tune playing.

Any collaborations, remixes or joint projects on the horizon? 

I’m in discussion with a few people right now, but I don’t want to give anything away just yet 🙂

Any new genres or musical styles you’d like to explore in future?

I’ve made grime and deep dubstep before, but I always toy with the idea of going back to that with a fresh mind-set. So start making aggressive, dancefloor orientated tunes again, but also stick with the vibes that I’m known for at present. Some people can do that and make it work. Maybe I can as well, but at the moment my head is fully up in the clouds with the ambience and mellow stuff. I can’t see myself really breaking away from that for a long time, if ever. But who knows, I’ll continue to evolve as a person and an artist like we all do.

Do you have any thoughts on the future of electronic music? Do you think the scene will evolve further?

I can’t wait to see what happens in the future. Genre boundaries are already breaking down, but in 10/20 years I can see this process getting crazy. Take a lot of what we call music now and send it back 30 years, and it would barely be recognisable. So what about in another 30 years? I don’t want to speculate because it’s impossible to predict but it’s going to be so interesting to see.

Any new releases coming our way?

I have a Bandcamp EP coming soon, hoping for 3 or 4 tracks with maybe a remix. I’m going to be uploading free tunes every month or so as well. Also working on some stuff for a new compilation featuring myself and some other artists, but more details will come of that when the time is right 🙂

Any artists or other individuals / collectives you’ve not worked with yet that you’d like to work with in future?

I’m fairly open to collaboration, as long as whoever I’m working with is serious and dedicated, and we can figure out a similar vibe.

Do you have a favourite track / song of all time? Favourite artist?

Not of all time… it fluctuates on even a weekly basis. I feel like a musical nomad, I travel between genres and artists a lot. Been listening to a lot of liquid dnb recently but like I said it fluctuates… if I really had to pick something for definite though I’m pretty sure Burial – Endorphin would be one of my favourite tracks, in any genre, ever. It’s like raw emotion personified in music. As for THE favourite artist of all time that’s just too hard for me to answer… depends what mood I’m in, a different artist for different moods maybe.

It’s been said that a life in music can be a hard one. Would you agree with that? 

Definitely. It’s a craft, and you should perfect it. Finding the time can be tough as well… like I dedicate a huge amount of time to music but the fact is I have other things I’ve got to do as well. And sometimes I go days without even touching Reason and I feel like I’ve fallen off track. And I’ve lost the drive in the past as well… though it’s always come back. I don’t think I could stop if I tried tbh.

Do you have any words of advice for aspiring young producers?

Do the work. Learn and read everywhere you can, and be patient. This stuff can be hard, especially if you’re trying to do something different, which you should be doing. Be unique, it’s tough but it’s rewarding because you know you’ve got your own corner, your own sound.

Any other projects on the horizon that you’d like to tell us about?

Just the Bandcamp EP and the compilation I’ll tell you about right now 😉

And finally – are there any tracks / artists that are relatively unknown that you’d like people to know about?

There’s one guy that everyone should know about… I came across him on Dubstep forum a couple of years back. He goes by the name of Haida, he has a tune called Splinters that is honestly one of the most beautiful bits of music I’ve ever heard, in any genre. He has a handful of followers and doesn’t output a lot of stuff but his Soundcloud page is where you want to go if you want to experience something cool. Definitely a hidden gem of a guy.

Thanks so much Koncide!

You’re welcome 🙂

Koncide’s amazing back catalogue is available here. Enjoy! <3