If sugary-sweet pop isn’t quite your taste, then we’ve got just the solution in the form of Chris Kaz. The musician (as well as artist and film-maker) is channeling some dark energy in his debut release ‘Track 01’, which plays with a breadth of styles, from refined electronic elements to moving soul. Whatever it is, Kaz’s music is nothing short of atmospheric.
As a half Greek Cypriot and half German Sri Lankan who was born and bred in London, his background is diverse to say the least, which apparently goes some way in explaining his layered music style. Yet Kaz has years of music experience behind him, making ‘Track 01’ a rich, solid first outing. The opening 30 seconds or so are dedicated to unsettling chimes and a ghostly coo which whirls over the top, before his soft, haunting vocals and a thumping drumbeat join the mixture. Kaz creates just the right balance between twisted and listenable, both sides seamlessly united thanks to his stunning voice. With ‘Track 01’ continuing to make waves, we caught up with Chris Kaz to find out more about his style, inspiration and what he’s got in store for us next.
How did you first get into music?
As a child I was always into rhythm and banging my head to music. In nursery school my mum was told I was a musical child. My mum put me into classical piano lessons at a very young age, and singing [lessons]. I started producing electronic music an Uni.
What sort of setting do you imagine your music being played in?
In a big club, festival or a living room.
You’ve called your music genre-less. Does it feel liberating to not give your music a label?
I have always been in my own genre ever since a child and I feel like I belong more in a contemporary genre of music. It’s the ‘music of tomorrow’ I have always naturally gravitated towards.
Where do you draw your influence from?
It can be many [influences] or just one. Relationship based, political, spiritual, one sound, a film, a book, a story or a clairvoyant signal that protrudes my mind.
If you could collaborate with anyone, who would you pick?
The cinematic orchestra.
You have roots which span the globe. Do you think this impacts your sound at all?
Yes. I grew up listening to a lot of greek music and cultured world music because of my parents and that shaped how I created my own.
“I realised we all have these moments that haunt us and how we all find it difficult to move past them.”
You don’t just work with music, but other creative mediums too. Do you find that they overlap?
I like the way they overlap. I did fine art and film production so I like to cover all creative areas with as much input as possible. I’m an AV fine artist.
What’s the story behind ‘Track 01’?
It started with a night out with my ex girlfriend. But [it] also relates to my own experience of loss and events that scorn my memory. The song is speaking to myself and the audience to not think about it because it will only destroy you, for now.
‘Track 01’ features lyrics such as “Don’t think about those evil nights” and “Don’t let it play with your mind”. Does this reflect your own thought processes?
Yes it does. Events where I had no control of what happened and the extent it has on my memory. It started with a night out with my ex, then I realised we all have these moments that haunt us and how we all find it difficult to move past them.
You seem to have gained support from a lot of big names quite quickly. Did this come as a surprise or did you feel confident that ‘Track 01’ would be so popular?
Actually I had some support before track01, from labels and artists that I’ve worked with over the past 6 years.
How do you adapt for live performances?
I want to bring a visual show to my live set up and have live percussionists and instruments .
What have you got planned next?
I have an album coming out and an EP with producer The 83rd and a tour.
‘Track01’ is out now. Feature image by Gianluca Santoro.