WYS!: Catching Up With Miss Kittin
Ahead of her return appearance at this Sunday’s second Bank Holiday party provided by our favourite trio of Sunday night people, WetYourSelf!, the WYS! guys caught up with their long time friend and Room One headliner, Miss Kittin. Something of a prolific collaborator the French born Kittin has worked with numerous names and her ascension back to Farringdon this weekend stamps something of a landmark on WYS!’s impact on this Royal Wedding weekend.
Hello Kittin! We are very happy to welcome you back to WYS! on Sunday, we’re counting the days until we see you.
You seem to have a unique ability to transcend underground and popular culture as an artist, and as a vocalist. To what extent are you conscious of your audience and contexts when you compose?
Everything comes out in such a strange spontaneous way. Being in the studio is a precious intimacy I can't explain. You have to be opened to be inspired, but when I compose, I focus on what I feel, only. I would never have done what I've done if I would try to please. I must say I am not conscious enough about my audience... I don't mean it in a bad way, I just always under-estimate myself... Somehow, this naive state of mind keeps me going I suppose. On the other hand, with experience, I learnt the power of words; I am trying to write deeper and deeper.
You’ve studied art and graphic design to a high level, yet you’ve forged a career in making music. Do you feel like your background in art has influenced your approach to music, and if so to what extent?
A few years ago, I could say music was a reaction against art... My short art experience was more painful than expected. At school, you're supposed to learn how to know yourself, dig inside and deliver a point of view, but instead, I got extremely frustrated and pushed down, by teachers and by the establishment. Now, I can say I learnt a lot from it, I learnt to break the rules and follow my instinct, even if the whole world is against you. Also in my working method, I realised my first spontaneous ideas are always the best, and always comes fast. In art, like in music, no one but you can tell if what you do is good, once you know your intimate conviction. Of course it's not an easy path...
You have collaborated with wide ranging and prolific artists, can you tell us a little bit about your approach when doing collaborative work in the studio, and how it might differ by providing perhaps some specific examples of work in the past?
First of all a connection has to happen - most of the times it was as I say "happy accidents." For example, I started working with The Hacker because I needed to do a track and he was the only one I knew who had equipment and could help me. With Felix Da Housecat, we met in a festival in Switzerland, ‘Frank Sinatra’ just got released, he was so fan, the next day we were in a friend's studio in Geneva and did ‘Madame Hollywood.’ In the moment you don't know what's gonna happen but it happens, a subtle chemistry you may not even notice yourself because you're having fun. Sometimes artists call me, like Sven Väth, and it works, beyond the pressure. All in all, it's about enjoying digging into the other's universe, sharing visions and tastes, coping with differences till you bring the best out of the two. You naturally push the other over his boundaries and the other way round. It's quite a privilege that makes you lazy to work on your own...
You’ve mentioned before that you wanted to build a band with your best girlfriends but it never happened, have you any thoughts on reigniting that idea, and if so what would it sound like?
He he... Yes it would be nice... It would probably sound like modern punk! Easy riffs, strong melodies, basslines with one string, the lower, a keyboard, a drum machine! But my girlfriends are hard to catch, and so I am... The idea came mostly to have fun together and enjoy the jam experience like any other bands playing in their garage! I would probably ask Andrew Weatherall to produce it ha ha ha! My other dream project would be to make a musical with Peaches, just imagine it... The 2 of us on stage telling a story of 2 girls in a tour bus or something... ha ha ha I am just laughing on my own!
Electronic music, and technology in general, has a special way of liberating people in many ways. For many, it is a way of creating music, even if they have no traditional knowledge of composition, allowing anyone with even a laptop computer to make a song if they want to. However it has also created a certain amount of friction and uncertainty towards how music is produced and consumed. How do you feel this progression is evolving, and where do you see music in relation to technology in the future, in terms of production, performance and consumption?
I am the perfect example of someone who knows nothing about technology... I started singing without a voice, even! I am very happy to be able to write a song in my studio with just a computer and a microphone. It shows technology doesn't bring ideas but helps you putting them down. Most of studio engineers I met know so much about technology they can't compose. They’ve always told me I don't need to know about technology, as they are just here for that. I started to stop feeling guilty about my lack of nerdiness.
The conclusion is always the same: technology doesn't make music. There will always be musicians lost in technology, and musicians using technology to serve their ideas.
Finally, might you have a picture of your beloved dog Disco to share with us?
This one? : )
Check out Kittin’s most recent mix via the widget below…