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Kidda Interview October 2011

Alyson Cocker


Ahead of the release of his new album, Hotel Radio, on Monday, we caught up with Kidda to learn more about his music…

MTTM: For music lovers out there who haven’t heard your work before, how would you describe who you are and what you do?

Kidda: I’m an old, old man who lives by the sea, crafting roughly hewn shanties from the flotsam and jetsam of the past. Soon to set sail on the oceans of the future with the wind of change in its sails…oh, I dunno, I’m just a grumpy bell-end with a laptop, who makes pop-driven dance music across a variety of styles, essentially.

MTTM: What are you influences behind your most recent animated videos?

Kidda: The last promo I made was Teddy Bear for Midfield General a couple of years ago. It’s a monologue about a boy on a CB radio talking to a lone truck driver about his dead father…cheery stuff. My animation work is solely influenced by how many corners I can cut in order to get the point across, that’s why I create characters out of boxes – less polygons to render. It’s a bonus if it looks nice.

MTTM: Can you tell MTTM a bit more about your soon to be released album?

Kidda: ‘Hotel Radio’ is my second longest album. I moved everything up a notch, writing all of the songs and ditched using samples. It’s sounds similar to ‘Going Up’ but there’s more words, bigger hooks, better production and it’s a bit less self indulgent. There’s a broader influence of music on this one too. Looking back, you don’t really know where it’s going when you’re making a record and it’s probably the element of surprise in what I came up with in the studio, that drove the project forward to its conclusion.

MTTM: You have worked with a variety of artists/singers on your new release, how did you decide which artist to involve?

Kidda: First time around I tried to work with as many artists as I could, from Psycho Les (The Beatnuts) to Gary Lightbody (Snow Patrol) and Blak Twang. I guess because I’d written the songs, I wanted more control over the vocal rather than getting a zip file from NY and hoping for the best. Also, collaborating with some folks can be made difficult if their management are pricks.

For ‘Hotel Radio’, the majority of the vocalists live in Brighton and those who don’t, came down to record with me which just felt a little more wholesome. If the song’s good enough, then you don’t have to look far to find some talented vocalists to bring them to life and there’s some of the best around here. I’d worked with Laura Vane on Going Up and had great results so had her back in for a couple of sessions. Jennifer Dalby had done some work with Lee (Baker, who I co-produce with) who introduced us and worked out so well on ‘The Whistler’, she gave her vocals to two other tunes. Lucy Atkinson raps with Brighton dubstep crew PRJCT MYHM and has a real fun/bitchy attitude to her delivery, again we got some great sessions for a few tracks.

MTTM: Do you have plans to tour with the release of the album on the horizon?

Kidda: There’s an intention as much as a plan…we got the live/animation show together over the summer and had a few great gigs so far, but it costs to take it on the road. If the wind blows in the right direction, all will be well.

MTTM: What angle have you taken for this new release? Which influences inspired you?

Kidda: I just wanted to develop the songwriting and production a bit, fill in the gaps you find on the first album and retain a sense of fun. I never intentionally set out to make a Daft Punk record, for example, but in hindsight you can see where certain things popped into your brain when you made decisions on the direction of a tune. There’s all sorts of stuff in there, hip hop, obviously and a bit of house and electro after DJing for the years in between the two albums. Occasionally it sounds like I’ve been punk’d by the Beach Boys, which ain’t all bad either.

MTTM: Our readers are always looking for new talent, have you worked with any up and coming artists that you would recommend?

Kidda: Laura Vane goes out with her band the Vipertones who are big in and around Holland right now playing their own brand of proper funk and soul. Jen Dalby has just started out as Jennifer Left in a folk vein too. I’ve not worked with him but I’m all over Action Bronson right now – He’s a bit rude but check him out.

MTTM: What is next on the horizon for Kidda?

Kidda: Just keeping the show on the road and hopefully do some more travelling next year. I’ve been working on new stuff for album 3 which, in part, sounds like wearing very expensive sneakers. A good start.