Gold Coast DJ Kye Grant has seen huge success in the underground world of experimental music and has been described as the ‘Producer Turning Heads’ by Stoney Roads.
His unique and infectious high-energy performances have secured him headline shows throughout Asia and have garnered him a solid and dedicated fan base who have streamed his music over a million times.
As a recent recipient of a City of Gold Coast RADF grant, Kye has been working solidly on the Kye Grant Project – a six-track EP – which will see him release a track a week for the next six weeks.
We caught up with Kye to chat about the project, his signing to a mysterious Gold Coast label, and to get the lowdown on the first track to drop from the project ‘Run It Up’.
You have taken a break for over the past 12 months and we wondered what have you been up to?
It has been a very interesting 12 months. It was originally meant to be a six-month break while I refined my project, perfected my sound and finished an EP worth of music. However, Covid-19 had other plans. Everything was meant to roll out in March but we decided it would be best to wait as we just didn’t know what state the world was going to be in, in the months that followed. Honestly, it was extremely difficult waiting, I have had the entire project living in a dropbox folder and not being able to put music out was super tough. As a creative I think we all crave human interaction, whether that be through my live shows, or just uploading music online and interacting with people, so having to pause that was certainly a challenge. The good thing now though, is I am so ready for this and my head is 100% focussed on these releases and I am just so genuinely excited to be releasing music.
Could you tell us a little bit about the City of Gold Coast RADF grant you received and the Kye Grant Project?
Last year I applied for one of the City of Gold Coast’s RADF Grants which definitely wasn’t an easy process but so worth it, and obviously so happy I did. I received funding for the creation of an EP. This essentially extended to the creation of the music, but also the supporting digital assets, videos, press shots etc. With electronic music and technology these days I can write 95% of the track alone in my bedroom studio for free. But this grant allowed me to travel to Sydney and work alongside some top writers and other producers to make what I believe is truly the best music I have ever written. I think this is super important, as it’s easy to become stuck in a bubble living in one place and working with the same people day in, day out. Getting to work alongside some of the best producers definitely pushed me to not settle and always look for new ways to push my sound and songwriting. I am so blessed to live in a city that values and supports its creatives and wants us to compete with the best in the world.
As for the Kye Grant project, I have previously released some chill electronic music but I always found a disconnect between my DJ sets and my original music. This new rebrand (same name – new sound, branding etc) has allowed me to find a consistent sound I both love to make, but also love to play in my high energy DJ sets. I have previously toured ASIA and we had some big shows lined up to launch the project, unfortunately, this won’t be happening. It has made me reach out to all the other artists and creatives on the GC to work out some COVID-friendly ways we can release our music, throw events and hopefully soon play shows. There are some really cool local people throwing live stream events that I have been a part of which has been so great, just to get to play even if it is only online for now.
You have recently released the first song ‘Run It Up’ from the project, which is accompanied by a music video. Could you tell us a bit about the song and the video?
Run It Up’s video takes place on a fictional ancient astronaut themed moon. In the opening scene when it pans in on the computer turning on this to me signifies the starting of my project which aligns perfectly with Run It Up being the first single of my new era. For the video, I reached out to up-and-coming Melbourne-based animator FromTom who actually studied music with me at QUT in Brisbane so we have always had a great relationship. We mainly worked over Zoom with screen share going back and forwards working out exactly how we wanted the visuals to look and make sure they accompany the track. The song I wrote in Sydney on my writing trip, it was actually the very first beat I started when I sat down on day one, which was super cool. Originally I wanted it to be a vocal song, so I had a bunch of amazing top-liners write to it and send demos. But later I decided I wanted my first impression to just be a straight banger.
We heard a little rumour that you had recently signed to a label. Can you let anything out of the bag here?
I can’t say too much about this yet, I have signed with a brand new Gold Coast Label. It’s going amazing, I have an incredible team of local creatives surrounding me and I will be happy to give you all the goss once I’m allowed to talk about this one properly. But for now, they have asked I just keep it low-key for the first couple of releases.
You have planned to drop five more tracks with the Kye Grant Project over the coming weeks. What can we expect from the releases?
I have one song dropping every 6 weeks which has been super hectic planning but I am really excited. The first two are definitely those heavy trap bangers but I also have some cool more ‘radio’ tracks coming too. I have some great features, notably our third release ‘The Feeling’ which features Atlanta rapper Rome Fortune who has featured on What So Not’s track ‘Demons’ as well as records with prominent electronic artists Glass Animals, AC Slater and Tchami. This is probably the track I am most excited for right now, but that changes every week at the moment.