Going into Goldrush Music Festival 2019, Kyle Watson was on our list of must-sees for a number of reasons. Firstly, he is a highly respected, self-made producer. Starting from the grounds in South Africa, he has grown to be one of the world’s most renowned House DJs. It is said that he has a keen eye for blending the dark with light, creating sound waves that effortlessly flow out from the speakers. Shuffling the night away at his GR set was the opportunity of a lifetime, but sitting down and chatting with him was the cherry on top of a perfect weekend.
Tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from, and how you got your start in music?
I’m from Johannesburg, South Africa! I’ve been producing and releasing music now for over a decade. I got into the music business because of my dad, he was in the music business, and I got started playing instruments in school, and that’s what lead me into it.
Tell me about your average day back in Johannesburg?
The day is pretty ‘peaced’ out, I wake up to go to the studio, maybe write a little stuff, hang out, make dinner, and just take it easy! It’s not too exciting, I just take it easy.
Listen to Kyle Watson’s new song ‘Safe’:
You have a new song titled ‘Safe’ with Stace Cadet, tell me about your overall experience, both making the song and working with Stace?
I first worked with Stace a few years ago on a remix, and once I kinda wrote the instrumental for ‘Safe’, I knew it needed a unique vocal, so that’s when I hit up Stace. He had the record for like two days, and he sent me back an acapella, and I was like that is incredible! It’s just so unique, but ya, the whole process of working together was super easy and were both very happy with how the track came out.
If you could direct a music video for ‘Safe’, do you have any idea what you would want it to look like?
Its a tough question because when you send an instrumental to a vocalist, they have their own background that they draw from when they write lyrics, so I always put it up to the vocalist. The vision was in their head when they were writing the lyrics, so I ask them what direction they would want to take it. I know that Stace wrote with some friends of his about some personal experiences, so I feel like he would have some pretty good ideas for a video.
Watch Watson’s Tech-House set at The Lab Johannesburg!
What are some of the biggest challenges you come across when working with other artists?
I’m lucky because, in my experience, it’s been pretty smooth sailing, but its a little tricky when you can’t see someone face to face and be able to bounce ideas off of each other. At the same time, it’s not impossible because you have the internet and Skype if you need it. I guess the process of feedback would be the toughest part because sometimes what you get back is not what you had in mind, and it can make the whole process a little more difficult.
When working with other artists, does it generally tend to lead more to one person taking control of the song?
I think it depends on who you are working with, but I always try to make very even across the board. I don’t want to be someone who says that vocal is wrong or you need to change that, I want the other artist’s creativity to be shown as well so people can see both sides.
Many artists find their creative genius in their own unique ways, is there a place or thing that helps you find your creative genius?
For me, it’s just being in a positive mindset! I find that listening to a whole bunch of different stuff really gets my creative juices flowing. For example, listing to music that has nothing to do with house or exploring new places with my wife when we are in a new city are both ways that help me get creative.
Do you have a dream performance or place that you really want to do a set?
I’ve been pretty lucky, and I have managed to tick a lot of that stuff off already. I guess what I would have said before last year would have been Dirty Bird Campout, but I was fortunate enough to do that as well as Lollapalooza, and those were both pretty big shows for me.
Press play on his recently released Wongo remix ‘Caught Up’:
What’s the best advice you have ever received about your personal music path?
Its something that I tell other people, and its to just be unique. It’s really easy nowadays for anyone to write to music, so you really have to make sure that you’re following your own path. I guess the most important thing I have ever been told is to forge your own way, stick to your guns, and make music you believe in.
With the opioid crisis being so prominent in America, do you have any advice for your fans who think they cant come to these events sober?
I’m only really exposed to that side of the scene when I come to the US, so maybe I’m not the best person to ask, but at the end of the day I’m a sober DJ, and I can come these and enjoy the music without needing to take anything. Honestly, you don’t need it, you can come to these sober and still enjoy yourself!
Give a message to your fans and let them know what you have coming up in the near future!
Thanks to you guys for supporting me over the years, it’s crazy that I am where I am right now, and that’ all thanks to you guys. I’ve got some really cool stuff coming out! I have new realizes lined up all the way into February with 5 or 6 new tracks with some big collaborations and some singles as well, so keep an eye out for those.