Artist Feature! Kytami and DJ Generic
We’re very excited to be gearing up for the second annual Noize for Toys event, brought to you by Local Notion and Party People Sound Solutions! With the event just weeks away, we’re highlighting a duo whose musical talents will be showcased. Kytami and DJ Generic are a music pair unlike any other. Hot off a Canadian/US tour that saw them travelling across the Pacific Northwest, playing shows alongside many notable artists (like Dub FX), and taking their brand of eclectic music far beyond their Victoria BC home base.
The self described violin extremist and her anything but generic DJ are each well known figures in the local electronic community- together they are transcending musical boundaries and making the industry take notice. Kytami’s ability to integrate her sounds, utilizing her violin in addition loop petals and other gear, alongside Generic’s production prowess and extensive knowlede of underground electronic bass has lead them to the forefront of the scene. Presenting a live show completely unique in its vision, the duo has the ability to connect with their audience and keep them engaged- on the dance floor or the sidelines- heads are nodding and bodies moving. As a result, we are very excited to have them on board for the Noize for Toys toy drive and fundraiser for United Way, happening at Felicitas (the UVic campus pub) on Wed. December 3rd. Get all the info about the event here.
INTERVIEW: KYTAMI & DJ GENERIC
Amy: You both are very musically inclined individuals; can you remember what it was or who it was that got you on the musical path you’re on today?
Generic: Ya, I was 14 years old and was going to a Skateboard camp in Hope, BC. I went to my sister’s house for a week before hand and she took me to this pool party where this dude had turntables and was spinning the funkiest breaks ever. And I was like ‘what is this?’ I had never seen turntables before and knew nothing about them. Then later that night my sister took me to a rave and that’s where it all started. She actually also bought me my first set of turntables so it was definitely my sister that got me onto the musical path.
Kytami: I’d have to give it up to my Mom for driving me to all my musical lessons. But I then strayed from the path of classical music that I was supposed to go on. So I just quit and was this snowboard punk working in a snowboard shop in Whistler. I remember this day actually, this somewhat famous DJ walked into the shop and he was like ‘Do you like Jungle?’ and I was like ‘Jungle? What is Jungle?’
G: Like monkeys in the jungle? [laughs]
K: I’d never heard of it, I was still pretty young, anyways this guy and I started dating and he’d brought all this old school Drum and Bass and Jungle tapes from England and right away it caught my ear. I had been going to raves and I like punk rock, and to me DnB and Jungle sort of brought those two worlds together for me.
I was kinda playing around with different bands but I wanted to bring the violin in with this other sound I’d never even heard before. So I just slowly started to experiment.
A: Both great musicians in your own right, how did you two end up connecting musically? Can you tell me how it began?
K: I had this gig that I got hired for and I needed a DJ. Lars (give it up to Lars), recommended this great DJ named Outsider [laughs] so I sat down with Outsider and went over everything. Explained it’s not just like dropping tracks, there’s certain sections that we’ll have to practice…and we’re going to play together in three days in Rossland! [laughs]
The next day he called me up and he’s like ‘I don’t think I can do it but I have a really good buddy who would be perfect. His name is Generic
G: So I stepped in…
K: And you killed it! The first show was Rossland right?
G: Ya, yeah! It was a funny show, there were a lot of people and it was packed! I got asked to play before our set and I remember walking out from the stage curtain, there’s like five rows of chairs, and it’s all people over the age of 50! I immediately thought ‘Woah, what do I play?’ so I played JPOD’s Gross & Gospel album and by the end of it they were like ‘Yaaaaah!’ [throws arms in air]
K: [laughs] We won them over in the end.
A: You two have a great dynamic on stage, what do you guys think it is that makes you both such great artists together?
G: I honestly don’t know. I have a lot of people that come up and say that when they see our sets saying that we just vibe off each other. But I don’t know what it is.
K: Now, it’s been a year and a half…
G: Almost two years now
K: Ya, so I think just time put in. But also this obviously mutual common musical ground. Respect and being pretty easy going people…These things you can’t sometimes put your finger on it; sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
A: Both of you just came off of a large North American tour that saw you travel across the Pacific Northwest for shows. What were some of the funnest cities you visited?
G: The funnest ones for me; South Lake, Tahoe…that was really fun.
K: It’s this weird town where half of it is in Nevada and half of it is in California.
A: Wow, weird…
G: It is weird.
K: But I’d been working with the promoter there for a while…
G: Shout out to Late Night Billy…
K: Ya totally, he’s a good guy and always treats us well. It was Asop from Living Legend’s birthday as well. But what made that show even more epic is we had to drive 14hrs to get there, we literally jumped in the car after our show in Idaho. Cole actually took the first shift and drove 9hrs…
G: Cause I was the one who wanted to do the show and Kyla said that if I wanted to do the show so bad then I’m driving.
K: We were all on the fence, not wanting to drive 14hrs for back to back shows, but I kinda fucked up and told Cole it was Asop Rock’s birthday [laughs].
It wasn’t but big ups to Asop from Living Legends, we’re so glad we did it. But that’s what made it so good…we were so tired!
G: On our way from the last show to this one, Kyla loads up the GPS and we drive for 45mins in the wrong direction. I’m like ‘uhhh, says here we’re going to San Francisco…’ Then me and Jay ended up driving, through some far off land where the hills just go on forever…
K: But back to your question…[laughs] honestly, I can say that each show is so different and it’s all just one big adventure, I don’t look at it like individual shows. I look at the whole thing and even though some days are harder than others, you find ways to get your space.
G: What was that one show where you got lots of phone calls?
G: That was a fun show, smaller clubs and was fun as hell.
K: Sometimes it happens in these little towns.
G: We showed up and there was just hippies everywhere chilling.
K: Bend was also super fun! The guys we were touring with were from Bend so it was like a home coming.
G: Ya, it was nice to chill at Jay Tab’s house and kick it.
Now that you’re home from tour, what is one Tour Life Lesson you would give to anyone going on tour for the first time?
G: Always have clean socks and underwear. Vodka is your friend when you’re hung over [laughs]
K: I’d say for girls; face wipes is a must. I’ve toured a lot and sometimes you have to rough it for sure, you just do, but sometimes you need to treat yourself to survive. Otherwise you’re going to get sick.
G: It’s good to eat as healthy as you can.
K: And also, just enjoy it! We put in so much time and effort to make the tour happen, once you’re there why stress? Usually it’s like ‘finally, we’re on the road!’ All the hard work has been done and you can just hang out with your fans, friends, meet new friends. Now is the time to enjoy it!
We just did some dates with Dub FX, they’d been on tour for months.
G: Since February…
K: It’s starts getting hard, and obviously we’re not on that level, but I think it gets to a point where it gets to be too long. I prefer to go do a lot of touring but in shorter spans.
A: I’d bet over time the lifestyle can get a bit old! Are you guys cooking up anything in terms of releases or tunes in the studio these days?
K: I’m working on an album; I have a studio space that I’m going in every day. Generic is going to be part of it in a track or two. So watch for that.
G: Mmmm, I have a bunch of stuff. Bunch of collabs but you’ll have to wait and see…
A: Ok, we will! Is there anything or anyone who is really inspiring you musically right now?
G: There’s so much good music coming out, I really like that future shit. G Jones, Odesza’s stuff…ya Odesza is really inspiring me these days.
K: For me, it’s the community of people I surround myself with that inspire me. Going to festivals, like Ska Fest this summer, and seeing Barrington Levy. And going on tour with Dub FX…
G: Ya totally, he [Dub FX] is a major inspiration.
Kyla: I just did a show with this group called Union DJs from Vancouver that’s doing a lot of progressive and deep house. I hadn’t listened to them too much but then I heard them and it opened my ear to that sound again.
Besides my friends around me, I really enjoyed Smasha’s last mix tape [laughs].
A: This time of year many people focus on giving back, Noize for Toys and Local Notion have made a good habit of supporting United Way. How do you guys give back to the community and which (if any) organizations do you enjoy supporting?
K: I did a gig recently with my friend that runs a daycare and did a half hour music session with the kids. I love kids and I think to see them respond, lots of them haven’t even seen a violin before, they didn’t know. But they’re so receptive and it’s so hard to keep their focus! But then the teachers after were like ‘they’ve never sat still for so long!’ [laughs]
I do love doing stuff with kids which is a reason we like doing this fundraiser. We’re always thinking about money but it’s easy to give back to children!
A: What gets you excited about playing for Local Notion at the Noize for Toys event?
G: I get excited cause I played it last year and it was awesome, super good! There were so many toys…I even went out and bought a toy car, went to Walmart and thought ‘which one would I want if I was a kid?’
I picked the best one that I thought the kids would enjoy.
A: They collect so many toys and donations last year; it’s a great thing to see.
G: Ya totally. I just thought about some kid who was so stoked to open up a gift and see a brand new toy. Growing up we didn’t have much so getting a toy like that around Christmas would be so fun!