Kevin McPhee Talks


We've got a pair of tickets for the Eastern Electrics after party with Art Department, Tale Of Us, Kyle Hall, Damian Lazarus, Mosca to give away plus Proud2 have thrown in a lovely bottle Vodka! And if that wasn't enough co-hosts Junk Department have kindly given us a pair of tickets to their fantastic Ibiza show with Steve Bug, Benoit & Sergio (live), Luna City Express, Anja Schneider, Miguel Campbell and Danny Daze. To be in with a chance, simple email with subject line 'I aint to Proud2 beg! Pleeeeeeaaaaaaaaase give me the tickets!! Pretty please with a cherry on top!.. Oh, go oooon!!'

We caught up with rising star, Kevin McPhee as he prepares to take to the decks with the Man Make Music family at Eastern Electrics official after party. Toronto’s Kevin McPhee is a man of variety: his productions have ranged from house to dubstep on labels such as [nakedlunch], Idle Hands and Hype_LTD. He first came to prominence with a bit of luck: DJ Distance played his tune on RinseFM and suddenly he was being courted for a release on [nakedlunch] despite living in Canada. Now he's getting booked globally and he managed to find some time in his schedule for us to ask him a few questions about his styles and inspirations.

Hi Kevin, first up tell us a bit about growing up in Toronto. What was the first music scene you got into there and does it still shape your production style now?
In all honesty, I’m still quite new to electronic music, so the “first music scene” I got into is still very much part of what I’m doing today. The bass-centric approach taken in drum and bass and dubstep has a major influence on my approach to production and djing.

What equipment do you use to make your music and how have you changed your set up over the years?
Very little has changed in my productions setup over the years. I moved from Audactity, to Reason and finally to Logic 7 where I am today. I’m hoping to invest in some better studio gear in the near future.

We'd like to know a bit about where your inspiration comes from. Do you have a set process you go about making a tune? Where does the initial creative spark come from?
I very rarely sit down and write a song exactly how I intend for it to be. I often just kind of twiddle knobs until I come across something I like and then work from there. I find listening to mixes can really get me in the mood to produce.
Your breakthrough track "Be" got attention from DJ Distance on its way to being played on Rinse FM. Did you know Distance was going to play it or did that come as a surprise? You must have been delighted!
I’d sent Distance one of my tracks for his “new Producer” segment on his RINSEFM show, with no expectations really. It certainly came as a surprise when I heard it later on that night!

[nakedlunch] put out your first release "Get In With You". How did someone from Toronto get published by an Irish label?
To my knowledge, micky had heard my song on RINSEFM and got in touch with a mutual friend. From there, we started chatting and quickly got to work on developing my first release.

Back then you were producing dubstep. What led to you moving towards a house style? Was there a moment you decided you needed a change of direction?
I certainly would not say I moved to house or anything. In fact I made a serious effort to make sure my first release had both house and dubstep tracks on it as I was my intention from the start to have a foot in both sides of things. I’m still working on 130-140bpm stuff and I also often end my sets around the same tempo.

You're playing the Eastern Electrics Festival afterparty EE+ at Proud2. Although it's a clubnight running at traditional clubbing hours, will you expect the atmosphere to be any different with people coming straight from the festival just round the corner?
I’m not sure really, I’m just going to approach it as I would any other set: I just kind of gauge what the crowd’s into, and work off the dj before me. I tend to just wing it, really.

What can the EE+ crowd expect from your set? Will you be showcasing new material?
I’m also trying to find a balance between the new/old. So expect to hear from new music from myself and other artists but also some older tracks that may have gone under your radar.

Finally, what's still to come in the second half of the year? Any particular highlights?
Wait and see!

By Mike Barnard

Photography by Conrad McGee-Stocks

You can catch Kevin McPhee at the official Eatern Electrics after party on August 4th. Full line-up and final remaining tickets here.