Black Butter Records is one of dance music's most exciting labels at the moment, and has recently been making waves across the British electronic scene. Not only have a whole host of their artists been absolutely packing out club nights lately, but artists such as Rudimental, Clean Bandit and Gorgon City have all been achieving mainstream chart success. Today I am here with an interview with somebody who is worth watching over the next few months, who is well on their way to achieving even greater success in 2014. Matt Relton, known by his moniker Kidnap Kid, caught up with Daily Beat and gave us a little bit of insight into his world. Catch him at the upcoming Hideout festival in Croatia, 30th June - 3rd of July, which will be showcasing some of the best acts in House!
Finn Lurcott: What first got you into making music as a child?
Kidnap Kid: It had always been the plan really, and I was up for it as soon as I could get anything to use. I started when I was about ten, and got a drum kit from my parents. They were quite musical so were happy for me to play, and encouraged it a lot, I was quite lucky in that aspect I think. I started playing in my friends band who lived on my road, just bashing away in the garage, and carried on playing rock music until I was eighteen. During that time I was getting quite into dance music, and when I was fourteen I just started messing around on computers by myself. Everything was overlapped, I was playing some bass in a different band in between, so it has been a long transition really over the last thirteen years or so. It was always the plan to write music though.
FL: What music were you listening to whilst growing up?
Kidnap Kid: In my early teenage years I was into real heavy shit like Slipknot and System of a Down, I still love it to be honest. I think it was when I was fourteen I got obsessed with jungle for a good five years. My brother was into it and he showed it to me because he was a bit older and I was obsessed, that was all I would listen to from then on and probably led to me giving up on the live side of things. I felt like I just needed to do electronic music. I feel like my BPM has just slowed down over the years as I've got a bit tireder.
FL: When did you first start playing DJ sets?
Kidnap Kid: I first started DJing when I was fifteen. I saved money up from birthdays and managed to get some decks. When I went to Leeds University I was practicing in my room, but wasn't actually doing any gigs in the city. I did a bit back in Sheffield during that time, but I kept myself to myself at uni really, and was aware by that point that to crack into it you really needed to concentrate on the production side of things, so i just spent all my spare time doing that.
FL: How did you come up with the name Kidnap Kid?
Kidnap Kid: Before I went to uni when i was 17, a friend of mine decided to fake a kidnaping in KFC and film it. We were just bored, and we thought because we were so young, people would just think we were joking, but it got really out of hand. There were helicopters all night and gun squads looking for us, they eventually came through my door at 6am and I was dragged out naked and stuff. I was in and out of court for half a year, and had to do community service and young offenders. It was pretty bad, and I got fined heavily aswell, so that kinda fucked up my life for half a year. Whilst it might sound like a great explanation, we had pissed a lot of people off, and they were calling for us to have prison time. Once that had all cleared up I thought I would take a positive from a bad situation and I got the name Kidnap Kid.
FL: What studio setup do you have?
Kidnap Kid: I've got mostly software, due to hardware being so expensive, but recently I have bought a Moog Minotaur, which is a really nice bass module, and a Juno 60, which is really great for pads. Other than that most of the stuff in my studio is live stuff, like a bass guitar, piano and percussion. I prefer recording that and incorporating it into the software, to get some nice sounding stuff. Other than that I use everything in the box, and I solely work on Reason. I quite like it, but mostly because I haven't put the time into anything else. When I play live I am pretty basic and just use CDJ's. Up until recently I was just using CDs, but I have actually finally got into using memory sticks. I have got these amazing sticks with solid steel cases that screw up, so they become waterproof to 200 metres.
FL: How much of an impact do you think blogs like Eton Messy and Majestic Casual have had in promoting your genre of music?
Kidnap Kid: I mean it is hard to say, because you never know how big the scene would be without them, but they have obviously done huge things for it. Just looking at their numbers, and their following is insane, it has helped get so many people in from all over the world, because it consolidates the music in one place. It would be hard for people who aren't necessarily in love with the music to put the time and effort into searching out new artists. It kind of gives it to people on a plate, which is really good for the new artists, as it spreads them around without people having to dig.
FL: I saw an interview with Hot Since 82 recently, where he spoke about his thoughts that everybody in the scene is being pigeonholed as 'deep house', but how would actually describe your sound.
Kidnap Kid: I would just call it House really, I don't think it is always necessarily deep at all really, and some of it is quite full on. I guess it has elements of deep, but I would just call it house.
FL: What is your favourite track you have produced so far?
Kidnap Kid: I guess it is probably Survive. I like them all when they are finished, but thats the one that always goes down the best, so I like playing it the best. But the one that took the most time to make was probably Stronger. It wasn't that I put the most hours in, it was just that form start to finish it took the most time. I kept getting stuck, and it dragged out.
FL: What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Kidnap Kid: Loads of stuff this summer really. I am back out in Europe over the next few weeks, doing gigs in Paris, Val Thorens, and then got Snowbombing Festival. I am back out to America after that, doing Coachella, San Diego, San Fransisco. Then Hideout, Glastonbury and Secret Garden Party. Things are really starting to kick off over in the States, compared to similar stuff that I did last year, I am getting a great reaction over there which I am trying to make the most of. Any other spare time I am spending in the studio as I am working towards an album, so I am really saving my tracks up for that!