Exclusive Interview With Kilian & Jo

03 April 2018 - - - The DJ List


They have just released an extraordinary new release called "Lose Myself," so we decided it was time we got to hear more about how Berlin duo KILIAN & JO make their music.

It’s good to have you, thanks for joining us! Please tell us a little about yourselves... who are you and where are you currently based?

We’re Kilian & Jo and we’re a Berlin based producer duo.

How long have you been making music? What made you first get into it?

JO: I began making music when I was a kid. The starting point was a crappy Casio keyboard on which you could record your own melodies, which was very fascinating for me.

KILIAN: I started with classical piano... but since you’re "only“ interpreting music from others, i wanted to do more music based on my own melodies and shit, so i started producing beats with a hip-hop band we had.

What do you enjoy most about producing? What difficulties does it sometimes bring?

The most fun part is digging for the magical moments, that is serious vibes. Keeping them and enhancing them is where the difficulties come in to play. Producing music can be very confusing and you constantly have to focus on what’s important for the feeling.

Do your surroundings inspire your music? How would you sum up the signature Kilian & Jo sound?

We are very inspired by Berlin artists. Sounds from people like Moderat or Ben Klock just touch us in a special way. The interesting thing about our music though is that the both of us don’t really like thinking in genres. So inspiration might come from anywhere - a Skepta track or a Hans Zimmer Soundtrack. There are also all the people we’re working with everyday, who inspire us a lot.

Are you pleased with how “Lose Myself” has turned out? What inspired the track?

The vocal really set the mood, we guess. The track actually came together really quickly. We like that it sort of has its own language. People don’t say "Oh it reminds me of that one Calvin Harris tune" or anything. But at the same time it feels very familiar in the way the melodies work. We also like the combination of the organic sounds with the big synth sounds in "Lose Myself."

Are you perfectionists? Do you have any little rituals in the studio together?

I think you could call us perfectionists. We sometimes drive mixing engineers or designers mad for letting them do the 4th revision, just to get the last 10%. But I think in today’s world where so much music is being released everyday it’s very important to get it to a point where it just feels exactly right. There’s actually a ritual we started whilst working with another producer. We try to go out for a burger every time there’s no flow in the working anymore, to get some distance from the track. (Berlin is pretty good to find some big burgers).

Where do you see your sound progressing over the coming months/years?

KILIAN: Hard to tell, but we definitely don't like barriers anymore.
JO: I don’t know and I like it. Being open and expecting the unexpected is key.

If you each could work with any artist (alive or dead) on a track, who would you choose and why?

JO: Kanye West, because the energy and the artistry that he brings is beyond.
KILIAN: I’d go with West as well. Second would be Enio Morricone, though.

What can we expect from you next? What are your dreams for this year?

We have been working on a lot of songs the last two years, so there will be a lot of releases in 2018 with artists from all over the world - with totally different backgrounds in music. The dream is to work with even more interesting people and play our music to a lot of people.

About the Author

Alana Schulz
kilian & jo

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