So maybe you aren’t already one of Kaytranada’s 54,000 Soundcloud followers, or his 22,000 Facebook fans. But you will be. Kaytranada is the stage name of Kevin Celestin – a Haiti born, Canada raised, beat producer. Sure, the label ‘beat producer’ gets thrown around a lot these days – it’s all ‘bedroom eyed beat producer/DJ/MC/part-time model’. Call it what you will, but the fact remains that Kaytranada makes beats. And he does a damn good job of it. Kaytranada is currently on the HW&W Recordings roster, which also houses Sweater Beats, Juj and Ta-ku. He’s remixed sultry R&B jams that together, have stacked up a casual few million plays. And guess what? He’s coming to Australia.
Just to put things into context for the plebs out here – why the name change from Kaytradamus to Kaytranada?
I changed it because I found out Flosstradamus had a similar name – Lunice told me actually.
Did you feel emancipated when you ditched the old stage name? How have you evolved as an artist since?
Artists always go through stages in their careers. It’s just a new sound and a new direction, and I’m really happy with it.
With so many buzz genres being thrown around at the moment, where do you position yourself?
Black soul mothafucka!
You do credit a lot of your influences to hip hop though. Who were you listening to early on? Who will you never stop listening to?
Michael Jackson, The Roots, J Dilla and Madlib.
Rumour tells me you used to dabble in art and actually started out wanting to be a rapper. This far in the game – is it something you would ever pursue?
I used to dance and draw – I still do sometimes. And hell yeah! Y’all are not ready for my rap career. I’ma blow up like Kanye.
I seriously lost it when I heard your rework of If by Janet Jackson. That song was the shit in high school.
I used to bump that shit all day! Then I heard the harmonies, and after a Flying Lotus show I got inspired and it just sort of happened.
When did you know you were coming up? Like, when did you just think ‘Fuck. People actually give a damn’?
Probably after my Teedra Moses remix. I got a new manager, dropped that remix and my EP Kaytra TODO. That’s when things started to really pop off. My music became more internationally known partly because Kaytra TODO was released on the German label Jakarta as well as HW&W. Shout out to both labels!
People are always saying shit like “Music should be all about doing it for the love and not the money or the fame.” But I think it all kinda goes hand in hand – eventually it just comes as a package. What do you think? What do you do it for?
I do music for the love and touring for the money and the experience.
Your album Kaytrathomas is due for release in 2014. How’s it coming along? You gotta know we’re all sweating for it to drop!
Y’all will hear it when it’s ready. Expect the unexpected.
You recently remixed Flume and you’re on HW&W with Ta-ku. I’m gonna say that you’re basically Australian by association now. Are you hyped to be coming over?
I am hyped! I’m very tired from touring right now. I’ve been in Europe and the USA all summer, but I’m super excited to play to my fans in Australia. I’ve heard great things! I’m also excited to see lots of animals. I love my animals.
Kaytranada tours Australia with Ryan Hemsworth thanks to Brown Bear Entertainment.
Thursday 22nd August – Rakinos, Auckland (Ryan Hemsworth only)
Friday 23rd August – Oh Hello 2nd Birthday, Brisbane
Saturday 24th August – Espionage, Brown Alley, Melbourne
Sunday 25th August – Knots, Freemasons Grand Lodge, Adelaide
Friday 30th August – Next Hype, The Bakery, Perth
Saturday 31st August – Chinese Laundry, Sydney