TR is a producer, DJ, and friend of Kuka hailing from Hackney in London. He sits down with us for a nice little lockdown chat with his forthcoming EP, “Hygge”, on Blah Blah Blah Records…
Hi mate. Thanks for sitting down to chat to us. We’ve all got packed calendars these days so how about we get straight into it! What was the first record you bought, where did you pick it up and why did you get it?
The first record I remember buying was Reality Testing by Lone, on R&S Records. Sadly It's not one of those romantic stories about stumbling into a record store, finding a legendary original John Coltrane record, blowing off the dust and taping together the broken sleeve. I think I bought the record off Juno, and it was just an album I really liked, and was inspired by. I still listen to it, Lone’s a mad producer.
Give us your 10 must-listen tracks to get you through the lockdown?
I have been listening to a lot of grooves and down-tempo bits during this break. It's been nice to listen to stuff that isn’t club music, and there's a few sexier numbers in there to kick back and listen to with a brew while the sun is shining. Here’s my list.
Herbie Hancock - Watermelon Man
Seu Jorge & Rogê - Pra Você Amigo
Miss Moral - Benny Sings
Buddy Love - Mango Peach
Tell - A Tipping Whispering
Papa Soul - Smiles In Her Eyes
Ilana Bryne - Mmm Mmm Mmm
Hidden Spheres - Waiting
Bill Withers - Lean On Me
Doppelate - Four Feet Up The Stairs
Looking forward to sticking them on in the office. And what are you reading at the moment?
I’ve got my teeth deep into Donna Tart’s A Secret History. I read The Goldfinch and really enjoyed it so picked up this one. Donna Tart is such a good writer. the characters and descriptions are so easy to get lost in; it’s great escapism!
Does what you read reflect what you do professionally? Or do you pick literature that acts as a break from making music?
I definitely read as a break from music, particularly whilst I’m on the bus or tube. Otherwise I find that I never switch off. But I definitely think other creative mediums often inspire you even if it’s subconscious. As I am not a writer, the technical approach to writing a book is beyond me; which is healthy because it leaves you to be inspired conceptually.
To give an example with visual art, I tried to replicate the flatness of space in a Picasso painting in a piece of electronic music by having no main melody or hook; just having things coming in and out the mix constantly. I’m not sure I’d recommend listening to the result but that's the idea. It was a cool project.
That sounds like a pretty interesting approach. Can you tell us some more about how you stay creative as a young producer in a busy space? Where do you take inspiration from?
I don’t think I can pinpoint one thing that inspires me. What I can say for sure is that the studio doesn’t inspire me. It’s a dry and sometimes quite intense space. It's just where you take your inspiration and appropriate it. I really like being outside, cooking, hanging with friends, that kind of thing. It's the experiences that really make me feel energised and make me want to jump in the studio. And of course hearing super talented people creating music in a way that hasn't crossed my mind.
What are the biggest hurdles for a young musician in London?
For a start, there are so many producers out there now.The competition is crazy. It can make it hard not to compare yourself, and I have definitely struggled with that. It’s also really hard to get your music into the headphones of the right people. I think you have got to have a lot of faith in yourself - now more than ever. It's important to remember that hard work will get noticed and once your music is made it's not going anywhere... Producing is never time wasted.
What's next for TR?
I’ve just signed with Blah Blah Blah Records in Brighton, and plan on doing three releases with them. It’s super exciting as there is so much waiting in my locker that I want to get out there. My live show is sounding hotter than ever which I am really gassed about. I can’t wait to play it on a big Function One system.
Can’t wait to hear it. So what can we expect from this year's Hyper Chill?
Expect a party goer’s party and a booty shaker’s dance. If we can still rock it in September at the Hyper Chill, it’s definitely going to be a special one. People will need to let off some steam. The line up is looking better than ever, and the site is already being primed.
Hope to see you there. Thanks a lot for sitting down with us.
On next week’s blog… We’ve got some storming Cold Brew Cocktails coming up with full recipes for you to try out during lockdown. Follow the Kuka Coffee Instagram HERE for updates. Stay safe everyone.