On The Radar: AWAKEND
by Annette Lucero

Editor’s Note: The original title, “On The Radar: KINETIIK” has been modified to accompany the artist’s name change.  All else remains the same in the interview. We wish AWAKEND the best of luck on his new journey!

With a melodic echo that trembles the room, Unlike Pluto’s tracks are spiritedly unique. Creeping snares and piano keys give away to a classy middle ground between jazzy Trap and Future Bass strains. What’s more, the rough vocals found within Unlike Pluto’s tracks are not to be underestimated; they exhibit a drawing energy rarely felt by the listener. As for the local talent Saturday night, show-goers can find KINETIIK playing mainstage beforehand. A local steady on the rise, Kevin Lang’s melodic fusion is a pairing well made with Unlike Pluto. Known among friends as a music producing recluse with a love for adventure, Kevin Lang is set to release his next remix on April 13. SIMshows recently got the chance to interview Kevin, and his musical endeavors can be found below.

SIM: How did you get into electronic music, and what helped inspire you to produce?

Kevin: I first got into electronic music in high school. Me and my close friend Patrick would sit on this old audio chat software called Ventrillo and play video games all day while listening to trance music. I loved the energetic, euphoric feeling behind it; I had never really listened to anything like that before. [Not long after], a buddy of mine showed me Porter Robinson’s BBC Essential mix, and I was instantly hooked. That was when I really became obsessed with electronic music. I remember going to The Loft for the first time in 2011 during my freshman year of college. As I watched my first Dubstep show, I was intrigued by the environment and the energy of the crowd; I started going to shows way more frequently after that night. When I went to see Porter Robinson, Mat Zo, & The M Machine live at Epic Nightclub, I was absolutely blown away by their performances. I remember thinking to myself, ‘Wait, this is something I could actually do.’ [My experience] at that show sparked my dream to make electronic music; I wanted to inspire people the way that show had inspired me. I remember it as an intense rush of emotions; I knew I wanted to spread that feeling to others and to actually perform live someday.

In August of 2014, I read an interview on a producer who had recently begun seeing real success in his music. Making time to produce every single day is what made his dreams into a reality and on that day, I decided to start taking music production seriously.

SIM: Going off your inspiration to produce, did you go to school for production, or are you self-taught?

Kevin: I studied audio engineering at MCTC, and it was mostly centered around recording vocalists & instruments rather than music production. However, I have started working on a lot more remixes, so having been taught how to properly record/mix vocals has been hugely beneficial.

SIM: What genre do you tend to produce in, and who are some of your musical inspirations?

Kevin: Lately, I have been working in a genre I loosely refer to as Melodic Bass. Somewhere in-between Melodic Dubstep & Future Bass. My style has been influenced by Illenium, Porter Robinson, Boombox Cartel, & Andrew Bayer, to name a few. When I started producing, I was strictly making Progressive Trance, but I sorta fell out of love with that style when I realized it was very limiting from a creative standpoint. I still listen to Progressive all the time though! I love all sorts of high energy electronic music like Dubstep, Electro House and Trap, but I want to write an EP soon with more chilled out material. I have been vibing super hard with funky/soulful stuff like Sohn and FKJ recently.

SIM: What software have you been using to produce, and why did you go with it?

Kevin: I have been using Propellerhead’s Reason for about two & a half years. I’ve never really ventured outside of it because I know it well, and it works for me. I think Reason stuck out to me at the time because I was in school, and we were learning all about analog gear & mixing on a full SSL board. Reason emulates real world analogue gear but incorporates modern day music production in a really cool way.[At the time], Fruity Loops studio wasn’t yet available for Mac, and I remember trying Ableton and feeling more confused than I had ever felt… so that probably factored in.

SIM: As an up-and-coming local, starting out can be one of the hardest parts to overcome. How much support did you encounter when you started producing?

Kevin: It was minimal. I was actually just looking through some old projects I posted over a year ago, and I was getting maybe 20-30 plays with each song. Now, my releases get a few thousand plays. I’ve definitely noticed more people recognizing my music. As I have grown as an artist, people reach out to me more frequently to give me positive feedback and stuff like that.

SIM: Since your releases, have you noticed a change in how people interact with you on your socials? And have you gotten any love from artists?

Kevin: I have started getting messages from people on Souncloud who hear my music and tell me that I played a part in inspiring them to start producing their own music. I think that’s super dope! At the end of the day, inspiring others is a huge part of why I enjoy doing this so much. I emailed Jaykode a demo of my Borgeous remix right before I had finished it, and he responded by asking for a download link to play in his live sets! Needless to say, I was pretty stoked. ^_^

SIM: What have been some of your hardest obstacles to overcome as you’ve started out?

Kevin: My biggest obstacle by far was not knowing where to start. Reason isn’t a very popular piece of software, so I didn’t have many tutorials to learn from. I also had no musical background, so having to figure out music theory was really tough….still is.

SIM: Now as far as management goes, do you have a manager or team helping you promote your music and network?

Kevin: Currently, I am solo in this endeavor. I have started to meet more like-minded people, largely thanks to Anthony Leone & Jack Trash for giving me opportunities to open at a few local shows. Networking has been a big focus of mine lately since I only learned of it’s importance a few month ago.

SIM: It sounds like your momentum has finally begun to kick into gear. Do you have any favorite moments as a local to date?

Kevin: So far, my favorite moment has been opening for Prince Fox & Vanic at The Loft. That was my first real show, and I had been dreaming of an opportunity like that since before I started producing music. I think my other big breakthrough was when I created my first Melodic Dubstep track. This track changed my approach to starting a new song, my sound design, and the BPM of my projects. [Also], I was finally able to break away from producing one specific genre of music, which fueled my creativity a ton.

SIM: What is an up-and coming goal you hope to accomplish? Whether it be in production, or live performances?

Kevin: My next goal is to play a festival by the end of 2018. Now that I have a taste for live shows, my focus is going to be on playing as many as possible, while still growing as an artist. Playing Summer Set Music and Camping Festival would be a real dream come true for me since I have attended almost every year since it started.

SIM: What do you hope never changes about yourself as you become more successful?

Kevin: I am 25 years old but have felt like a kid at heart my whole life. I hope I never take life too seriously as I grow older and (hopefully) see more success in music.

We’re excited to welcome back KINETIIK to The Loft mainstage. Make sure to follow Kevin Lang below on his respective socials for more; word on the street is he likes to tease future releases and ticket contests. Tickets are still available for Unlike Pluto; grab yours here.

Want to win a pair of free tickets to Unlike Pluto this Saturday? Check out the SIMShows Facebook for details!


Instagram: @kinetiikSounds


Twitter: @Kevin_L_ang ||