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KTE – The transition from DJ to producer and the women of the underground music scene

In the modern era, the tools to become a music producer and DJ are becoming increasingly available to anyone with an interest and a passion in music; this has meant over the last year there has been a surge of new and upcoming talent, all taking an interest in the underground music scene and it’s various genres. Alongside this wave, there has been a noticeable shift in demographics with more and more women stepping up and making their sound heard; finally beginning to balance the scales in a scene that up to this point has been predominantly male.

While female DJs and producers are by no means new to the scene (names like Flava D helped pioneer the scene and influence countless up and comers) currently, we are seeing some of the most talented new names appear on the scene. To shout out a few, Oppidan, Paige Eliza, Miss LA, Emma Canon and Luce are all producers and DJs who are being picked up by artists and labels alike, each with exceptional talent and acting as role models and influencers to other upcoming artists who, up to this point, may not have felt they had a clear place in this scene.

One of these names, a DJ and new producer from Plymouth, UK, known as KTE, is currently in the process of transitioning from being a DJ to a producer, with her debut release forthcoming on UK Bass label, Yosh Pit. We sent dubbleT to catch up with the artist to discuss everything from the female representation in the scene, to her music idols and her long awaited debut release:

 

Hey KTE! It’s so good to chat to you today, how are things?

Hey!! I have been really looking forward to this, thank you for having me. Things are great at the moment thank you.

After a year plus inside, how does it feel to go back to gigs?

One word – INCREDIBLE! I remember stepping inside a club again for the first time in a year and a half and everything felt so surreal. I’m sure everybody felt the same way. It’s almost like you question ‘are we actually allowed to do this?’. I still feel so buzzed from my set at Five Fest (run by Final Limit). It felt amazing to get back behind the decks again.

How long have you been DJing and what was your introduction to the UK Bass and Drum & Bass scene?

So this is a good question because I have actually only had 3 sets overall believe it or not. My first 2 were before we all knew COVID existed in 2019. I started off DJ’ing in May 2018, my Nan bought me an SB2 controller before she sadly passed and this made me so determined to learn as quickly as possible and get myself out there to almost feel like I would make her proud. I set up my own birthday event at my local club in July 2019 and had my first set there, which was cool. I used to go out alot with friends who were DJ’ing in my local club and this is where I realised I have a passion for music and I wanted to pursue myself in the industry.

Who are some of your musical idols and influences when it comes to dance music?

One person who springs to mind straight away is Bushbaby, his production is always insane and the background story as to why he started making music has always hit close. I just love when you can see how hard a person works for what they truly want/enjoy and there are so many in this scene that deserve so much. 

Flava D – she has always been one of my biggest idols. Just seeing a female smash the scene made me believe I could do it one day too. She has come so far from when I was first introduced to her music, but it’s nice to see her creating so much variety.

Another idol is Zero – his sound design is so unique and I love when people have their own ‘sound’ in music. He also brings so much energy to his sets and we all love energy!

Taiki Nulight – I have met Taiki a good few times and everytime I see him, he is the most down to earth, kind person and never thinks he is different or above anyone else. It is so important in this scene to be level headed, we are all in this for the same reasons and should support eachother as much as possible. We are normal people with the same passions. 

Did you find it difficult to integrate into the scene, with it being so male dominant?

Surprisingly, no… I mean generally speaking I have grown up having male friends, so I find it alot easier to speak to them, especially if we share the same passions. I find in the scene you need to just be chilled and treat everybody the same, whether they are male or female. It is actually so nice to see so many females pushing through though, I feel like the males in the scene are actually so supportive of the females and there is really nothing better. 

What can we be doing to support upcoming female producers and DJs trying to breakthrough?

I feel like labels should definitely be more proactive in finding female DJ’s to work with. This would help massively not only for us, but for them too. Crowds love males and females DJ’ing at events. For some reason, when a female jumps behind the decks, people act surprised and it gives them this weird buzz. We all need that. 

Unfortunately in my area, there are not a lot of opportunities, so that is why I have been speaking to a lot of people from all across the country. You need to get your name out there so people know who you are. Make mixes, do livestreams, then promote mixes to get sets. We all need to work hard for this, the fun is the added bonus. 

Who are some women in the scene to look out for, that deserve more recognition?

Ryda – she currently has a DNB mix on Soundcloud and I am not lying when I say I have listened to it about 10 times haha. It’s one of those mixes you just don’t get bored of

Luce – I have never acTually met her but I see her EVERYWHERE! She seems to be absolutely smashing it at the moment and it is actually great to see a female in the bass scene do really well. 

I know there are so many more out there who are so incredible, and if you are reading this, keep smashing it, keep putting that hard work in and NEVER give up

Let’s talk about you and your forthcoming single, when did you decide you wanted to take the step towards production and how did you find that transition?

Ahhh it is so exciting!! 

My friend Kirbs has been a massive help with this. During lockdown, he was living with me as he wasn’t allowed to travel back home due to the restrictions. He was using Logic as he was working on one of his tunes and at this point I had never produced before in my life. I just sat there in awe and watched and thought ‘what on earth is all of this?? How does he do that?’ – I thought to myself, I would love to do this, I would love to just be able to sit there and start on a new tune when I’m feeling low and need an escape. My motivation for production is just through the roof. Throughout the lockdown, we carried on with little production lessons and I picked up a lot from it. We then started our collab which you will all hear very soon. I am so impressed with how it turned out for our first single together and my first ever tune. 

The transition from mixing to production is of course very tricky. You learn things about music that you never thought existed. BUT, all I can say is don’t give up. If you want to learn production, then do it! Keep the motivation, determination and don’t forget there are so many people in this scene that will help you out.

And as for the single itself, what can we expect, when and where can we hear it?

This tune is filled with pure energy and fun vibes, so if you like your bass tunes with a big pop (literally), I am sure you will love this! I am honestly super happy with it and I really hope you all love it too. You can hear it at the beginning of September on YosH as part of a big project they have coming up, it’s all very exciting.

And after this, can we expect to hear more, solo KTE productions?

OF COURSE!! I am hoping to start on my own tracks very very soon. The thing with me is I want to make sure I’m confident with everything before I start. I am motivated, determined and ready to go so keep your eyes peeled for more KTE! 

KTE, it’s been a pleasure to talk to you, before you go, have you got anything you’d like to plug or shoutout?

Thank you so much for this opportunity, it has been a pleasure. 

I do have a very special announcement. Next Friday Bass Hive will be releasing a 1 hour KTE Guest Mix for you guys, it will include some of the finest Bass/Bassline, Wobbly 140 and DNB, so make sure you have a listen wherever you are, it will be my best to date. Once again, I hope you love it!

Thank you guys for reading, and remember if you truly want this, you go and get it. Never give up.

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Follow: KTE