After a massive year in 2020, Kage swung by to talk about his production process behind his fiery tunes and his plans for 2021!
Since first breaking onto the scene, Kage has driven his success by dedicating his time to his bass-fueled production and honoring his skills by delivering outstanding releases. He made it his mission to prove his worth and has delivered electrifying tracks across notable imprints like Monstercat, IN /ROTATION, STMPD RCRDS, CONFESSION, and more over the past few years.
Even in the face of the pandemic in 2020, Kage continued to rise rapidly with releases that included The Grave EP on Monstercat, as well as tunes including “Hit That,” “Mutation,” and “Godspeed.” And he’s roared into 2021 with a fantastic remix of Ekonovah and NOISES’ track “Medicine” to help get everyone in a groove.
As Kage continues on his path of finding success in the scene, it’s clear with each passing release that he’s an artist that bass house lovers should be paying close attention to as they dive deeper into the year. Looking to gain some added insight, we jumped at the chance to catch up with this rising star to chat about his backstory, recent releases, and plans for 2021.
Stream EDMID Guest Mix 257 || Kage on SoundCloud:
Hi Kage, it’s a pleasure to be speaking with you today. Let’s start things off by diving into your history as an artist a bit. Who were some of your earliest musical influences, and what propelled you to become a producer?
Hey, thanks for having me! There are so many influences, the biggest was Tiësto playing at the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004 because that made me want to be a DJ. My older brother actually got me into FL Studio a few years later, just making some random beats for fun. I made trance, dubstep, electro, and all kinds of genres, and I started to slowly take music more seriously.
You studied music at Herman Brood Academie, which was also the home for other artists in the scene like Martin Garrix and Julian Jordan. What was your experience like there and how did it contribute to who you are as an artist today?
Imagine a class of 20-30 producers all driven by the same passion of making music, teachers with actual industry experience, and a school with 30+ small studios to make tracks in. In the first two years, I basically reinvented my sound and in the third year, I started Kage. Due to injury, I had to redo that year, but I’m glad I had the opportunity to join another class filled with talented producers and learn from them.
Since you began your journey as a producer, what has been the biggest piece of advice that you’ve received that you carry with you to this day?
“Never compare yourself with anyone other than the person you were yesterday.” I always felt like I was behind everyone else, so much that I didn’t notice my own growth as a producer until the labels I looked up to start taking my music. I now try to look back once in a while and compare. If I’m happy with the progress, keep going. If I’m not happy with the progress, change what needs to be changed.
Last year, you delivered The Grave EP on Monstercat which is filled with some serious stunners. What was the production process like for this release? Were all the tracks produced with the EP in mind?
It started by sending many tracks to Monstercat, getting all but one track passed on. That one track was “The Grave” and we kept looking for more tunes that fit the quality, memorability, and sound of that one. I didn’t make them with an EP in mind, but when Monstercat had put them together it kind of formed a story on its own.
More recently, you kicked off 2021 with a remix of Ekonovah and NOISES’ “Medicine” as well as Snavs’ “Trippy.” Do you approach remixing other artist’s tunes differently than your original releases?
Not really, I follow the same process when working on originals. The only difference is that I want to incorporate the original feeling in the remix. Using key elements such as the vocal, the melody, or the bassline and then putting a darker Kage spin on it usually. I still want it to feel like a Kage track.
Having released music on labels that include Confession, STMPD RCRDS, IN / ROTATION, and Monstercat, what has it been like to receive support from them as an artist rising through the ranks of the scene?
Like I previously mentioned a lot of these labels I looked up to and now I’m working with them, it’s crazy. I’m also grateful I don’t have to change my sound just to fit a certain label. I really appreciate the support I have received so far and I hope I’ll be able to repay them with even more Kage releases.
Last year was difficult for many producers and artists to stay creative during the pandemic making it difficult to deliver music to the scene. How were you able to get your production juices flowing during all the uncertainty that came with 2020?
I think what helped me is I don’t make music very often. I know that when I get in the right mindset, I’ll just sit down and come back with a fully or nearly finished track the same day. I also have so many finished tracks just laying around, so I don’t feel the rush or some sort of mental deadline to come up with new music. I’ve been exploring Kage and trying to look at what needs improving besides the productions.
One final question before I let you go, do you have any goals for this year that you hope to achieve?
I want to start fully creating my own visuals, not just on Instagram as I do now, but for sets, release artworks, or any other type of media assets. At the end of 2019, I had my first three international Kage gigs so hopefully, if COVID-19 takes a step back, I can continue that run. I cannot wait to try out all the new tracks I’ve been working on.