december 18, 2014

Interview with DJ King Most

In the digital age songs are easy to come by. Any and every DJ has access to the same music available on iTunes and Beatport. For the DJ's who want to stand out, the edit is king, and good edits are hard to come by...unless you know about King Most. Armed with a record collection and tastes that span genre and style King Most has made a name for himself in the DJ world through paying dues in the Bay Area and skilled production work. His signature edits, aptly named "Redirections", push classics into new territory and can be heard in DJ sets the world over. If you are interested in Soul, Disco, or Hip Hop this is the guy is for you. 



Where are you from?


Born and raised in and around San Francisco, California. I feel I'm more of West Coast dude in general though. Coffee, sunshine, and distinct jams.


When did you begin your re-editing work? 


The serious re-editing work started in 2010/2011. At that point I was already making hip-hop and soul beats, but finally bought my own computer and started using Audacity. My friend DJ B-Cause already had a few years underneath his belt of putting out killer edits and I just had to try it myself. Prior to those years I had a few things finished, but that was when I was when I far less dedicated. I now work on music every day.


Around 2011 was still the period where putting out your own material took a little more effort, the pre-Soundcloud era. You had sites like The Hollerboard or labels like GAMM, Money Studies, and countless great disco edit "labels" that aren't really around anymore. The majority of this music was made by DJs for DJs so it caught my ears.




What do you look for in a song that needs a re-edit or "redirection"? Are you just beefing up certain elements in the track, or taking things away? 


It has to catch my ear. From there I sort of mentally categorize all the things I can do with it. My mind starts thinking, "Oh, this a capella is in the same key as this," or, "That sample would sound great with some keys or bass added to it."


Where I'm at now with edits it's more about adding musicianship to tracks. Nothing wrong with just cutting and pasting parts and adding some low end, because I did that for a while and sometimes that's all you need. But, to keep myself and hopefully fans excited too, I'm pushing them further than what I did previously—almost to where they could be heard as an original track as opposed to a "redirection". 



Has doing re-edits helped your career? 


100% yes: residencies, remixes for other people, and DJ gigs. The little tracks I put out there have put me on radars that I would have never thought I would be on. I want to keep at it so I can be seen as much as a musician as I am a DJ.


What interests you musically these days?


This might be a good thing or a bad thing, but I'm seriously all over the place. Right now I've been listening to a lot of hip-hop, but also more club-centric sounds that you find all over Soundcloud. It's that nebulous style that incorporates bass, house, uptempo soul, 90's R&B, etc.


Give me like three weeks though and I'll probably all into Cumbia with Indie Dance.


What is your production set up looking like? 


My production set-up has always been pretty bare. I occasionally break out the MPC for fun, but Abelton is at the heart. Great homies like G Koop and Jon Reyes lend their musicianship to my edits and I love those guys. There's a lot of records involved too.


You seem to be doing a fair amount of travel these days and you now have a weekly in Vegas. How is the residency working out for you? 


I have never done anything like it before, so it's pretty damn exciting. I'm glad I have a seriously dope DJ partner, Anthony Valadez, riding with me as well as lot of great musically-minded people involved. Just traveling every week is an adventure in and of itself with all the random people you meet and things you see. The DJ travel life is really something else you can only learn and experience firsthand. It's exhausting one moment then hilarious the next.




Where are you most comfortable playing? 


I try not to get too comfortable in any situation. Once you start being comfortable, you start slacking with your craft and ultimately it shows. You're basically dead creatively and just going through the motions.


How do you handle requests? 


I stopped fighting it to be honest. Let them ask, and if it makes sense, I give it to them. They go away happy and I'm glad I can get back to DJing. There's no need to have a meltdown, and that goes for the people on both sides of the DJ booth. I'm lucky since I don't get too many requests these days.


What is the weirdest thing you've seen in the club?

Nudity, heavy groping, Taco Bell, dogs, very pregnant women dancing to Wocka Flocka, but really the weirdest thing is GIRLS GOING BAREFOOT. 


What excites you in a DJ set? What makes a good DJ great?

What makes a DJ set great is really that sweet combination of technical prowess, party pleasing, and hearing music that I need to get my hands on. Even if a DJ hits two out of the three I'm all for it. 


I'm a huge fan of going to see DJs play and well as hearing their mixes. I don't get DJs who don't go out to parties. That's almost like the athlete who doesn't train and eats terribly.


What's next for you?  


Finishing college, releasing a lot of edits (some of which are coming out on vinyl), and original music with both rappers and singers.




Keep up with King Most on Twitter, Facebook, and most importantly on Soundcloud