Part of the new wave of the London hybrid jazz scene, K15 should be no stranger to our readers. With acclaimed releases on Kyle Hall’s Wild Oats and Eglo Records, his music has catapulted K15 into an international touring star. His close ties to jazz recently led him to pursue another avenue with the band he founded, Culross Close. We managed to catch up with him in our most recent Times and Tunes and picked his brain.
TIMES & TUNES
Thanks for using some time to chat with us! So… what’s been going on? Run us through your 2018. What did you get up to, musically or otherwise?
Thanks for having the chat. What’s been going on? Work really. Day job, college and some music stuff too. Spent a lot of the year trying to figure out my personal markers for success, what it looks like to me. Also spent some time trying to figure out general life stuff, do I enjoy my work, what else could I do? Music? A lot of time was spent in the usual way, trying to make stuff and listen to lots of records.
Tells us about some of your plans, hopes and fears (if applicable!) for 2019?
I’ll start with the fears. A fear is that I don’t have much life left. More of a realisation than a fear actually. This leads me to think about what I want to do and figure out what matters. Hopes? To find myself in new and slightly uncomfortable territory musically. Plans? Take a holiday. Hopefully.
Take us back to the start of Culross Close. How did the band come together?
It was all some people just coming together really. We all love music, all obsessed with it and over time, we realised that we had some shared values, which blossomed into a great
It seems the key sentiment of your last EP, Moments, was being in the present. How was that theme manifested there (i.e. are the songs recordings of improvisations / spontaneous jam sessions)? And did any of that sentiment carry through in your approach to Forgotten Ones?
The theme came from a lot of thinking about how we spend our time, how much we stare into our portable screens, the need for distractions and why we want to be anywhere than where we actually are. In terms of recordings, yeah we just recorded what we did at the time. There was a bunch more but the ones on the record are the ones that we felt best captured us. Some of that did carry through to Forgotten Ones. We tried to build on a riff or motif and not get too bogged down with overthinking
Tell us something you think is important about how this album came together. Was there something unique about the writing / recording processes? Was anything done in a particularly experimental way?
There was a bit of overdubbing in places, which was experimental and freeing for us. We are happy that it often sounds much more mature in places and bigger than us and I think that comes from Hasani. He’s a lover of sound, period, so he made sure we were recording as best as we could, with what he have.
I read a description of Forgotten Ones that suggests this name comes from the idea of inter-personal exploitation – the powerful exploiting the vulnerable in such great numbers that many of these sad stories are forgotten. Is that a fair read? Is there anything you’d like to add to the origins of the album title?
Yeh, that’s pretty spot on but I’ll let others have a listen and draw their own conclusions.
Do you think this idea – very much a non-musical idea in itself – influenced the end musical product?
It’s in the lyrics, it’s in the chords, it’s in the arrangements, and it’s in the textures. It’s in there for sure.
Shifting more into your musical direction now: where do you think your taste is going? Does it tend to change or ebb and flow quite often?
Ebb and flow describes it best. I sometimes focus on music to put out, which can influence what I make, so I want to get back to just making stuff and any shift in direction will possibly happen there.
Link us a couple of new tunes you’re into at the moment.
James Francies – Dark Purple
Steve Spacek ft Oddisee – Take Ova
And an old one that’s stuck with you for a long time.
Roberta Flack – Killing Me Softly With His Song
And finally, would you rather be able to speak ten languages of your choice fluently, or play every instrument you touch at a masterly level?
Languages, for sure!
Forgotten Ones – Culross Close (K15)