Kungs Chats About New Singles and New Projects
Kungs is a French producer that has shot into the spotlight as quickly as he came onto the scene. At only 20 years old, he already has had several awards and world-renowned top hits. His hits such as “This Girl” with Cookin’ on 3 Burners have reached the top spots on the charts in several different countries, including the US. Currently, on his US tour, we caught up with Kungs at Chicago’s Prysm Nightclub to chat about his young music career and what he has planned next in his skyrocketing career.
Sensible Reason: Are you excited for tonight?
SR: You’ve played Chicago before, correct?
K: Yeah, I played at the Mid last year or two years ago, I think. It was really nice, I love the Chicago scene. I think that’s the city where a lot of the history of house music was born, so it’s amazing to be here.
SR: How did you end up getting into house music?
K: I don’t know, I always have been a big fan of music in general. I was listening to every genre, like pop rock, hip-hop music, electronic music. When I was like 17, so 3 years ago, I just discovered that you could do your own music with just a laptop and it just changed my life.
SR: You’ve been musical for a while, though, right?
K: Yeah, I played some guitar and piano when I was a kid. I was still a kid, but when I was a bit younger I’ve always been a big fan of music in general.
SR: Do you have a memorable moment when you were a kid that sparked the desire to make music in the future?
K: Yeah, I remember when I was 5 years old, I don’t really remember it but my parents told me that we were on holiday and they bought this African drum they gave me as a gift and I instantly knew how to play it. I was drumming in front of my parents and they were like “Oh this is crazy, he knows exactly how to do it!” So I think that’s when my passion for music started, and then when we were going on holidays in the car we always had good music. My parents were really into rock and pop music, so yeah I’ve always been into music.
SR: Do you feel as though your music is influenced by those drums?
K: Maybe! I love like the when it’s groovy and when it has drums. I try to put funk, disco, and house and soul influences in my music. So, I love it when it grooves.
SR: You have some songs that aren’t in French or English and they definitely have an island feel. Where do you get the inspiration for those songs? They stand out in front of the rest.
K: Yeah, I try to draw my inspiration from old-school sounds, the Motown scene and funk scene from the 70’s. I have a lot of vinyl at home. Sometimes I just like to go shopping at vinyl stores in Paris and you find some amazing pieces of art that you’d never listen to. And the vinyl is something that’s real so it’s a different way to listen to music. So yeah, I like to draw my inspiration from old-school things, I try to blend it with more modern house music and that’s how I do.
SR: How do you prepare for a show?
K: It depends. I try to adapt myself. If I play in the US I won’t play the same music as if I was in Europe or Brazil for example, so I try to watch the trends in the country I play in. In the US people are more into hip-hop music. Bass house is really strong here. In France, it’s completely different, so that’s how I prepare. I try also not to prepare my whole set and stick to it, because the crowd can change every night. Yesterday I was playing in Boston and the crowd was really into bouncy house music and not into EDM and strong stuff. So, I try to look at the crowd. If they are all girls or many guys and the age of the crowd really depends. I was playing in Indiana for a university a few days ago and it was all 18 or 19-year-old kids so they wanted commercial shit and bumpy stuff to party hard on, so it depends.
SR: What are you listening to right now?
K: Oh, pretty much everything. Hip-hop, electronic. I’m a big fan of Calvin Harris I think he’s the best producer ever, and every time he makes a new track, it’s something new. For example “One Kiss” isn’t an easy track, it doesn’t sound like a radio smash but because it’s Calvin Harris it blew up in the whole world. He tries to push the limits forward and that’s what I would love to do in my future career.
SR: You’ve recently won some awards above Calvin Harris. How does that make you feel?
K: I don’t know. I feel like I’m still pretty young in this business. I’ve only been making music for about 3 years, and Calvin Harris made so many hits and so many tracks and I only have a few hits. So, it makes me feel amazing and it’s insane but I want more and I want to really build my own career and my own signature sound. It’s really important. I’m working on a new album right now, so I’m going to LA for studio sessions tomorrow for 1 week, then I have a lot of new sessions in Paris and Sweden so it’s really exciting.
SR: If you weren’t making music what would you be doing for a living?
K: I don’t know maybe economics or something in business. But it’s completely different.
SR: It’s boring.
K: It is! But music is my passion so I’m really thankful that I’m able to live my passion my whole life. So I’m really thankful, and if I didn’t have music I think I’d be studying economics and be bored.
SR: So tell us about your new track “Disco Night.”
K: It’s a track that I made with a good friend of mine Throttle from Australia. We were in Paris together in the studio a few months ago and we were just hanging out in the studio for 2 days and I had this bass sample. So we just made the track together and it’s just a fun, club, festival track. It wasn’t made for radios or whatever, it was just for fun. When I played it live, people asked for it. But yeah, I really like this track.
SR: When you work with another artist, what is the creative dynamic between the two of you. Do you usually do the instrumental while the other does the writing?
K: It depends. Sometimes I’m involved also in the writing process. I like to write songs also. So sometimes we just start from scratch and we play some chords and we try to find a melody for the vocal, and then we write some lyrics. So it depends, I have some tracks on my computer that are made for my album where I was involved in the writing and I think both are great. Anything can work.
SR: When can we expect your new album?
K: I don’t know. I just made the decision to make an album about one week ago. [Laughs] So it’s really new, but I already have a lot of tracks on my computer, as I said. I need to release a few singles first. I’m trying to show a new phase of me, I’m working on a really nice project. I’m the director of a short movie, so I’m going to be behind the camera for a short movie. We are shooting in France, and it’s 3 tracks, 3 video clips that tell one story. So when I was making the tracks new I imagined a story in my head so we wrote a scenario with some friends and now we are just making it. So it will be great.
SR: Do you think you’ll be working more with film in the future?
K: Yeah, I think so. It depends on the result of the first one. It’s a bit of a risk because it’s really expensive, to be honest, and I don’t think it’s a project that will get me a lot of money. But I don’t care, because it’s a project that I really want to do. If the result is great I would like to work more in the image and the movie and stuff because when I make tracks, I always imagine some things. So I want to be able to shoot the movie by myself. It’s insane, I want to do my project from A to Z and it’s crazy.
SR: It’ll be crazy to see. When is your first project going to come out? What should we look for?
K: We are going to take some time to do it. It takes a lot of preparation, we just found the good characters for the story. So I think it should be released in January. We are shooting mid-November and then we have to edit everything, do a bit of marketing around it, promotion, and it should be out in January.
SR: We can’t wait to see it.
Following the interview, Kungs immediately hopped on stage and performed one of the hardest bass house sets we’ve seen at Prysm thus far. From his own tracks to some of the deepest underground hits, the whole crowd was bouncing. He read the Chicago scene like a book and kept the club packed until the wee hours of the morning. This young multifaceted artist is well on his way to becoming a double threat and a world sensation.