Kyle Watson has just released his huge debut LP chock full of bangers, house and venturing into some more experimental electronic. Released through This Ain’t Bristol and Late Nite Business, Into The Morning sees Watson leave some of his safe zones and push through some of the genres that have defined him as an artist thus far.
As arguably South Africa’s biggest house export, our boy Hood Rich got to pick his brains about the album and the tech behind it. Check it out below and listen to his full album here to get a feel for what they’re talking about!
Hood Rich: Huge vibes on Into The Morning, did you set out with the goal to write an album or was the process more organic?
Kyle Watson: Absolutely, I made a decision to write the album and right from the start I knew what I wanted to achieve with it. I think it was a good way to approach it, instead of just putting 10 tracks together that were laying around and call it an album, I could actually conceptualise more and structure it the way I wanted it to flow.
HR: What is your most memorable moment from writing the album?
KW: I think probably the vocal session with Elisha James. We worked on a track called July, and when he came in to record his vocals he smashed almost all of them in a single take from the start of the track to the finish. That’s never happened to me before.
HR: There’s a couple “non-house” songs on the album, are you going to be releasing similar material in the future?
KW: I’m definitely still keeping with the house direction. Into The Morning is meant as a vehicle to showcase that I can do more than write house music, so it was a great opportunity for me to package that into one project. I’ve experimented a little in some other genres since the album, but the primary direction for now is definitely still 4/4.
HR: When I first started listening to your records around 2010 your music was entrenched in the wonky fidget house sound; what are some GOAT records from that era which are still cool AF for you?
KW: Loads! Bart B More’s remix of Walking Down The Street, Switch – A Bit Patchy & This Is Sick are all still incredible records. Believe it or not I’ve been dropping Mowgli – Party Boppa in a couple of sets lately and it still works!
HR: You’ve been spending a bit of time in America this year, has there been much difference between your shows in the states & the rest of the world?
KW: The US has been an incredible territory to start touring in. I debuted there in March this year and every time I’ve gone back the shows are all incredible to play. Maybe it’s been the cities & venues that I’ve played in but it really feels like everyone is out there at the party for the right reason. The level of appreciation is off the charts, so I can’t wait to tour the album there in October.
HR: You’re due back to Australia soon, is there anything you’re looking forward to doing outside of the gigs?
KW: The food man, ah the food… I don’t know if you guys all go to like some secret cooking school or something but Australia has the best food!
HR: What electronic artists are a source of inspiration for you at the minute?
KW: SG Lewis, Flume (as always), Lane 8. I’ve actually been listening to old Missy Elliott records lately and the production on those have been inspiring my drums.
HR: Do you have any recommendations for someone travelling to Johannesburg?
KW: Yeah, go do a tour of the inner city and the Maboneng precinct! Loads of culture around that area, then head out to Maropeng and the Cradle of Humankind.
HR: Have you seen any DJ sets in the last few years which has really left an impression?
KW: Honestly, I think Billy Kenny is an incredible DJ. Especially from a technical point of view, I’ve seen a few of his sets lately and they always impress me.
HR: I recently read that you’re a fan of pizza, throughout your travels where have you picked up the best slice?
KW: Yeah I love pizza! My wife isn’t a massive fan though so it can be tricky convincing her that it’s on the menu haha! I’d say my favourite deep pan is from the UK and the best thin base I’ve had is actually in South Africa. But I still have to visit Italy, so that might change! Next time I’m in the US I’ll have to call up Justin Martin so he can take me out for pizza, he’s the pizza don.
HR: What’s the first thing you do to relax once you get home from touring overseas?
KW: I try to do as little as possible so that I can recharge. Touring is exhausting, especially since I’m from South Africa which is miles away from the countries I generally tour. It can be difficult getting back into the groove.
HR: Could you share with us your creative process for the first hour when starting a new record?
KW: I can spend the first few hours just working on a drum loop. I try to guide the direction of my track with the drums and bass mix, so once I lock those down and I’m happy with it then the rest of the production process flows a little easier.
HR: What are two lesser known plugins you can’t work without and how do you use them?
KW: I use StereoSavage all the time to widen things up, especially crunchy shaker loops and textures. I have also been using Soundtoys Radiator and Waves Saphira to thicken my sounds up.
HR: If you could send one production tip to yourself 5 years ago, what would it be?
KW: Keep it simple. I spent a lot of time in my early career just adding more and more sounds into my productions and using a ton of synths, but in the last few years I really started focusing on ‘less is more’
You can peep his whole album below and pick up a copy here, so check it out and tell us what you think!