EDMTunes Interview: Keys N’ Krates

Keys N' Krates Reveals Thoughts on Their Style and Life on the Road

We had the pleasure of sitting down with Keys N’ Krates hours after their fantastic set at Electric Zoo New York. Although our time was cut short, we were able to talk to the guys about tour life, and the essence of their music. The Canadian trio’s “Every Night” tour is underway and it promises to be filled with soulful energy that Keys N’ Krates is known to deliver. Check out our talk with them below and be sure to grab tickets to the tour for when they stop in your city here. After the onslaught they put on at Hilltop Arena, you would be a fool not to.

You have a different sound than most American trap artists, your sound is more melodic and emotional, how would you classify your music?

We don’t really use the word trap since it connotes weird things, but in that same sense we’re not saying “fuck trap” and acting all pretentious about it. We like to think of what we do as weird rap beats since that’s what it is to us. People no matter what are going to call it what they want. Our new single, to me, and we can all agree, is not really a trap record at all; the drums are not trap drums, it’s not even a trap groove with weird synths, no 808’s, there’s nothing really appy about it but kids are calling it trap and we’re cool with that. If it brings more people to it and kids really identify with it, as long as they’re taking in the music that’s great. I think kids know that even if you’re going to call us trap, we stand out as more left than center.

 You mentioned “Are We Faded,” a tune where you’ve veered away from what you would normally do while maintaining the distinct Keys N’ Krates sound, what’s in store for the rest of the EP?

A lot more of that sound, a lot of people link us with having a lot of vocal loops, high pitched vocal loops and we really went after that as well as a lot of melodic parts throughout the EP. We’re all fans of that and on some of our older records we shied away from it feeling that you couldn’t play that in a DJ set but with this we’ve done whatever we wanted. There’s chill parts in songs and there are big drops in songs, so you can listen to it chillin’ at home and you can also enjoy it in the club.

 Nice, I don’t know about you but I’m a fan of putting on some headphones and relaxin’ back with some good tunes.

Yeah we’re fans of that, it’s nice to listen to 6 or 7 songs in a row without having pounding beats right in your face.

What do you guys listen to when you’re vibin’ out to music.

You know it’s weird, I’ve become more lazy and just put on some of the playlists and I feel like I get a lot of ideas from it, like listening to new radio stations. Different playlists have amazing songs and you just get ideas from here and there, especially indie artists, things you would never hear anywhere else.

So do you guys get to go out to any shows? I know your time must be wrapped up as you’re about to embark on the Every Night tour.

Well we see shows more at festivals because we’re fans ourselves and we love to see a show, especially if it inspires us. We’ll look at a festival lineup and say “Oh so and so is playing let’s see him” and we all have different people we want to see and it’s lucky if your paths cross and you get to see someone you were dying to see.

Did you see anyone today that you were dying to see?

Well we actually haven’t gotten to see anyone yet today although we are hug fans of Madeon so we’re going to try and stick around for him.

 So you guys have the new tour coming up, how are you guys going to prepare for that as opposed to DJs who just sit down and press play?

There are a lot of logistics that go into it, lot of shipping of gear and it feels like an indie band. We have less gear than them but rolling through the airport feels like that.

And you guys don’t have any groupies setting up for you?

I wish, that would be amazing if anyone wants to come do that…

Yeah we have a tour manager and a lighting guy and they set up stuff but we still have to help out.

Well if you want I can put in a sign-up link in the article…

Yeah I don’t think we want groupies setting up our gear, now if they want to take it down and to the van for us…

Musically there’s a lot of rehearsals, we can’t just put a set together like that. We’re overhauling our set right now so it can be fresh and it’s a ton of work. For the past three weeks have just been rehearsing new material so.

And I think your fans will definitely appreciate it, we’d rather a group put a lot of thought into it as opposed to someone who goes up there and does it off the cuff without any thought, some people can do it but when it doesn’t work…

Yeah when something doesn’t work a lot of time went into that not working so you better hope that it goes off without a hitch.

Unfortunately, our interview was cut a tad short, and that’s all we had time to discuss. As mentioned, be sure to check out this unique dance act this fall as they continue on their ‘Every Night’ tour.