Interview: DJ Kayper

I hopped on the train down to London to attend Alexander James Lewis’s hip hop night Dope at Paradise By Way of Kensal Green. After Kaajal Bakrania aka DJ Kayper’s floor destruction, I managed to get a quick interview with her (K) and DJ ASAD (A) in the patio garden.

So yeah you just finished your set. How are you feeling?
K: Tired but good.

Why are you tired?
K: I’m always tired.
A: She’s a work horse. She works very hard.

Doesn’t stop really.
A: Kayper is the hardest working artist on the planet.

Yeah man. So tell the listeners at home a little bit about yourself?
K: I’m from. Where am I from? Oh yeah Croydon.
A: Croydon massive!
K: I started DJn when I was 12. I am a lot older now so that’s a lot of years. Not going to tell you how old I am haha.

So who are your biggest musical influences?
A: DJ ASAD of course.
K: Haha. Probably Jazzy Jeff.

Top 5 people you wish you were. Apart from Prince. Because Prince is the king.
K: Jazzy Jeff, Janet Jackson, Prince (even though you said not to mention him I’m going to anyways!)
A: Michael Jackson.
K: No he was weird.
A: You’re weird.
K: I am weird.

We’re all fucking weird!
K: Michael Jackson when he was just performing though.
A: Pre-white face Michael Jackson.
K: Who’s the last one.
A: My inspiration.
K: Diplo.
A: Diplo I like that. Strong.

What’s your favourite Mad Decent song?
K:  Hmmm…

Do you like that Riff Raff fella?
K: I do like Riff Raff. Ermm…I think Keys N Crates release on Mad Decent – Keep It 100 (#JEFF077) is great. I’ve known them for years before anyone knew about them. I remember playing with them at SXSW Festival quite a few years ago and I thought they were amazing. So I’m glad they’re doing so well now.

So what do you think are the top people to be looking out for at the moment. Let’s keep it broad. Record labels. Artists. What’s floating your boat right now?
K: At the moment I’m looking forward to Hard Times re-launching. Back in the 90’s they used to release stuff by Todd Terry and others like him. They didn’t release a huge amount but the stuff they did release is amazing. The guy who owns the record label, Steve ‘Rubel’ Raine, is a farmer. That’s his day job. He started the record label because he wanted to party of whatever.

They’re based in Leeds aren’t they. Late 80’s, early 90’s when the whole Haçienda thing was coming to fruition in Manchester.
K: I just remixed a track for their label. They’re re-releasing their entire back catalogue!
A: Kayper is the best producer in the world right now!
K: So I guess look out for that. I love the fact they’re coming back and getting a load of people to remix their old stuff to re-invent and revive it.

The re-presses are great. The ones that were released on Record Store Day (#RSD2014) are golden. I got myself a Trax Records vinyl by DJ Pierre (#TX142). Just classic pioneering acid shit. So is there anything you wanna get off your chest like anything that’s been annoying you? Or is there anything you wanna tell the listeners at home like certain remixes or collaborations you’re working on?
K: To get off my chest in a bad way. Nothing really.

I’m burning my fucking nose. Let me just light this joint properly. There we go. Burn bitch. Reaching the end of my spliff. It’s fantastic.
K: Haha.

I’m totally tripping my balls off right now and it’s all good haha. So tell us a bit about your recent EP? How did it come together? Inspirations etc.
K: The one I released at the beginning of the year was basically on a label called Main Course Records (#MCR-017). It’s run by bot106 who used to be 1/2 of Crookers. They release some really cool shit sorta on the Mad Decent vibe. The thing I love about them is that they just put out good music. They don’t make any money out of it. It’s all free ya’know what I mean. There was a guy who remixed it called Wuki. He is fucking sick. You should listen to his stuff. That was my first EP this year. The second EP was released on Spinnin’ Records (#SPDEEP119) which is more on a commercial vibe which is not what I planned to do but yeah it did well so can’t complain. That’s it!

I’m finding it quite hard to think of questions right now.
K: Yeah I noticed haha.

Like ya’know in terms of your productions take us through the process. Like you’re listening to something and that sparks something off?
K: Because I come from a hip hop background I do sample a lot.

‘Sometimes I’ll use a sample and make the track around. But then I’ll take the sample out and get someone to sing an original over it. I always get influenced by stuff I used to play back in the day. So yeah that’s pretty much the process. That’s how I vibe in the studio’

Soooo. Can you tell us about anything about stuff you’ve got in the pipeworks?
K: There’s a few things happening which I can’t talk about right now because it’s not set in stone so I don’t want to jinx it. But you’ll find out sooner or later. So yeah tequila time?

End of interview. Say bye!
K/A: See y’all later. Tequila time. Let’s do this!

For the record DJ Kayper was not smoking any reefer and was totally sober until after the interview.

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