NZ Music Month 2018 - K2K
All photographs supplied
You have originally come from Wellington to Auckland, And have participated in various music events and scenes. What have you noticed about the music scene in NZ after getting to know it a bit?
It's so hard to make statements about the scene in NZ as it's always changing. A few years ago electronic music in NZ was having a revival - so many amazing techno and house producers were popping up and the shows felt really exciting. Now it feels a bit different. Christchurch has a pretty exciting music scene that's arisen post-quake, 121 has been throwing really insane shows in Wellington and Auckland has a real range of stuff going on - so much that I feel like the audience is split a little and people tend to go to whatever parties their friends are at rather than go to parties for the music specifically. I think overall the scene in NZ is really special, it's small enough that it's pretty easy to get involved with, yet big enough that I'm always finding out about new DJs and producers, and am always impressed by people throwing events in new spaces
If you had any constructive criticism about the NZ Music scene what would it be?
I think it would be really cool if there was more of a connection between all of the little music scenes around the country. Not really a critique, and I also have no idea of a viable way to connect the scenes, I just feel like the NZ scene as a whole is a little disconnected. I miss the days of the Low Hum parties which would bring everyone together, and I hope that something unifying like that is created again.
Does the music scene feel supportive and safe to you?
Currently it does, yeah. I feel that people are becoming more aware of concepts like diversity and safe spaces, and that people at shows are generally quick to call people out for encroaching on their personal space. That being said, I'm 27 and have been going to gigs since I was 13, so I feel pretty confident now. People have been pretty positive about my music, but it took me until I was 23 to realise that I could make music and DJ. I'd always been around music but hadn't really seen any women making or performing it, so it didn't really connect with me until an older age that I could be a part of the scene and not just an observer. But yeah, once I got creating, I did get a lot of support.
Any New Zealand Musicians that you love? Any hidden gems?
I think Peach Milk is really amazing, her new tracks are fire, can't wait for them to be released. Also Aw B, a DJ from Wellington is really great. Her sets are always such a fun time. DJ Kush Boogie are good pals and make really hot tracks, and their solo projects D Tyrone and Hugo Jay are also really sick. A lot of good Kiwi exports too - Manual Darquart have been killing it with their new releases although they're in London now, and Amy Jean is Berlin based but one of the sickest DJs I've seen.
You just did a Morning People Rave at whammy bar, what was it like getting your groove on in the early hours of the day instead of the night?
I didn't really know what to expect with it but ended up having a blast! The crowd was really positive and everyone was having a good dance, more so than most of the parties I play. No drunken lads being unaware of personal space is also a bonus too! I think it's really cool when people are able to enjoy dance music without alcohol and drugs, something that seems pretty rare in this scene.
How long does it take to create a full dj set? How did this passion begin for you?
I've got a pretty huge library of tracks so normally I'll spend an hour finding tunes that I think will fit the vibe of the night. I'm always listening to music at work so when I find new music I think will work well for my sets I'll add it to a list to buy/download at a later date. I've been obsessively collecting music for a really long time, going back to being at primary school and making mixtapes and ordering weird pop tapes at my local record store. I go through phases of getting really excited about new tunes and getting a bit jaded about music, but there always seems to be something exciting to discover.
What are your intentions when sharing a set with a group of people ( if any )? Do you feel a sense of fulfillment when you finish a set?
It really depends on the gig, who I'm playing before, the vibe I'm getting from the crowd. Generally I'm trying to provide a party with a fun soundtrack, sometimes that means playing more obvious bangers to get the crowd into it, sometimes I can get a bit weirder with my tracks. I'm definitely not gonna play a bunch of obscure tracks that people obviously aren't vibing just because I like them, I think it's really important to be observant of the crowd and meet somewhere in the middle. I really enjoy playing at festivals because the crowd is up for anything and I can play tracks that might not normally go down so well in a standard Auckland club setting.
When I get a chance to play the tracks I'm really loving and get a sense that the crowd is on the same page as me, it's super fulfilling. I'm not so disappointed anymore when I have a less than ideal set, but having a good set feels really amazing.
When do you find yourself most productive?
Probably when I over commit myself to finishing tunes or mixes! I work 4 days a week and keep pretty busy with DJing, exercise and life things. It can be really easy to put off working on tracks, as it never feels right to force yourself to be creative. Unfortunately I think sometimes you've really gotta force yourself to keep slowing working on things even when you're not feeling it. If I tell someone I'm gonna have something ready for them by a certain date, I feel a definite pressure to come through, so it's a good hack for people who feel bad when they don't keep to their word haha.
How would you describe yourself as a musician?
That's a hard one! I let people describe me, I don't really describe myself. My productions are influenced by old rnb, house and techno that I listen to. My DJ sets vary. At the end of the day I just really love music, I really love playing music to other people and getting the chance to pool all my various influences into my own tracks.
How did K2K come about?
I started playing around with Ableton about 5 years back, from there I made some terrible rnb mashups that slowly turned into productions I was more proud of. The name I think is a mash up of my name, Katherine, and Y2K cause I was very about that early 2000s tumblr life for a while. DJing became a big musical focus after I attended RBMA in 2015, and since then I've just been trying to widen my musical knowledge, get better at DJing and improve my production skills. Still learning :)
Check out her music and socials -
Instagram - @hexting
Soundcloud - k2kokay
FB - k2kokay
Thanks to Katherine for having a chat with me!