After we posted Kolourz's new single "Freinds" I thought it would be great if he could curate our next mini mix. Lucky for us he was happy to obliged and just like his own creations the mix really hits the spot. We also emailed a few questions which he answered candidly.
The Atlanta-based producer gets busy effortlessly blending Stereofox favourites like Tycho, Bonobo, Shigeto, Toro y Moi alongside BAFTA-winning multi-instrumentalist Ólafur Arnalds and virtuoso bassist and singer-songwriter Stephen Bruner aka Thundercat. Listen, read, share and spread the word about Kolourz.
Tracklist: 01. Ólafur Arnalds - Þú ert jörðin 02. Bonobo - First Fires 03. Tycho - Awake 04. Shigeto - Ann Arbor Part 3 and 4 05. Toro y Moi - Grown Up Calls 06. Thundercat - Them Changes 07. Bonobo - Transits 08. Tycho - Awake 09. Shigeto - R Life 10. Ólafur Arnalds - Tomorrow's Song
Speeches by Carl Sagan’
For those who might be new to Kolourz. Tell us a little bit about your background?
Kolourz was created in 2012, when I started composing, producing and performing original music. Prior to 2012, I played in different blues bands at local bars. It took some time for me to get used to composing and performing alone. But it wasn’t long until I started to find solace in working independently on a piece. Overtime, I slowly built up my own live show setup and started performing at Atlanta venues and festivals in the Southeast. So far, I've had the opportunity to share the stage with some of my favorite artists including George Evelyn, aka Nightmares on Wax.
I read online that you grew up listening to Smashing Pumpkins and Modest Mouse. What sparked your interest in electronic music?
I actually became interested in electronic music during my freshman year of college. I was taking a class in music technology at the time, and my friend showed me Ableton 8. I lived in a dorm and couldn't make any noise, so I would plug my guitar into my laptop, put on my headphones, and work on music all night instead of doing homework. I couldn’t really bump the jams, but I made the most out of the tools I had. Digital audio workstations (DAWS) gave me the opportunity to create music without a room full of instruments, which opened up the electronic world to me.
I watched the Desktop set you did earlier this year (very cool) and noticed a couple of guitars in the background. How many instruments do you play?
Thank you, I always have fun doing those impromptu sets. Guitar was the first instrument I learned, but I also play drums and piano. I enjoy unique musical instruments from different cultures and incorporating their sounds into my music. Over the summer, I was studying in China and picked up an erhu – a two-string instrument similar to the violin. I'm still trying to figure it out.
Being an independent artist and having to invest in physical albums and merchandise can be pretty cost-prohibitive. This has challenged me to discover different ways of distributing my work. Thankfully streaming services created a medium for artists to release their music through, which has given me the ability to connect with new audiences.
Best piece of advice (musically) you’ve ever been given?
Several years ago, I wrote Daedelus, and he was kind enough to respond with some of the best music industry advice I have ever received. I learned from him the importance of embracing my own unique sound and connecting with like-minded individuals who share my vision. His advice meant a lot. I still have his letter.
You recently released your second album. Can you talk about the process of making The Age Of Stars?
After a year or so of writing and composing songs, I released my second full-length album, comprised of all new material. "The Age of Stars" album concept was based on a lecture I heard by physicist Michio Kaku discussing the future plausibility of space exploration. He theorized what one might see in the last days of our existence, when the stars run out of hydrogen and the night sky turns into a dark abyss. Drawing inspiration from this I set out to build an album that positioned the listener in that moment. I hope in the end it moves people to spend a little more time each night looking at the giant fusion wonders that litter our night skies.
Your music doesn’t fit easily into one genre. Is there anything new musically that you’d like to do in the future that’s very different from what you’ve been doing?
Recently I worked on the track "Friends" with Los Angeles vocalist Nori. I'm looking forward to future collaborations.
What artist inspires you at the moment? And if you could collaborate with one artist, who would it be?
At the moment, Simon Green of Bonobo is one of the most inspiring artists to me. I watched his awesome full band performance on KEXP and was really impressed with the sound. Seeing his work progress from laptop sets to a full band is encouraging — I'd like to achieve something similar. Having the chance to collaborate with him would be an incredible learning experience.
I was checking out your Instagram, and some of the photos are amazing. Are you a keen photographer?
Thanks! Photography is another one of my creative outlets. Many of my songs are inspired by nature, and I like to complement them with photographs of the beauty I see around me.
So what's next for Kolourz
It’s hard to say. I would like to release a third album with some new artist collaborations and original material on a label I connect with.