iDJ meets a young Scottish producer who's on the up and up right now…
With new single Every Little just released on Pukka Up and six more single/EP releases already lined up for 2020, young Scottish producer Keiks – which, just to be clear, rhymes with 'peaks', not 'likes' – is definitely on something of a roll right now. Which seemed like a good reason to grab him for a quick "introduce yourself"-type chat.
Because before we spoke to him, just about all we knew was that he's got the aforementioned works in the pipeline, as well as a string of All About House parties taking place across Scotland this spring, with his Ibiza diary filling up fast for the months before that. We also knew he comes from the small Scottish town of Brechin, which is near Dundee.
Oh, and we knew that Every Little showcases quite a different sound from the electrohouse with which he was most readily associated when he first emerged onto the scene a couple of years ago – one rooted much more firmly in traditional vocal/funky/US-style house music.
Which seemed like another good reason to to grab him for a quick "introduce yourself"-type chat...
You're still relatively new to the scene, so tell us a bit about your background and how you came to be making electronic music in the first place? I know you grew up in Brechin, Scotland, which isn't exactly known for its thriving club scene...
"My family are all very heavily into dance music, so I was brought up listening to classic trance and house from a young age. My uncle is a DJ and he influenced me a lot to start producing music, so I started learning how to DJ and produce at around 19.
"But you're right, the area I’m from is quite restricted in terms of nightlife, so getting myself out there to start with was a bit tricky, although I managed to put on capacity shows at local clubs in Forfar and Arbroath in my first year, with headline acts Joel Corry and Jack Eye Jones. This helped me expand to bigger cities like Dundee and Aberdeen."
How do you describe the music you make? To me it's got quite a commercial edge while still staying within the realms of credible house music, is that a fair assessment?
"Yes, absolutely. I think one of the biggest traits you can have in this industry is versatility – the clubs I play vary between commercial and underground music, so if you can please both crowds as well as enjoying the music you’re playing, then you’re onto a winner."
The term 'electrohouse' and your music have quite often been mentioned in the same sentence – how happy are you with that tag?
"I think two years ago I would have agreed with that tag, not so much anymore. I love all dance music and try to be as creative in my productions and sets as I can. I was experimenting with different sounds when I started my Keiks project and was really liking the electro/ bass house vibe, but that has expired now and I am solely focused on house music at the present time. But again, I like to change things up every so often, so who knows what I will be producing in the next two years?"
I liked that Killers Vs Alan Fitzpatrick mash-up you did... tell us the story of how that came about?
"The Killers were easily one of my favourite bands growing up, and the Fitzpatrick track is awesome. I use a programme called Mixed In Key which I keep folders of different vocals and acapellas in, but I normally only make mash-ups/edits when I find I've hit a bit of an artistic block with original music or remixes… just to keep the creative process flowing, really.
"With this one, I stumbled across the Somebody Told Me acapella, did a search for tracks in B major and We Do What We Want was at the top of the list, so it feels like it was meant to be. As soon as I finished it, I uploaded it to Soundcloud straight away and the response was amazing! Still my favourite mash-up so far."
Your latest single Every Little just dropped on Pukka Up. How did you come to hook up with them?
"I’ve known Mark, the head of Pukka Up, for a while now, and I’ve always admired the brand, the music that comes out of the label and what they do afor their artists, so I’ve been wanting to release music with them for a long time. So I sent the demo of Every Little to Mark last summer, and basically received the contract the next day as he was that keen to sign it – that was an unreal feeling!"
The single release features just a vocal and instrumental rubs – any plans for a remix package or did you not get remixes done for a reason?
"No, no plans for remixes of this one, but I have a release out with Pukka Up soon which will feature a variety of quality remixes."
I know you've got a load of All About House events coming up in Scotland, but I'm vague on the details, so fill us in...
"All About House is a new event I’m launching on 8 February at Dusk nightclub in Stirling. We’re playing at a wide spread of clubs across Scotland from February right up until April. The main goal is to expand the brand even further than Scotland, I have a good team behind me to make this achievable. Nothing makes me happier than having a full diary of gigs every weekend so I’m buzzing to get started!"
You've also got gigs lined up for the summer in Ibiza and Bulgaria, I gather?
"Yes, I’m in Sunny Beach, Bulgaria at Iceberg nightclub from 8-15 June, and then in Ibiza in July I’m playing at various different venues, and a host of the Pukka Up boat parties."
Finally, what else is going on for you right now that iDJ readers need to know about?
"I’m working on something every day, whether it’s new music, branding or organising events I always have something going on. If iDJ readers can’t attend my shows they can find my Keiks presents All About House podcast on Spotify and iTunes and can follow me on all my socials to keep up to date with what I’m doing."
Words: Russell Deeks
Every Little is out now on Pukka Up Records – buy/stream it here