Exclusive Interview With South African Superstar DJ & Producer – Kyle Watson

Kyle is one of South Africa’s biggest dance music exports, with a strong following of loyal fans spanning the globe. Whether you’re in a small, sweaty club in the heart of the USA or a 15,000-strong open air festival in Brazil, you’re likely to hear a Kyle Watson’s record.

Releases on dance music’s biggest record labels – from Ultra to Atlantic, Dirtybird to This Ain’t Bristol – have helped evolve his craft into a unique style of forward thinking house music that blends the dark with the light, sweeping melody and musicality effortlessly among the grit and energy of a raw bassline.

Check out Kyle‘s latest EP “Vice Versa” below


Hey Kyle what’s happening brother? In a few words, Tell us how you broke into the House scene and how you got to this point in your career.

“It’s all down to meeting my wife (then girlfriend)! At the time I was just messing around with some pretty average sounding house music, not planning on releasing it or anything. But she encouraged me to play some of it to her brother who was in the industry. Through that I got my first record deal in SA; some local guys started supporting my music and shortly after that a few global labels starting paying attention. The rest is history!”

Your latest track ‘Vice Versa’ is AMAZING! We’re HUGE fans! Tell us more about what inspired it and your relationship with Box of Cats.

“Thank you! When I found the Vice Versa sample I had an idea straight away. I wanted to play off the concept of vice versa and alternate two separate bassline patterns – one for ‘Vice’ and one for ‘Versa’ – but make them feel like they belonged to the same track. That’s why you hear a 2-bar percussive bassline pattern contrasted with a 2-bar sustained slide bassline. As for Box of Cats that started when Wongo, Tom Eq, Jeff Doubleu, Marc Spence, Jak Zand myself wanted to create an outlet for a brand of slightly different house music. It’s growing up really fast!”

What single night out has been the most memorable for you as a DJ and Producer?

“There have been so many, especially in the last year or so. I’d have to say out of everything the most memorable was my showcase set last year when I played my own productions for 3 hours.”

So….. Saturday 23rd June, Electric Forest? You must be excited?!

“Pinch me! What an opportunity, it’s set to be massive and lots of people are excited so I’m really looking forward to it. The hype is real!”

Give us the name of one track that never gets old for you no matter how many times you listen to it?

“‘Switch – A Bit Patchy‘. Definitely one of the greats!”

Tell us about your recent ‘New Ground Tour’ of the U.S? We believe there is a 2.0?

“It went better than I ever could have expected. I played some amazing shows and the crowds were just so receptive. Some of the coolest crowds I’ve ever played to, with proper hardcore fans. And yes, I’ve got more dates confirmed for later in the year including Shambhala in Canada, plus some more surprises.”

Besides your home club ‘Truth’ in Johannesburg, which venue or event in South Africa is your favorite?

“We Love Summer in Cape Town throw some of the coolest parties in SA. Their production is top notch and the team are incredible, I love working with them.”

Tell us about who and what inspired/inspires you as an artist?

“I take inspiration from lots of things, mainly the music I listen to. I hardly ever listen to house in my spare time, when I’m driving around or hanging out I’ll be listening to anything from downtempo electronica to rock. I also take inspiration from watching others perform their craft like watching a great technical DJ perform, or a musician I look up to discussing something they’ve created.”

A word of inspiration for today’s up-coming artists and producers out there? List an important piece of advice you wish you had received when you first ventured into your musical career?

“It’s so cheesy but firstly never give up. Success comes at different times for different people. It’s taken me over a decade to get to where I am and a lot of that is down to tenacity and hard work. Secondly, always make music you believe in. Take your influences and inject them into your craft to create something unique to you.”

Humor us? How often do you get writers block? ?

“All the time! Especially over the last two years I’ve become extremely critical and will often write tracks 3 times over until I am happy with them. Putting that kind of pressure on myself has meant I hit the brick wall often, and when that happens I just close the project and come back to it the next day to try again.”

Keep a watchful eye out for Kyle’s new release ZHU, Tame Impala – My Life – (Kyle Watson Remix) out soon!



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