Let me tell you how pumped we are to have our man Kevin Knapp back with us again. This time for an exclusive mix for our weekly series. I can’t remember the year but I think it was 2012 or something when I first heard this beautiful mans voice on a record for the first time. It was a track by Audiojack. From then on I kept coming across more and more tracks sampling his voice, which is one of the finest in the land in my opinion, in addition to building his own incredible library of productions. His passion for music shines through in the music he creates and watching him DJ is a pure treat. He has been on a massive run as of late and we couldn’t be happier for him. If you have not yet experienced him live and in person and you are in the US right now he is back from Berlin where he is residing (and who can blame him) and you can catch him here in LA the 26th of July @ RESIDENT before he heads back. Enjoy the mix and make sure to dive into our interview with Kevin down below.
PZB: What is happening Mr Knapp?
Kevin Knapp: I’m chilling at a resort in Aspen Colorado actually taking a little break from tour life.
PZB: Been a long time coming but we finally got you locked in for a LAMP mix. It has been great watching your career sort of take off the last year or so. I remember going back to 2012 when I first heard your voice on a record to booking you and Sacha Robotti to play a Christmas party in a tiny room in Santa Monica maybe a couple years later to now with you on the main stage a Dirtybird Campout and playing all the top spots in Europe. Super excited to share your mix with our audience, what you got cooking for us?
Kevin Knapp:I always bring a little mixture of urgency and pressure combined with emotive moments for texture. I think this mix reflects that.
PZB: For those that don’t know this American born and bred talent likes to spend his days in the beautiful city of Berlin and I for one don’t blame him. But July finds you back here in the states for a mini tour of sorts. Where can we catch you when you get here to LA and what are some of the other stops you are looking forward too?
Kevin Knapp: I’ll be at a club called Resident LA which I hear is downtown and I think is a new project and I can’t wait to see it! Playing Halcyon in San Francisco is a big deal for me. It feels like a milestone of sorts as I started playing music in that city for the first time and it feels like headlining one of the premiere venues in my hometown is a is symbol of how far I’ve come in the industry. I’m super honored.
PZB: Tell us about your background and culture. Where did you grow up and how has that impacted the music you make today if at all?
Kevin Knapp:I’ve lived a lot of places and likely under more varied cultural circumstances than most. The short of it is, I’ve lived more years of my life in San Francisco and the Bay Area than anywhere else. I was born in Louisville, Kentucky. I went to high school and college in Texas, spent year in Chicago, and now have currently been in Berlin for the past 6 years. San Francisco and Berlin both heavily influenced my sound for sure. I guess you could say SF is responsible for its genesis and Berlin is it’s current muse. I always tell folks my appreciation and use minor key when writing and playing music comes from my indie rock days in Austin and my classical music background.
PZB: How important was music in your life growing up. Who or what were some of the influential artists or albums you had going up that stick with you today?
Kevin Knapp:I grew up singing in choirs and listening to classical and jazz with my parents. Music has always been there. It’s hard for me to get away from Miles Davis Kind of Blue, The Mars Volta Relationship of Command. Smif – N- Wessun Dah’ Shinnin just to name a few.
PZB: What was the path that led you to house music and when did you discover you had a gift for putting your voice to it?
Kevin Knapp:House found me in a downtown art gallery in San Francsico in 2000. I always tell people it has elements of every place I’ve ever been musically. The beat of hip hop, the minor key moments of indie, the crescendo and decrescendo of classical. It goes on and on. Since I was a competitive singer up until mid college, it only made sense that, I’d enter the industry in this manner.
PZB: Tell us more about your journey through making house music. Have you been producing since the beginning or was it something that you decided to do as more and more producers were seeking you out and time went on and you were like ‘hey I should sit down and start putting some of my own beats together’?
Kevin Knapp: I actually fought being a producer for a long time but I think that was lack of confidence in the technical elements. I’m a big picture guy generally speaking. But once I learned to quell that anxiety a bit I realized I could sit down and get fairly competent idea out in short order, without geeking on it per se and the rest is history.
PZB: Our industry is constantly going through changes, and we as artists are competing for ears with so many others out there. On the flip, listeners are bombarded and overwhelmed with the amount of music out there. How do you try to connect with your audience, and what do you feel helps you stay relevant?
Kevin Knapp:I have a project called Kevin Knapp Beats ‘N Eats which debuts next month. I think that is fresh and new for sure, and something I’m uniquely suited to do because I my culinary up bringing. Also, I have a knack for language a passion for playing with words. I think that’s been helpful for me
PZB: When you sit down to make a track, what are some initial things you always do before getting started? Do you usually have something already in mind before you set out to start crafting the song?
Kevin Knapp: Foundations for tracks are simple for me. Kick, Clap, Hat, Baseline, maybe a vocal and then the rest of it writes itself.
PZB: Speaking of inspiring and changing the subject completely! Your food game is on point I am constantly jealous of all of the amazing places you get to eat and your BBQ game appears to be on point as well. have you ever thought of making your own cook book?
Kevin Knapp:All will be addressed in my forthcoming Beats ‘N Eats video series. Stay tuned!!!
PZB: What has been your favorite moment of 2019 so far?
Kevin Knapp:My set at Kater Blau in March was unreal. I just felt like I’d come home and I did not look at my watch for the first time until I was 2.5 hours into the 3 hours set. That’s how you know you’re on a good one.
PZB: Is there anything else coming up in your world that we should know or you want to tell us about that we should be keeping an eye/ ear out for?
Kevin Knapp:I have new solo work coming out soon I have a collaboration with Hannah Wants that should be ready soon and a record coming on Repopulate Mars in the fall. Good things are happening.
PZB: Thank you so much for your time and the incredible mix you put together. Please keep us posted on future releases and we will see you in Los Angeles soon.
Kevin Knapp:Thanks for the opportunity! Can’t wait to hang soon!