Relentless Beats

RB Exclusive Interview: Keys N Krates

We’re excited to share an exclusive interview with the talented trio Keys N Krates, made up of drummer Adam Tune, keyboardist David Matisse, and turntablist Jr. Flo, also known as Greg Dawson. Join us as we dive into their fascinating journey, explore the origins of their collaboration, the influences and evolution of their artistic expression, and get a sneak peek into what awaits fans at their upcoming show in Tempe!

How did you all meet and come together as a group? Walk us through the moment you decided, “Hey, let’s team up and make some music.” Did you ever imagine it would take you to where you are now?  

We had met through a mutual friend. Matisse and Tune were already playing in a Funk and Soul band at the time, and the mutual friend had introduced Greg and Matisse. They started messing around with turntable and keyboards, doing flips of old soul and hip-hop samples, and eventually, Tune joined in and started practicing towards our first gig. I don’t think any of us thought that jamming out songs in that rehearsal room would have led us down the path we’ve gone. 

How would you describe your musical style? Are there any artists that have inspired or influenced your sound? What do you believe sets you apart from others in the industry? 

Our style has evolved throughout the years, and most recently, we’ve been heading in a more House direction. As with any style we make and play, we like to take our own approach to it. With our current project, we were influenced by Master At Work, Armand Van Helden, and a bunch of other great House producers. 

What we think sets us apart is we all have our own tastes and flavor, and when we make a track, we come together and all add our own thing into it. All three of us have to be good with the track before it goes out to the world, so by the time it’s gone through all our filters, it’s usually something with its own character. 

Some might say your latest release, “What You Done” with Rochelle Jordan, has a slightly moodier vibe compared to your usual style. Can you tell us a little about the inspiration behind that track?

We’re huge fans of Rochelle, and yes, that track is definitely on the moodier/chill end of what we’ve done in the past. That track came about from a demo we had made while doing sketch demos for our album and sent it to Rochelle. We loved what Rochelle did over it, and we leaned into that vibe with production and vocal treatments. It was really amazing to see how the track was received, being that it is a little more chill than what was normally expected from us. 

Collaborations are huge in the EDM scene. Do you have a dream collab in mind? Any artists or genres would you like to explore collaborating with in the future? 

We haven’t actually done a whole lot of collaborations with other producers. There are three of us, so we collaborate with each other all the time, and with three opinions, it’s a lot to add a fourth! We would like to collaborate with more vocalists, and we’re always looking to find vocalists with great tone, vibe, and great writing. Of course, a dream would be to do a track with Beyonce, Rhianna, or Missy Elliot.

Your IN:TENSION tour is bringing you to Tempe, AZ, in October. What can fans expect from this performance? Any surprises or unique elements you have in store? 

We will be playing a ton of material from our upcoming album and lots of edits and remixes that will be unique to the Keys N Krates set. Among that, we’ll be playing some cuts from some of our favorite producers. The set will be fun and exciting. 

As artists who have been part of the industry since 2008, you’ve witnessed music and music culture transform. In the ever-evolving EDM genre, how do you stay current and innovative while staying true to your artistic identity? Do you feel your sound has evolved since your formation? If so, could you expand on that? 

Our sound has evolved like we said before; we started as a band doing hip hop flips, to venturing into the trap scene, and now focused more in the house world. As we grow as artists, we like to explore new directions, and it keeps it exciting for us. We listen to a lot of music, new and old, and take inspiration from both. 

What motivates you to continue on this path? Given your experience, you likely have some incredible stories from traveling or from specific shows or festivals. Could you share one or two core memories? What do you all enjoy most about what you do?

The music motivates us. We love to make music and perform it live. Some of the best memories have been on the road. I think a core memory was the first time we played Coachella on the first weekend, and walking on stage and seeing that many people who had come out to see our set. Our bus tours have also been some amazing memories, and sharing that with our crew and the good and the bad that comes with touring and sharing that with other people are memories we will have forever.

What advice do you have for aspiring artists looking to make their mark in the industry, as you have, and develop their own unique sound?

You answered the first bit of advice: look for your own unique take on the music you’re making. And it’s a grind. You have to keep going and keep making more music and getting yourself in front of as many people as possible to share the music with them. Most acts have worked for years developing their audience, so be patient and persistent. 

Mark your calendars for an unforgettable night and be ready to groove with Keys N Krates on October 14th at Sunbar in Tempe. Secure your tickets HERE, and we’ll see you there!

Connect with Keys N Krates: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Spotify | SoundCloud

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