RB Exclusive Interview: Keys N Krates
September 18, 2023
September 18, 2023
Keys N Krates formed as the brainchild of drummer Adam Tune, synth/keyboard aficionado David Matisse and internationally award-winning turntablist Jr. Flo. The Toronto trio came together in 2008 with the desire to bring their blend of live electronic instrumentation to the stage.
They’ve often been referred to as the worlds only “trap band,” a title they reluctantly accept. Tune says it best: “At the end of the day, people are going to call us whatever they want. We are referencing everything from classic house music to Timbaland in our beats, but I think the trap references tap into what the current sound is, and we are okay with that.”
Having toured their unique blend of hip hop and bass music extensively across North America, Keys N Krates put out a slew of original music in 2013. Their most recent body of work, titled SOLOW EP, was released via Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak Records in September 2013.
The EP features KNK’s banger “Treat Me Right,” which launched with the support of figureheads like Diplo, Major Lazer, Flosstradamus, and TNGHT. It went to number one on Hype Machine, continues to chart on the Beatport Hip Hop Chart, and remains a fixture in DJ sets and car stereos across the globe.
Premiered by Annie Mac on BBC Radio1, their second single off SOLOW EP, “Dum Dee Dum,” experienced a similar kind of success on the charts and has solidified the trio as creators of anthemic party music with a quickly growing fan base.
KNK has since explored their love for rap music by creating a remix of “Dum Dee Dum.” Featuring G.O.O.D. Music’s Cyhi The Prynce, King Louie, and Tree, the track has received glowing reviews from the likes of Fader Magazine, Vice Mag, and NahRight. “We had so much fun doing that rap remix,” says Flo. “We can’t wait to work with more rappers and vocalists in general.”
Perhaps what truly separates Keys N Krates from the mass of Electronic and Hip Hop producers out there is the unique show they create by performing their bassy beats as a band, completely live. When you go to a KNK show, you will see their music and the music of others morphed and turned on it’s head using only drums, keys, turntables and live sampling. This unique style creates not only a crazy dance party, but an experience and vibe like no other.
As a result, KNK have found themselves playing some of the world’s largest Festivals, including Lollapalooza, Electric Zoo, Ultra Music Festival, Osheaga, and Sonar Festival (to name a few.) As Matisse says, “Our favourite thing is playing live and bringing people into our world.”