- Words Solly Warner
Get to know rising producer, Kilder, whose music is a melting pot of UK house, experimental pop and dancehall.
Pepijn Willemse, aka Kilder, has been producing electronic tracks and remixes from his room for a few years now. Inspired by the likes of SBTRKT and Jamie xx, Kilder’s Soundcloud uploads garnered quite a response and began the start of something new for the 20-year-old producer.
Fast forward and Amsterdam native released his debut EP ‘Don’t Hide’ via VLF Records at the end of 2020. The EP offers up 10 tracks full of R&B and reggaeton influences with experimental electronic bodies. Reminiscent of the sounds of Mura Musa, Kilder’s creations are a bit more introverted whilst still feeling equally adventurous.
Hoping to return to live shows and to continue making music that isn’t influenced by expectation, 2021 looks to be a promising year for the young producer. He’s just dropped “Crying At CVS” with Alice Longyu Gao, and what a banger it is.
Notion caught up with Kilder to discuss how his music producing career started, what track he’s particularly proud of, why he likes collaborating with other up and coming artists, and much more.
How has the last year changed you as a producer? Have you learned anything new about yourself and what do you hope to take forward?
I don’t think it changed me as a producer a whole lot actually, I’ve always made most of my music just on my own. However right before the pandemic started I was doing a lot of sessions and got pretty used to that, so when the pandemic started it felt like going back to how it started out for me again, just making beats and songs at home!
At what age did you start producing? How did you start out?
I started making music around the age of 14, I’ve always had an interest in doing creative things from a very young age. For example, I used to make tons of dumb videos with friends when I was like 9/10 years old, we would think of stories and then just film it very amateurly haha. I also had a phase where I was heavily into drawing, and I’ve played the guitar for a few years. But I was about 14 when I really got interested in how music, especially electronic music, was made. I got my hands on FL Studio at first and then quickly after I switched to Ableton, that’s when I got really obsessed with it. So out of all things I’ve done, that’s what stayed with me
Talk us through the process of making your new single ‘Crying at CVS’ with Alice Longyu Gao – how did the collab come about?
After I finished my EP I wanted to make a song that felt a bit less serious and more on the fun side. A song that I’ve always loved and revisited a lot last year was “Paper Planes” by M.I.A. That song got me inspired to make the beat of CVS, I wanted to make a feel-good/fun track with a similar vibe like that. So when I finished the beat, the first person I immediately thought of was Alice. I’m a fan of her work, she always has the craziest songs with the craziest lyrics, and she’s got a very punky delivery which I thought would work perfectly over a beat like this. So I got in touch with her, sent her the beat, and a day later she got back to me with the wildest vocals I’ve heard in a while, I loved right from the start.
When did you start working on ‘Don’t Hide’ and how did this EP come about?
I started working on this EP around June of 2019 and basically, the EP is kind of like a collage of songs where I’m experimenting with different sounds and genres that inspired me up till this point. However I did want to make it in a way that the project would still have a cohesive feel to it as a whole, and I think that worked out. I’ve written a majority of the songs in Hackney, London where I did periods of multiple weeks filled with sessions together with a lot of talented artists. However some of the songs came about all online too, ‘It Goes Lyke’ for example was done fully online during the first lockdown last year.
‘Don’t Hide’ explores many different genres and sounds. Is there a track from the EP that you’re particularly proud of and can you tell us why?
A track that I’m particularly proud of is “Don’t Hide”, it was the first song of the project that I finished and it was exactly the sound I was trying to achieve at that time. I made the beat right before I got in touch with my management who then later introduced me to the vocalist Leyla, she wrote vocals around the title I had already set for the song, and when she laid them down I instantly knew we were up to something special. Really massive credits to Leyla because she literally kills every beat, has an incredible voice and made this record in my opinion!
You have a mix of underground legends and art-school-up-and-comers on the EP. How did the creative process differ between these different types of collaboration?
Yeah, it’s pretty crazy first of all to have such awesome collaborators on my first project, I’m literally a big fan of all of them so I’m very grateful to have them on there. However mainly I would just think about what would make the most sense to create with each artist. When I work with someone I usually like to see if I can bridge my sounds with theirs. For example, for the song I made with Trim I really dug deep into the UK grime scene and his background, I tried to combine influences from his space with my electronic/dance music roots. So yeah it really differs for each song.
Is it important to you that you support and promote younger up-and-comers like yourself? Who else would you like to collaborate with in the future?
That’s really important I think, however, I don’t think I’m at a level right now that I’m really promoting them haha! But I love collaborating with other artists, and especially when you’re an up-and-comer like me and some of the people I work with, I think it’s great to make and release songs together and grow from that together. However I don’t really have a list of people I desperately want to work with though, I’m just open to anything. But if we’re talking about a dream collaborator that would probably be someone like Thom Yorke or Frank Ocean!
Is there somewhere you’ve always dreamed of playing at? Venue or event or festival?
Yeah definitely Coachella, I remember watching streams of that since I’m like 13 years old and I always thought it looked sick. Hopefully one day!
What single night out has been the most memorable for you?
My most memorable yet was probably when I just turned 18 – which isn’t even that long ago – and was able to legally go to certain parties. I actually tried to sneak in when I was 17 too but failed… But it was the first time I was able to go to a more experimental electronic niche night in Amsterdam, that was a very great new experience. But honestly, I don’t really have a story any wilder than that haha. There is lots more to explore yet!
What is one track that never gets old for you no matter how many times you listen to it?
The first song I thought of was ‘Aphex Twin – Alberto Balsam’, it’s probably my favourite electronic song ever made, released in 1995, years before I was even born but it still sounds so fresh every time I listen to it. The textures, sound design, chords, drums, the details, it’s all really well put together. To me, it sounds like a song that could just be released today, and I think that’s really impressive. I’ll never get bored of this song!