KAYTRANADA on his influences and shaping his sound

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Haitian-Canadian producer KAYTRANADA’s sound is one-of-a-kind.

His distinctive blend of dancefloor sensibilities and J Dilla-inspired hip hop grooves has captured the attention of millions of listeners across platforms, major-label RCA, and his various A-list collaborators (who include the likes of Ty Dolla $ign, Tinashe, and Anderson .Paak). With an eclectic discography spanning both remixes and original work, KAYTRANADA has been making his mark since his early days producing under his former alias, Kaytradamus.

We recently had the opportunity to ask KAYTRANADA about his history, influences, and more – read on for highlights.

What’s your personal history with funk? Where did you first hear it, and when did you decide that you wanted to create your own music in its style?

Maybe it was in me since i was born; I didn’t grow up listening to funk, but everything I listened to was probably influenced by it in some ways… I didn’t pay attention to the genre of funk until my early 20s.

As you learned your craft, did you have mentors or artists who you looked up to?

I’ve seen a lot of my favorite producers like Madlib and Jay Dee sampling James Brown and The Neptunes, kind of imitating them… I remember listening to a James Brown mix by Pete Rock on Q-Tip’s radio show, and I found out about all the J.B.’s joints, and of course the P-Funk that Dr. Dre sampled – it definitely put me on.

Where do you think funk is headed? Who are some artists who you think are pushing the genre forward today?

I see cats like Anderson .Paak, Bruno Mars, and Khruangbin taking it to the next level.

February 10, 2021