GOLDKIMONO: On Electric Swing & The Influence of Amsterdam on his Artistry

GOLDKIMONO is an Amsterdam based musician and instrumentalist who’s sound cannot be confined to a particular genre or vibe. Rather, it is a frequency and a way of life that instantly transports the listener to a remote island where no shirt/no service is nothing but a clever bit of alliteration.

Having worked on huge tracks such as Kygo’s ‘Firestone’, Goldkimono is now carving his own lane rooted in the creativity of Amsterdam and branching out all the way to the beach bars of Venice beach. ‘Electric Swing’ is a strong contender for our discovery track of 2020 so we can’t wait to see what comes next from the quick rising talent.

This is a 2&6 Interview with : GOLDKIMONO

All your releases thus far are unified by th positive good vibes they bring. You instantly feel transported to laying on a beach in Bali. Where did this love of island vibes come from? Who are some of your key musical influences? 

Well, I guess firstly my love for positive vibes actually come from within man. Always been a guy with a natural upbeat & outlook on the world so I guess often times that is reflected in my music. Secondly, growing up I really loved the beach and skateboarding and summer vibes so that must’ve helped too.

Some key musical influences: Queen/Pharcyde/Tribe Called Quest/Kendrick/Coldplay

You are a proud Amsterdammer and I’m curious how you feel living in this city has influenced you as an artist ? Do you feel like it is an inspiring place to create? 

Yeah man, the city has influenced me for sure. I remember at one point in my life/music career I was really drawn to Amsterdam because it offered a vibrant and international feel, a creative energy you know? I was looking for that at the time. I wanted my environment to reflect the direction I wanted to take musically. So the city helped with that. 

Your latest release ‘Does it Move You’ is a more bass heavy track, one that I would love to hear remixed at some stage, do you like experimenting with a wide variety of genres? Is this any indication of your future releases?

I feel that man, I would love to hear it remixed too! And yes I love tapping into different genres. Like a painter uses different colors I think as an artist you can play with different musical styles/genres. I have a very broad interest musically and have always listened to a wide variety of styles and artists. And yes sir this is definitely a indication for future releases indeed 🙂

Electric Swing is genuinely one of my favourite tracks that I discovered last year, how did this track begin? What was the inspiration behind it and who wrote and performed the beautiful piece of spoken word poetry at the beginning of the track? 

Aw thank you man, glad you dig it. Yeah this tune began as a live jam. Five of us sitting in Crada’s studio with instruments just vibing out. At one point I played the main riff, and things started to move ands groove man. We got excited. And the music and energy of the room just gave me the words electric swing, so I started to sing that as the hook. Then things fairly quickly came together from there. 

The spoken word piece is written and performed by me, my voice is kind of slightly shift pitched and formanted because we wanted it to not sound human almost. I had written this whole thing in the studio during the session quietly by myself with the idea to prelude the song with it. When I had it finished, I got up and said to the guys ‘look, I’m gonna do something here, and either it’s gonna be really good or really bear with me’.

When Crada hit record I started to do the poem, just acapella, there was no track or anything. When I finished there was a dead silence in the room. I wasn’t sure if I bombed massively just then haha. But after a pause Crada turned his head to me and intriguingly said ‘dude, this is that again!’ That’s when I got more confident with it and it ended up being a proper intro for the song. Still very happy about that. 

To Tomorrow was produced by Crada who obviously worked with the likes of Drake, Kendrik and Kid Cudi. How did you guys link up to make this track and was it difficult selecting what track you wanted to debut with? 

Crada is the goatttt. Me and him met in a studio session with US based artist Harry Hudson. We connected, became friends and after that he offered to produce my tunes upon hearing the very first one I had laying around. I was like, dude, hell YEAH. We were in LA at the time and we did To Tomorrow that same week I think. That song instantly felt like the heart of the project, so it was a fairly easy choice to release that as a first. Just such a good vibe that song. 

How Does Hip-Hop Influence you? A lot of your lyrics and wordplay glide along the beat, almost as if you use your voice as an additional instrument, much in the same way that a lot of hip hop MC’s do, particularly in the bridge of Electric Swing. Are you a big hip-hop fan?

Spot on man. Yeah Hip Hop is probably my biggest influence when it comes to how and what I write. I owe a huge part (if not all) of my lyric game and general musical approach to that genre I’d say. Fell in love with Hiphop from the age of 13 or so, and still love it til this day.  

Following on from this, how do you approach writing your lyrics? Do you find it easy to create a whole track once you are inspired or is it more of a slow grind?

Lyrics come pretty easy to me once I catch a wave. I let the music inspire my lyrics most of the times. But I’ve been experimenting with writing without any music as well which is interesting. But yea, I love the art of lyric writing, although it has a bit of a secondary place in the composition hierarchy.  

Lastly, what’s your favourite place to see some good live music in The Netherlands?

Don’t think I have a fav. Anywhere and everywhere really. One of my fondest memories though were on Into the Great Wide Open festival. I like the outside vibes man. Most of the time (sold out) venues pack their audience like sardines in a can. I like a little space feel me? But Paradiso always has kind of a special place in my heart though. Classic. 

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