Four Things We Learned from Kaytranada's Reddit AMA
He talks patience, unreleased music, that viral Boiler Room set and more
Published Jan 31, 2020Before 2019 came to a close, Kaytranada delivered sophomore album BUBBA, an effort that we felt picked up right where his Polaris Music Prize-winning debut 99.9% left off.
Yesterday (January 30), the Montreal-based producer took part in a Reddit AMA session ahead of a weekend performance at Igloofest, taking the time to chat to listeners about his latest album, production tips, influences and more. He also teased the imminent announcement of a North American tour behind the record.
While you wait for details on those live dates to drop, look below to find four things we learned from Kaytranada's Reddit AMA.
1. He Has Unreleased Work with Mac Miller, SZA and Anderson .Paak
BUBBA finds Kaytranada working with SiR, Mick Jenkins, Masego, VanJess, Estelle, Charlotte Day Wilson, GoldLink, Tinashe and Pharrell Williams, and the producer took time to point out a few uncredited guests on the record as well.
When a user suggested a potential collab with Thundercat, Kaytranada revealed that his bass playing appears on "2 the Music." Elsewhere, he confirmed that River Tiber chipped in some additional synth work on "Freefall."
One user asked Kaytranada if he ever worked with the late Mac Miller. The producer revealed the existence of an unreleased track dubbed "Madula," adding, "He probably got more that I never heard of. We'd text each other a lot and I would send beats. A lot of the snippets I post on my Instagram stories, Mac was one of them that used to always comment like 'yo! send me this'"
Kaytranada was also asked about the release of a song recorded with SZA, though the producer doesn't expect it to ever see the light of day. "She was hyping me up when she was about to drop CTRL too and then never followed up," he recalled. "The song sounded real nice but she got better thangs to do, I guess..."
Kaytranada also made mention of work with Anderson .Paak ("'Twin Flame,' it's still a track we talk about with me & the Free Nationals") and Toro Y Moi ("We already started something really fresh but Chaz didn't feel like continuing and I understand. We tried tho!")
"I don't really have dream collaboration," the producer wrote to another user. "There's a lot of singers & rappers I want to work with. The foundation has to be us vibing together and we'll take it from here."
To that point, a different user asked about potentially working with Tyler, the Creator, to which Kaytranada replied, "Fuck yeah. I know we will one day."
2. His Influences Range from Justice to Jazz
Kaytranada's musical ascent has seen him craft and further develop sounds and styles of his own, which have now in turn influenced contemporaries.
In recounting his own artistic development to listeners, he recalled first getting into electronic music through "Justice, Ed Banger Records, Daft Punk," along with Pop Life/One Love-era David Guetta who was "killing the game" at the time.
While noting that hip-hop and R&B from the '90s were his rhythmic first loves, Brazilian records and a certain mix from revered beatsmith Madlib only deepened his understanding of groove.
"From 2012, I studied a lot from this Madlib mix, Medicine Show 10: Black Soul, just learning the disco/boogie songs and how he'd mix unexpectedly," he wrote. "It made me want to do that sound 100%. And I also found out about Larry Levan, Ron Hardy and all those cats."
While he can count Robert Glasper and Karriem Riggins among his collaborators, he admitted still has much more to learn about jazz music.
"Over the last 2 years, I've been trying to get my knowledge up on jazz cause this is the type of music I would love to do in the future and I still don't think I listen enough," Kaytranada wrote. "There's a lot to check out as well!"
3. His Patience Has Paid Off
These days, it isn't uncommon for artists to face a chorus of fans wanting them to "drop the album" every time they log into social media, and Kaytranada is no exception.
When asked about his approach to not caving to the social media mob to take time between releases, the producer wrote, "It's annoying but the positive side is that people care so much about the music. Everybody should respect the artists for even making albums at this point so I don't understand why people would think a tweet is gonna help the situation for their own benefits."
He added that the constant deluge of demands "can put a lot of pressure on the artist and it definitely did with me. I handled it okay but damn...I can only imagine what Rihanna or D'Angelo goes through."
4. He Had No Idea His 2013 Montreal Boiler Room Set Would Go Viral
Kaytranada's 2013 set for Boiler Room, recorded live in Montreal, has achieved online notoriety not only because of his selections, but the people-watching potential when it comes to the crowd packed in behind his decks.
A quick skim of the YouTube comments will uncover timestamps that show people in the club clamouring for a turn on the mic, men bonding over their baldness, cameos from Shay Lia and Tommy Kruise, and a ton of awkward dance moves.
"Man we were all just having fun, passing the Henny bottle like it's nothing," Kaytranada recalled of the night. "All types of people from the city came through and we didn't know it was gonna be that crazy when we [saw] the footage. I was drunk as hell and I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only one. The tempos on that mix are way too fast! But man did we have fun that night. We didn't expect that it was gonna be history in the making. A lot of people I know on the crowd are embarrassed but whatever..."
An indelible moment of the set comes at 22:57, with one partygoer getting a little too close to the DJ booth to pose for a picture to commemorate the evening. "I was waiting for somebody to come get [her]," Kaytranada explained, as if his facial expression wasn't enough. "I was telling her to gtfo. But she couldn't speak French or English."
Exclaim! recently named 99.9% one of the 50 Best Canadian Albums of the 2010s, while album cuts "Glowed Up" and "Lite Spots" were both named two of the 50 Best Canadian Songs of the 2010s. Read our review of BUBBA.
Read Kaytranada's entire Reddit AMA here.