It's time for an interview with a very remarkable "home producer".
His kicks are solid, you feel the bass and yet through his atmospheric melodies he still manages to release something deep inside. He continues this throughout his appearance as well. The way he delivers his sets and how personal he is when you meet him. His life revolves around music and you notice this a lot in all he does.
He has played for concepts and events such as: Deep House Belgium, Weerslag (La Rocca), Zodiak, Fuse, a virtual concert in the “Notre Dame” and a booking in Kazakhstan.
That's why I proudly present to you: “Kosinski”.
Who are you and what is your artist name?
I use a part of my real name, some friends told me it sounded good for stage so it stuck with me. I had another alias during my early steps in the music world, but I changed my name a couple years later. After that I launched the name "Kosinski”.
Where are you from?
I am from Poland but I came to Belgium with my parents when I was 1 year old. I also feel partly Belgian as I grew up in Brussels all my life.
What do you play with at events and was there any reason for this?
I bring my own live rig to events, this gives me a certain feeling of freedom in music. Back then as a DJ, i feld too limited and often bored or even embarrassed when I had nothing to do, with all due respect to DJ’s.
But for example: If my record normally has a break of let’s say, a minute and a half, but during an event the audience wants the drop after 30 seconds. When playing live I can anticipate immediately on this. Or if something goes wrong with a certain sound, I have the possibility to change it right away.
If you only play records, you’re playing records of yourself or others. There is little you can change about the record itself at that moment other than some effects.
This is not the case when you play "live", you can still adjust each sound separately. Another example, when you've played your own record so many times, I can make it more fun for myself by making some subtle changes or doing something creative with the kick, for example.
How long have you been involved with music?
I started touching music around 13 years old, when I received my first computer and discovered the internet. It didn’t took me long to download my first daws and video editing softwares. Started tweak- ing around and learning on my own but nothing too serious. I even have a little anecdote about this. Before I even got my first daw I was checking other electronic music artists and their music videos playing on Dj booths. I didn’t have any experience yet so I thought this was what I needed to make my own music.
But I quickly realized my mistake when I bought a DJ console (laughs). It became more serious after my art studies. As I grew older my interest for music was getting bigger to the point I completely switched to music and made it my life goal.
Was this immediately techno or did experimented with other genres as well?
No, I've been across a lot of genres actually. When I started at 13, it was more or less like hip hop, but started experimenting with techno and trance shortly after. Was already turning into a big fan of the music genre at that age.
Later when i discovered my first raves I started to make some hardcore/frenchcore tracks and drum n bass beats even. To come back later with trance and minimal but to end up in a Big Beat/Break beat band inspired by the prodigy (laughs). Quite a chaotic and bizarre parcours (in my image), though in all those genres the emotional dimen- sion, melancholy, and subtle darkness of my music never changed, and you can still feel all those influences in my current music. (laughs).
What was your first purchase for “making” music?
The very first was a simple computer. I don't come from a rich family so it was the only thing I could afford at this time. It was actually more than enough for a beginner to get comfortable with music and see if it's actually something you’ll love enough to spend money on.
Few years later I bought my first hardware, a Korg EMX, and took my first steps into the world of live acts because of this machine. I’ve traded it afterwards with a friend for his Akai APC40, which I still use in my live acts nowadays actually. To the point that I officially started performing live and making it completely my own thing. Back then there was a live act contest for the Extrema Outdoor festival I wanted to participate in.
I ended up being a finalist playing in Labyrinth Club (Belgium), this was even my very first live act on stage. Since then I've never been booked for a DJ set again and started to invest in more serious gear I could use live on stage. Until I reached a point where sound checks became hell on earth (laughs). So I had to find a solution like my custom made flight case.
A solution such as a flight case can take some stress away?
Yes, at least for me as I'm a naturally anxious person. I’m already stressed enough for my gigs so, if i can take some stress away by making a flight case with all my gear pre-plugged and pre-checked, I’ll definitely do this. I think it's important to have complete trust in your gear. This trust can get lost when you have to carry your gear around in bags and deal with 50 cables when setting up your stuff at a venue. Something can and will go wrong most of the time. Knowing how your set up works can save a lot of time and stress. As a tip I can also add: Try not to bring too much material with you in the beginning. Choose material that you know well enough and feel comfortable to play with live on stage.
Did you receive support from your friends or family?
Not much actually. My family never was into music and weren’t very rich or so back then. Until recently they actually thought that I was wasting my time. Obviously they didn't want to waste any money on expensive schools for an education that would be for nothing (laughs). Even after I made some relatively big achievements. But everything changed when I signed a specific contract involving one of their heroes. They saw Jean-Michel Jarre playing my interpretation of Oxygene2 on a polish tv station. Suddenly the generational gap shrunken and they saw an achievement they could actually value for themselves. They finally saw that I wasn't f*cking around. (laughs)
I never had a lot of friends that were involved in music somehow. I actually made a lot of online friends around the world with whom I regularly collaborate with. But it's not the same feeling when being in the same studio sharing skills and tips or vibe on that moment. I think this was more like a solitary journey for me.
Let’s go back to the present. Do you have the feeling that due to the current situation in Belgium and the rest of the world that you have been able to work more on your own material?
There is certainly more time to work on your own material. This has also been good up to a certain point. Because eventually you want to bring your new work to an audience.
Otherwise you start feeling like heading to nowhere and it increasingly starts to feel morally heavy to carry when you don't see any results of your work. Luckily I received some good news and a couple opportunities during the pandemic that helped a lot to keep me on track.
Do you find it easy to reach your audience in these times?
Yes and no. Yes because everyone is at home and no because they are constantly bombarded with live streams and other content. Track ‘A’ can get a lot of attention and good reviews. But when you release track ‘B’, there is a big chance that only a few even saw or heard your track.
You’ll need to adapt to new social media algorithms or even thinking about the right day and hour to share your new track can be important. Pretty exhausting for me to follow all this if I may be honest (laughs).
Earlier you told us about the virtual concert in Notre Dame by Jean Michelle Jarre, how did this project come together?
I was lucky enough to have my reinterpretation of ‘Oxygene 2’ being picked by Jean Michel Jarre. He even played the track himself during this New Year event in Notre-Dame.
He‘s also from another generation, that he liked my track and gave me this opportunity means quite a lot to me. We’ve also talked about eventual collaborations after the pandemic, but until then I'm making sure that he doesn't forget about me by preparing another rework (laughs).
Any other projects like this coming up?
I also made my first steps into the film scoring world. Making the full soundtrack of a UK indie movie that already received several festival awards. The movie will be released to the public during the next coming months. But that’s all I can tell you at the moment (laughs).
In the meantime you have also been able to play at a few beautiful concepts and clubs. Zodiak, Deephouse Belgium, Weerslag, Fuse, to name a few. These are things you can be proud of. Which one is most memorable?
Probably a festival gig that I've played in Kazakhstan. It was unexpected and a unique experience, despite not being a big techno festival like we know here. It was refreshing.
This will undoubtedly have been a unique experience, how did you deal with this?
In the beginning I had mixed feelings at first. But these turned out not to be necessary. I think I’ve watched the movie ‘Borat’ too much (laughs).
Luckily a friend could come along on this trip, so this was an adventure that I could share with someone I knew. I mean it's not a country where you'd think there is an electronic music scene but it happened to be wrong as well. People actually seemed very comfortable with electronic music and watching them dancing on it was lovely to see(laughs). It was also a festival with mainly bands and live music during the day. DJs and other electronic artists got their chance at night, which I fell under. The country is beautiful with friendly smiling people from all horizons. I was surprised how wrong we are about this country and how lovely this festival turned out. Already hoping for more of this kind of surprises.
How would you describe your style of techno?
Emotional, storytelling, melancholic, deep, darkish with a pinch of cayenne pepper (laughs)
Who are your idols or artists that you look up to?
Difficult to name a few as I like a lot of artist without necessarily liking all their works, but here is some influences I have ; The Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, Paul Kalkbrenner, Extrawelt, Stephan Bodzin, Jean-Michel Jarre (obviously) and the list goes on...
Where do you get inspiration from?
Mostly from my own life to be honest. Personal feelings about the world around us, to name one, which is not very positive at the moment btw (laughs) I’m actually not a very talkative person by nature, so music is an excellent way to express all of this without the need to talk about it. How toxic it can be sometimes, it also works as some sort of a creativity fuel for me.
How has creativity been going lately?
There are ups and downs, of course. Maybe more downs than usual lately. When you live less, you have less things to say or stories to tell. You can’t meet new people and so on. That’s a bit frustrating. At some point I had the feeling of standing still and moving forward. But it got better when I decided to take an extended break away from my music for a short period and went out to see my friends more often again.
There is a new album release coming up for you, do you already know when it will be available?
I am definitely working on a new EP and most of the tracks are also largely ready. But due to these times, it seems not the right time for some of us to release at the moment. Some of the smaller labels only want to release the tracks within a year or are already fully booked. Bigger labels on their part, are harder to reach these days. Don’t forget that they are receiving more demos per week than usual. So I prefer to wait a bit and use that year to improve my album and make it memorable.