MUSIC: KayE Envisions Special Blend of Urban Fusion
IN TUNE AND ON POINT: Q&A WITH ELECTRONIC MUSIC PRODUCER AND SINGER/SONGWRITER KAY E
Where do you find inspiration? In the case of KayE, a young man faced with a debilitating, life-threatening illness, the confines of a small bedroom in a modest Brooklyn home provided the necessary elements to create a unique blend of what he calls “urban fusion.” Kelvin Arias, an industrious self-taught artist, followed his instincts and tapped into a deep-rooted passion for making music on his terms, spending hours a day learning how to use Ableton software on his laptop. The result: Anoche Sone Contigo, a smoking-hot début EP by KayE. Recently, the 20-something electronic music producer and singer/songwriter spent a day in DUMBO with Tania Fuentez Media for a photo shoot and speaks his mind in the following interview.
TFM: What’s the inspiration behind your music and what have you learned from the creative process?
KE: When I start making an instrumental/song I always try to think outside the box. During the creative process I learned that the possibilities are endless. People get confused and think you need a $30,000+ studio to make good music and chances are with today’s technology, all you need is a good understanding of the equipment you already have.
TFM: Speaking of process, let’s talk about how it all happened in a small room in Brooklyn? Where did you learn to mix, play a range of instruments and find your voice as a songwriter with such vibrant and fresh music?
KE: I learned everything in my 10 x 8 bedroom. If I wasn’t learning tips and tricks from friends, I was going onto Youtube and producer forums to learn how to produce myself. I started learning to play the saxophone when I was in junior high school. From there, I went onto Xaverian High School and played the concert band for four years and the junior jazz band for two. After I graduated high school I went on to earn an Associate’s degree in massage therapy, then decided that I wanted to make music.
TFM: Besides music, what are your other interests and passions? Has that seeped into your music?
KE: I’m a very visual person. I do enjoy to draw sometimes. When I make an instrumental, I’ll get the inspiration to draw something for that instrumental for what later can be used as cover art.
TFM: Most challenging thing you’ve faced in life. How have you grown and risen above the circumstances?
KE: The most challenging thing I’ve had to overcome was my Crohn’s disease. I wasn’t able to work because of my disability, so I took all the time I had at home and decided to teach myself music production and engineering. I’ve become much more appreciative about the little things in life. People take many things for granted.
TFM: What do you want to convey and accomplish via your art? Are there any other projects in mind?
KE: I want to inspire new artists/instrumentalist to develop their own sound, and not to follow what everyone else does on the radio. It’s not to say that commercial radio music is bad, but to create is to put in your own originality. That is something I feel is missing in the music world. I also hope to create a record label so I can do organized charity work for people in New York, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Eventually when the time is right, our record label will be looking for fresh new talent so we can give them an opportunity that many other record labels wouldn’t. For example, we would offer the artist freedom to do their album and also giving them a percentage of their royalties.