Working with the likes of Pharrell William/ N*E*R*D, Justin Timberlake, Basement Jaxx and many others is all in a days work for this ‘multi-vocal’ performer. Killa Kela’s not only a beat-boxer, he actually sings as well. His vocal scratching abilities and samples of well-known songs is a very modest example of his talent behind the mic. No matter where he is, there‘s always time for a quick performance. Even the very mention of ’Flavour magazine’ gets him into a spontaneous beat-boxing session of Craig David’s ’What’s your Flavour’. His latest album ‘Amplified’, (released on 31st August 2009) featuring various artists from Bashy to front man and co-producer of The Prodigy James Rushent, introduces a truly electrifying and original style of music where indie music meets hip-hop, electro, Drum and base… Well, almost everything really. The single ‘Everyday’ is also out on 31st August.
Personally, how would you describe your sound?
I’d describe it as electro, hip-hop. I like an attitude to my music.
Who does you music appeal to?
I think my music would appeal to the more kind of indie kids, or the hip-hop kids, the drum & base kids and electro kids.
Yeah, pretty much
Your new album’s called ‘Amplified’. Why Amplified?
Because I’ve always been live orientated. For years, musically I’ve been restricted because people haven’t had the focus on live shows. I’ve always done what I do in front of people. And now I’m making music that I can go into that more so than ever. The live shows reflect the album. So I just thought well I’ll call it Amplified because it’s amplified and it’s going to be loud, and it’s going to be performed.
How is this album different to your previous ones ‘Elocution’ and ‘Permanent Marker’?
Way different. It’s knocks the *bleep* out of them. The first album Permanent Marker was all very beat box centric and then with Elocution that was more organic, more hardcore in that I was doing other vocal disciplines beside it and alongside the beat box. This one here is a lot more upfront and fresh. It’s got the beat box woven in and out of each track and I’ve got other vocal disciplines firing off.
Is this your favorite album you’ve done so far?
Have you ever answered an unwanted phone call and used your beat-boxing skills to pretend the lines gone fuzzy?
Hell yea. No what we used to do on tours, me and the crew, we used to take a look at numbers on the side of lorries and see what they were and we’d call them up and I’d talk as if I was an interested customer. And one time we even faked a whole radio show and I pranked a flat mate. That was the best one.
How old were you when you discovered your talent?
I was about six or seven. It wasn’t even beat boxing. It was like a habit. There wasn’t even a word for it. It was more just something I did, just to *bleep* off my father. I heard it on Westwood a lot. And I heard these people doing it and thought I can do it better than them so I just started practicing a little bit more. I was probably about thirteen around that time. By the time I first heard it it was part of the hip-hop scene. I was into heavy metal at the time as well, but I just always saw the link between them.
I really love the clothes you wear. It must take forever getting ready in the morning?
Thank you. I was packing for Asia today and every time I go to pack to go anywhere, about thirty minutes into it and it turns into a dress-up party.
So what’s happening in the future for Killa Kela?
Expect Pyrotechnics bigger than Pink Floyd’s. Expect the biggest.
Killa Kela announces his eleven date Amplified! UK Tour – his incendiary new live band musical assault across the nation this autumn. The tour kicks off in September and will take in some of the UK’s best venues and events.
KILLA KELA LIVE DATES:
28 AMPLIFIED! Tour – LSE University, London
30 AMPLIFIED! Tour – Hoxton Bar & Grill Album Launch Party, London
2 AMPLIFIED! Tour Mixmag presents Union – Coalition, Brighton
3 AMPLIFIED! Tour – Adderley St Marquee, Block Party, Birmingham
8 AMPLIFIED! Tour w/ Lethal Bizzle – 02 Academy 2, Birmingham
9 AMPLIFIED! Tour – Imperial University, London
10 AMPLIFIED! Tour w/Lethal Bizzle – 02 Academy 2, Bristol
11 AMPLIFIED! Tour w/ Lethal Bizzle – 02 Academy 2, Sheffield
12 AMPLIFIED! Tour w/Lethal Bizzle – Islington 02 Academy, London
13 AMPLIFIED! Tour – 02 Academy, Oxford
31 AMPLIFIED! Tour – Leeds Urban Music Festival, Leeds
Words by Eshe Challenger