V1. Kiso & Tep No let’s begin with your latest collab, titled “Another Friend“: How did the two of you meet and obviously decide on working together on this song?
Kiso: We just met online a few years ago and have always talked music and such. We decided to work together on this around past March.
Tep No: We met through a mutual friend of mine. My friend’s done a lot of guitar work on my songs, from The Last Ones Standing to Swear Like a Sailor. We’ve been talking for a while now, trying to keep ourselves updated music wise and finally the opportunity came to do a song together, we figured why not!
V2. Kiso & Tep No, could you describe to us a little bit the creative process behind this collabo-release?
Kiso: The song was finalized for some time and we were looking for a vocalist. I ended up chatting Chris and he said he would try. He did and it sounded amazing so we ran with it.
Tep No: This collab is very different for me in the sense that I didn’t write the song (I added the Taylor Swift line)! One of the main A&Rs at Ultra sent me the song with Matthew Koma singing on it (He co-wrote it). They wanted me to try it out on vocals. I’ve never sung someone else’s song before; I’ve written on my own every song I’ve released (except Toluca Lake), including the songs with female vocals. For the first time, I was trying to do something different, and I really liked the songwriting on this song so I decided to hop on the track. I’m open to anything. If a song’s good, I’ll try it out. I wish I could get more songs sent my way. My latest release “Who We are” is all me though.
V3. We guess that’s not the only project you were working on, right? Any future releases you can already reveal to us?
Kiso: I have lots of singles planned and in the works right now.
Tep No: We’ll do more songs together since this song’s doing well, especially on youtube. Kiso sent me a ton of songs he’s working on! There’s so many amazing, unreleased songs that he’s been working on.
V4. Both of you are heavily connected to Ultra Music. What makes this big label so unique compared to other labels?
Kiso: They have a huge platform to push artists so that’s really unique and amazing.
Tep No: You get a lot of credibility being on Ultra, I mean it is one of the biggest dance labels in the world and they have a roster full of big name artists. People will listen to a song because it’s an Ultra release. You get more exposure and a wider reach online, for Sirius/XM and sometimes terrestrial radio too. Signing on Ultra is the reason why I got signed to Sony/ATV publishing.
V5. Since 2014-2015 you have been making a pretty big buzz with your solo tracks. What do you think about the electronic music scene in general during these years?
Kiso: I think music is always changing. Its hard to try to stay relevant so that’s the focus for most artists.
Tep No: There was a window of opportunity during these years when it came to Electronic music that was a little bit more out there, there was a lot of experimentation sound wise (still is), and a lot of Deep house was coming out at the time. I’d say that Robin Schulz, Kygo, Sam Feldt, Lost Frequencies opened up the doors to that scene; they’re the only reason why I have a career. They supported me early on. A few years later, it’s been all about Future Bass with Flume, The Chainsmokers, Marshmello, San Holo, Illenium etc, now softer music like Shallou, Kasbo, Mura Masa, it keeps evolving.
V6. Kiso & Tep No, are there any producers or singers you really line and which you think we should keep an eye on?
Kiso: Kayla Diamond is a singer/songwriter I think everyone should really keep their eyes on as she has huge potential.
V7. How did the social media affect your personal life, but also your career as artists? Is it important in order to cultivate a relationship with your fan base? Which platform is your favorite one?
Kiso: I don’t really use social media much. Its something I really have to get better at so I’m slowly working on it. I think social media is really important to cultivate a relationship with your fan base tho!
Tep No: It’s helped a lot career wise, but at the same time you also need to focus on your craft, and not get drowned in acclaims and whatnot (Although I appreciate!). It’s really important to make sure people know that they can reach me at anytime, to say hi, to let me know what they think of releases and so forth. I interact with fans all the time, and I try not to let it get to my head because I want to keep improving with my art.
I’m mostly on twitter and Instagram these days. It can affect your ego so you have to stay down to earth about it; I have a family, kids and a wife (like many successful artists actually) and so my perspective might be different compared to a single person mingling with fans. I needed it at a young age (and early in my career) so I could stay grounded. So I can’t imagine being successful and single frankly, must be hell, who can you trust etc.