Music Producer and DJ Kiefer Ian has been deemed “an influential taste maker in the Midwest electronic music scene.” His EP, Sounds Good, released last year and included a blend of hip-hop and dance music notes. As our March Stay Tuned artist, he created an awesome playlist including artists DJ Boring, Julien Dyne, Detroit Swindle and more.
Tell us about your musical background.
I have been an avid listener of electronic music since my father first introduced me to Daft Punk’s album, Discovery, in the early 2000’s. As I grew older, I found myself diving into more hip-hop and experimental electronic music. My first real dive was listening to Flying Lotus’ Cosmagrama LP. It was my first vinyl record I bought at Luna Records, a local record shop in Indy, and it’s still one of my favorites that I own. This was the first piece of music that inspired me to try my hand at producing. The ability to manipulate, create grooves and construct loops is what drew me in and it has been the driving force in the making of my music. I started producing in early 2013, making Vaporwave infused trap music under the name Shxps which gained some traction on Bandcamp and Tumblr. Around this time was when I realized I could create an actual music career from what I was passionate about.
Tell us about the mix you curated. Does it give off a type of mood? What should we be doing while listening in?
Both the mixes I made feature music that I enjoy grooving to when I am working on designs, driving around or even during my sets. Many of the songs I pulled together feature various styles of house, break beat, trap and techno. They will make you feel uplifted through the grooves and bass-lines. I even featured some local artists that I dig such as Mckay Alexander, Ujuu, Sweater Disco and more.
What groups are killing the game right now?
As far as producers/DJ groups, I have been enjoying the laid back and hard hitting grooves from Detroit Swindle. The Duo, hailing from Amsterdam, has caught my ear with their simplistic arrangements and original classic house sound. Another duo I have been looking forward to see grow is Phlegmatic Dogs. They have caught my attention in the Bass House scene with their funky yet aggressive sound. Their off-kilter drums and ground shaking bass lines seem to be taking over dance floors across the world right now.
Tell me about you past and current music project.
About a year ago I departed from my long time former music project, Shxps, to further my growth as a producer and music artist. My old sound was a hybrid of dubstep, trap and house. In that era, I wanted to make music you could experience as a journey but also have fun with. I began testing new musical styles and found my sweet spot in dance music. Nothing was more exciting to me than being able to make music that brought people to the dance floor. Since I have discovered my new groove, I have been working towards releasing new music both with a label and through self-releases when I feel it is perfected and ready for the world.
What are your interests outside of music?
Outside of creating music, I find my peace in creating visual art through graphic design and photoraphy. With all my musical projects, I like to create visuals encompassing the visual aspects of my sound. Photography has been a big motivator that has pushed me to get out of the house and capture my perspective of the world. It has led me to expand my sound by adding a visual aspect to what I want my listeners to experience. Recently, creating graphic designs has become my job and I absolutely love it because it allows me to create art that is representing something greater than myself. In the future, when I get the time and money, I would love to dive deeper into making music videos from myself and others.