Koushik in Color

Koushik in Color
Artwork: Benny Tour & Fontski

  • Barry White
  • Color Magazine
  • October 01, 2003

In your opinion, what does music go hand-in-hand with?
Breathing.

I've heard your music been compared to the production style of early 90's hiphop, and psychadelia. How would you describe your style? Where does it come from?

No idea...probably just from listening to loads and loads of music every hour every day my entire life. As far as that description goes, I don't really agree with it but since I don't realy have a better one I guess I shouldn't crap on it...i'm more into straight up 60s pop shit than psych stuff. As far as the early 90s hip hop thing goes don't know if I 'd agree either cause my favourite era of hip hop is probably like 86-91, probably cause that's when I was most obsessed exclusively with it....but I definitely wouldn't say I was on a late 80s hip hop vibe either. To summarize...I have now idea how to describe my style...probably involves tapered pants in some way though.

Are their any particular tracks, artists, bands, producers, albums that really define your musical tastes and style?
Too many...It's not like I listen to shit and think, "what can I get out of this for my own shit?,"...I just listen to a lot of stuff that moves me–raw disco, 80s soul, retarded french folk shit, or some jiggy shit or whatever else I can't explain–and whatever comes out comes out. Quick list off the top of some of my favourites are: Sly Stone, Beach Boys, My Bloody Valentine, Funkadelic, Marley Marl, George Harrison, Prince Paul. New shit: I 'm loving Kanye West right now...he's just killin shit beatwise. Over the past 4-5 years I 've been obsessed with Madlib, Dilla and Doom more than anyone else.

As far as DJing and producing goes, how long have you been in the game?
DJing..hmmm, maybe since I was 14...since I was a about 8 my brother had decks set up in our basement and I 'd sneak down and fuck with em. I did radio for a long time, CFMU in Hamilton for like 4 years with my friend Ketan (Harlem River Drive forever!), in England on Bailrigg FM and a brief stint with the BBC. I 'm back doing it here at WRUV rights now. Producing...same shit, my brother had gear in our basement–samplers from SK-5 to 950 depending on what year, weird keyboards, etc. It's only been in the last 2-3 years that I've actually let anyone (including my best friends) hear anything though...don't know why.

You are from Dundas, Ontario. What kind of an effect did growing up there and living there have on you musically?
Honestly...probably none. As much I love Dundas and my friends from there I don't think it had an impact on me musically. Now where them Creedence tapes at?

How did you get into singing? Did it spawn from rappin'?
Man, I don't think I 've even pretended to write a rhyme since I was 10 years old. My Mom's a classical Indian singer and I would go to these classical indian singing classes with her when I was like 5 or something and sing there .... (hmmm...I gotta see if I can track any old tapes down)....she's actually heading to India at the end of the month to cut another album...should be pure heat.

Without giving away any secrets, what kind of tools (samplers, etc.) do you use to make music? What's influential or motivating for you in the process of music-making?
Tools: whatever's around. right now I have the most ghetto set up equipmentwise. Other than the vocals shit's all samples. What's influential: whatever's around. Motivating: no idea.

How did you link up with Stones Throw?
Egon's been a friend for the last couple of years. My friend Ketan used to hand out stickers for them and we went to a show at Lee's Palace where Madlib, E and Wolf were playing and Ketan introduced me to Egon and we hit it off right away talking about records and why Indian girls in N. America are insane (he's half Indian) or some shit...

Anyway, this friend of mine in London, this dude who records under the name Four Tet, convinced me to let me put some shit I had put on a cd out on a 7" on his label and I went along...Egon, Wolf and crew were into it and for no reason helped promote it out here and shit. A while later I was gonna do this other record (this slap bass joint which by my own fault still hasn't come out) and I asked Jeff Jank (their art guy) if he would do the sleeve and he did (amazing btw)...somewhere in this I get a message asking if I was interested in doing a record with them...i think my response was somewhere between "hell yeah" and "are you joking?" I finished up some shit I was working on, sent it out and got the thumbs up. I think that's about it. Easy. Well that and I kidnapped Funkaho's goat parents and threatened to sacrifice them if they didn't cooperate. No joke.

Being signed to Stones Throw, probably one of the most influential and quality labels in hip hop right now, is this more of a starting point, or a major pinnacle in your life?
Definitely just a starting point. (Hopefully anyway...unless I get run over on the way home.) I haven't thought about it too much, but every once in a while when I 'm talking to the phone to a friend or whatever it'll hit me how surreal it is to be between between releases with Madlib, Jay Dee and Doom...three of my favorite fucking people in music for the last big chunk of time. Quasimoto's Unseen album is one of my favorite albums ever made; Soundpieces: The Andidote was fucking gold; “The Unassisted,” etc, etc.

I finally mailed off this thing the other day to them for the next record in their white label series. I did some remixes of various Stones Throw things–“Definition of Ill,” Homeliss Derilix, Dooley-O's “Watch My Moves,” and the craziest thing was this unreleased EPMD dis track by Stezo! That was bananas to me cause as a kid I used to catch a ride into Hamilton on Saturdays when my parents went to the farmers market and go to cheapies to check what few hip hop things they might have gotten in the back...for ages they had the Stezo album there (Crazy Noise, you know the one, don't think I could do it justice describing the cover but it's got mad ripped acid wash full denim with marker on it outfit action) but for some reason it was high import price (like $20! which was like double what the other records were) and as a kid with a paper route I couldn't fuck with it cause there was so many other hot records coming out at the same time (even though I loved the singles and wanted it bad)...ended up getting a dub on tape and finally getting the record years later..such an underatted album. Anyway, so it's totally bizarre to me doing that.

Current 10 (October 2003)
1. sun ra - space is the place dvd
2. charizma and pb wolf - big shots
3. eloine and byron morris - honey, I love
4. big noyd - shoot em up
5. sun ra - new steps
6. kanye west - through the wire
7. diverse - ain't right
8. besombes/rizet - s/t
9. count bass d - begborrowsteal
10. waldir calmon - s/t

Newsfeed October 25, 2014