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Interview: Kasztan

today01/10/2023 4

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Championing sensibilities from his post-rock and alt-pop roots, stage musician turned electronic music producer Kasztan is on track to enter into the upper echelons of dance music with his anthemic strain of underground music. Championing a wholly authentic sound profile that’s as warmly familiar as it is progressive, the French native is building a back-catalogue of quality cuts that have proven equally worthy for both the club and at-home listening spaces.

In our latest interview, Kasztan spoke about his music and his own Stemina Recordings! Enjoy!

Hey Kasztan, thanks for joining us today! Firstly, where in the world are you at the moment?

I’m currently in my home studio in Paris.

For those of our readers who are not yet familiar with your work, could you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’ve been playing music, especially guitar, since I was 15 years old. That lead me to play in different bands and even tour the world as a stage musician for M83. More bands, then solo stuff, first for commercials or remix requests, then I launched my Kasztan alter-ego.

I’m also a football fan. I grew up in Nice and I’ve been a fan of OGC Nice since forever. Now that I live in Paris I go to Red Star games. It’s a small club in the third league in the Paris suburb but the atmosphere is crazy. I got to meet the staff and I even make music for their videos 🙂

What else? I love my dog Kora, she’s feisty as hell. I also love cooking and cheese is my life. My retirement plans? Open a cheese store.

You have a background in live music. Has this been a big influence on your current sound as an electronic music producer?

Playing for M83 taught me how to work with synths and computers. I also have enough stage experience to know how to drive an audience or see what they like or not. I’m not a DJ but when it comes to electronic music it’s important to keep a functional approach and try to make people move/dance. 

You just released your first full EP – ‘Air Mass’ – on your own label Stemina Recordings. Can you share with us the story behind the record?

I’m super proud of this record because it’s my first EP released on my label Stemina Recordings which I co-launched with my manager. I’m still a bit of a newcomer to electronic music and my main objective was to work on a longer format to stabilise my sound without limiting myself to a single genre. I like working in a restrictive environment with a reduced set-up in terms of gear. In this finite space, there’s a lot of density and elements that collide, echoing the complexity of our world and its challenges, most notably climate change.

How did you come to meet vocalist Dahlie and what inspired you to start working with neo-soul themes?

I was about to finish the writing of the EP when I tried working on a modular hook that finally lead me to a new track. I sent the track to my manager who told me straight « you need a vocalist on this ». He introduced me to Dahlie’s work, she’s an incredible neo-soul singer he’s working with. We made the track 9000 km away from each other, in LA for me and France for her but it has been a perfect match. She nailed it so fast, I was blown away. Moreover, we share a passion for Gospel music! 

You launched Stemina Recordings late last year, how has the journey been so far and what are your future plans for the imprint?

It’s a lot of work indeed and I couldn’t do it by myself. I’m thankful to Olivier, my manager, he has enough experience in the industry to help me on this and we take pleasure together finding new acts and setting up collaborations, releases and remixes. We’re proud of the music we release because we stick to our identity and what genre we like the most. It’s a niche but we want to do it well and get recognized for this. 

Do you have any other upcoming music that you can tell us about?

I have another collab single on the way and we’re releasing an extended version of Haelium’s last EP with killer remixes from Munro, Butch and Bon-Psy.

What is the rest of 2023 looking like for you in terms of shows?

I’m just putting together my live set up and securing some initial shows. Want to book me? Hit me on my socials.

Any final words for our readers?

Less gear, more fun!

In case you’ve missed Air Masse EP, you can check it HERE!

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