I have been speaking with Katmaz...
about his recent track, I’m Done, and how it began life. I ask the Brooklyn-based artist what the scene is like there; whether producing for other musicians helps elevate his own sounds and creativity – he selects a few albums that mean a lot to him.
I ask whether there are tour dates coming up and which approaching artists we need to watch; how he relaxes away from music and whether there is a standout memory that springs to mind – Katmaz selects a cool song to end the interview with.
Hi, Katmaz. How are you? How has your week been?
Hello. The week has been great! There’s always a weight that is lifted when you release music.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
My name is Matt Kaz. I go by Katmaz and I make all sorts of music for myself and others.
Can you tell me about I’m Done and how the track came to you?
The song comes from frustration and letting go of that frustration. I wrote the music for I’m Done almost three years ago but it sat on the shelf until I faced a new challenge; then the lyrics just spilled out.
Is there going to be more coming, do you think, down the line?
Plenty more. I can’t release the details yet, but yes.
You have worked and produced for other artists. Do you feel that experience has made your own material stronger?
Absolutely. I learn something new from each artist I work with. I try to work with every genre of music and all types of artists. As Quincy (Jones) says: “There are only two kinds of music: good music and bad music”.
When did music hit you growing up? Were you always exposed to a range of sounds?
Almost as soon as I can remember. I was five-years-old when I begged my parents to play an instrument. They presented me with drums or piano. I’m sure they were happy I chose piano. I was fortunate to grow up with music loving parents. My mom would be blasting some Whitney Houston while my father jammed out to Stevie Ray Vaughan.
You are based in Brooklyn. What is the music scene like there right now? Has it changed a lot through the years?
I love Brooklyn. I think the music scene is great and only getting better. I live in a house of music producers we call the WaveCave Studios. I’m trying to bridge some gaps and start throwing backyard concerts called WaveCave Concerts where we feature our artists and the artists we love of every genre.
Do you have a standout memory from your time in music so far?
We performed at venue in Brooklyn called Elsewhere this past summer. I had a few of the artists/incredible singers I produce (and some I don’t) including Rasha Jay, Tan Brown; Griffin Garnett and Terrelle Tipton on stage with me. They sang my music and we covered Prince’s I Would Die 4 U. It was very powerful and awesome time!
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
That’s a tough question but, off of the top of my head:
Radiohead - In Rainbows
This is my favorite album of all time. It’s perfect. I get excited about music when I can’t be sure what the artist is doing…and Radiohead always keeps you guessing.
Neil Young – Live Rust
Neil Young is one of my favorites and the rawness of his live show is incredibly inspiring.
Blind Melon – Soup
One of the first bands I fell in love with as a kid. This album doesn’t have any hits on it, but songs like Mouthful of Cavities and The Duke shaped me. They were extremely underrated and Shannon Hoon was a genius. R.I.P.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Right now, I think Foals are on top of the Alt-Rock game; I’d love to open for them. Their show is so energetic and fun. Beck is another one that I think I would fit as support very well.
As far as a rider...at least five puppies to roll around with before the show; twenty honey garlic Cajun BBQ chicken wings flown in from Bar-Bill Tavern in Buffalo, N.Y. - and a framed photo of Bill Murray.
Are you planning any gigs in the coming months?
Working on some local gigs at the moment.
Might we see you in the U.K. in 2019?
I wish! Soon, though.
How important is performing? Do you prefer it to life in the studio?
I prefer performing to everything. There is nothing more fun than being on stage…except maybe being in the studio and coming up with something great collaboratively…yea…
IN THIS PHOTO: Psychedelic Porn Crumpets/PHOTO CREDIT: Nici Eberl
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
If you haven’t heard of LP, go check out her music now. Her voice is UNDENIABLE. I’m into Foals’ new record and Psychedelic Porn Crumpets rock my world. And then, of course, artists I am producing. Rasha Jay has a single called Red Coats that rocks. On the radar we have Chelsie Denise who is an incredible R&B singer that reminds me of Whitney Houston (the music industry needs Chelsie). For dance we have FAB and on the Hip-Hop side check out Jimi Tents and 718 Spank.
IN THIS PHOTO: Chelsie Denise
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Not much time to get away, but I love films and the occasional video game.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets – Denmark / Van Gogh & Gone