Interview: Shift K3Y on “Touch”, Touring With Skrillex And More

shiftk3yijnterview   Welcome back to another installment of our interview series. This time GR!FF hooked up with man of the moment Shift K3Y - a bass producer, who's latest single "Touch" has just been added to Radio 1's A list and looks destined for the Top 40. Calling him simply a producer perhaps doesn't do Shift (real name Lewis Jankel) any justice. Perhaps he's better suited categorised alongside the likes of Britain's best rising new pop stars, such as MNEK and Jessica Glynne. Whatever he is, he has big things ahead, so check out the interview below. We touched on the making of his new record "Touch" (see what we did there), touring with Skrillex and some other shit.

Hey man and welcome to Mad Good!


You’ve just released your single “Touch” – how did this song come about and why choose that as the single?

It was written nearly 2 years ago, when I had just met my girlfriend. Things were moving slowly at the time and I wanted to write a song that displayed my feelings at that moment. I felt out of all my songs that I had written up to that point, “Touch” was the most honest and bubbly and made me feel a lot happier than the other ones.

It’s doing pretty well – Mistajam premiered it and the Guardian described it as being reminiscent of Craig David. Is that a comparison you ever thought would relate to yourself?

To be honest, no. I am aware that it’s reminiscent of that music (garage), as I grew up listening to it, but I did not expect those comparisons. Also big up Jam!

You sang the vocals on it yourself -can we expect that from you more now, as opposed to just producing?

For sure. For those who aren’t aware, I’ve been doing this for a while, only “Touch” is the first song with a classic structure (meaning it has a verse, a bridge and a chorus) that I have put out which I have vocals on.

You recently toured in America with Skrillex; what kind of an experience was that?

Sonny (Skrillex) is amazing, a true fan of everything music and genuinely just a lovely person.

What’s your craziest story from that tour?

Meeting LA Reid and playing him my remix of one of his acts.

Not so long ago you signed to Columbia records – does this mean we can expect a full length LP from you?

Hopefully so!

What can we expect from it?

It will be a documented journey of my last 2 years in the making. You can expect more full songs, more dirty beats and more experiments.

Whats next for Shift K3Y? Any new EPs/Songs/collaborations on the way? We’re big fans of your collaborations with rappers, like Griminal and Tinie Tempah – will you be going down that route again?

Soon you guys will hear my track with Scrufizzer called “Out The Lights”. Scru is insanely talented and I really hope that brings more rappers to awareness of my material.

We heard you played one of our artists, BG’NTKYO‘s tracks on a mix with Diplo, as well as contributing keys to a Jamie Grimshaw song “Subtracted Space” – what did you like about their sound that made you want to help out?

BG’NTKYO is for me really making his own sound within the scene. He’s a great pianist and all round musician. We went to school and learnt a lot about music together. He also uses a lot of his own vocals within his productions, which I find really cool. I think Jamie is a very talented writer and singer that you will hear big things from in the future.

Who else are you rating at the moment? What do you listen to for enjoyment and for inspiration?

At this moment, someone who is inspiring me everyday and who is a frequent collaborator of mine and an all round awesome dude, is a guy called Linden Jay. He constantly pushes me to drive for sounds that aren’t touched and always makes me feel like a true artist. Also, people like Kaytranada, Gregor Salto, James Blake, Three Bar, MNEK and many more.

What inspired you initially to want to make music?

When I first heard people like Pharrell making music with his own voice and own productions and being an all round front man, that’s when I realised that i could have a potential career combining all the things that I grew up practicing for fun.

What are your aims for the next 5 years? Where do you want to perform, who do you want to work with?

In the next 5 years I’d like to be able to play my own headline tours – venues varying from tiny clubs, to main stages at festivals and then hopefully places like the O2 (laughs).

Finally, anything else you’d like to talk about?

Just wanna say thanks to Mad Good Music for the support of my tracks and for providing a lot of people with sick relevant new music to listen to. Big Up!

Safe man! Hopefully we’ll link up again soon.


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