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Interview: Kostya Outta

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Kostya Outta is a Belarus-born artist with a unique view on House Music, where melodies from space blend with grooves from the soul. His DJ sets and productions are always deep, but its a deepness that always takes the listener high! Kostya’s recognisable style and signature sound has propelled his name far beyond his country’s border. Since the start of his career, he has managed to perform at many gigs and festivals, and has become a regular on the European club scene, DJing here and in many post-soviet states. This week Kostya continues his work with Estonian label Deepwibe Underground which has become a comfortable home for his productions. Upon making his debut on the label early last year, Kostya forged a strong bond with Deeepwibe. The next twelve months saw the Belarusian artist deliver two singles and mix the first installment of Deepwibe Underground’s ‘Chapter One’ collection. 2022 has started in a similar fashion, with a recently released remix of fast rising Argentine Ric Niels and once again showcasing his DJ skills by mixing the second installment of the Chapter series. Now presenting his first original production of the year, Kostya returns to Deepwibe Underground with ‘Empathy’, alongside a remix from Francesco Pico. We had a chance to catch up with Kostya for an exclusive interview leading up the release. Enjoy!

Hello Kostya, thanks for joining us. What is your current mood and what was the last piece of music you listened to?

Hola, thanks for inviting me for a conversation. You can say that you caught me listening to a recent track Jupiter by Jordin Post, kind of music which helps to keep a positive attitude and calm.

Can you name five tracks that were important in your musical development and why they are so significant for you?

I can name five tracks over the past 2 years that give me a feeling that combines spiritual comfort, the desire to create, the ability to perceive the beauty of the world around me and the desire to bring this beauty to the world around by myself.

Cid Inc& Dmitry Molosh – Impending Storm

Above & Beyond and Justine Suissa – Almost Home (Above & Beyond Deep Mix)

Carl Jurgens feat. Niso – Skyscrapers (Alex O’Rion Deep Dub Mix)

Arnold T., Alain Pauwels – Havana (Leo Perez &Dhany G Remix)

Jordin Post – Autumn In Amsterdam (Extended Mix)

You’ve had gigs all across Europe, what have been some of the most memorable thus far?

Right before the borders were closed, I had a gig at the legendary Waagenbau club in Hamburg (DE), it was my first gig in Germany but I was dreaming about it since I start to DJ.

Generally, I’ve played in Poland, Spain, Latvia and other countries but among all of them I would like to highlight Ukraine. It was always a big pleasure to me to come back there every single time, especially in Kyiv. My very first abroad gig was in Odessa back in 2012. So I love this country as much as my homeland. And what’s going on there nowadays is a big tragedy. I’m sure that any person wouldn’t want this to happen. And I believe that this nightmare will end soon.

You have a new single out this week on Deepwibe Underground entitled ‘Empathy’, tell us about it and how it showcases your sound.

There’s a scientific fact that any music has an impact on the person who listens to it. Even when listening happens in the background. It’s not too hard to guess what kind of impact a particular track will have, once we turn it on. And in my music, I strive to ensure that this impact is favorable. Empathy is a vivid example of the implementation of this simple concept in sound.

Can you walk us through the production process on it? And was there anything that inspired this particular track?

It was one of those cases when starting a new project, there were no special ideas in my head. In such situations, I usually start with a groove part, choose a successful combination of kick and bass, then complement everything with percussion sounds and already begin to imagine what the tonality of the track will be. I add all the ideas that come to mind, I can change the bass notes somewhere. And sometimes already here, or at the stage of arrangement, as it was with Empathy, the main idea is born. As for inspiration, it usually comes somewhere in the work process.

 What does your set-up like? Do you favor physical gear over digital? And what studio tools featured heavily on the writing ‘Empathy’?

I use very simple and mobile set-up including laptop, audio card, little monitors and headphones. I came to this kit after several serious moves over the past years, three of which were international. So I prefer digital tools for the same reason.

There is also a fantastic remix from Francesco Pico, is this something you and label decided on? and how do you feel about your music being remixed in general?

Yes, the remix is really fantastic! And I’m happy that Francesco, and earlier Paul Hazendonk, agreed to remix my music back a year after I did the same for their stellar collaboration “Nifty Fifty” released on Magnitude Recordings. In general, I love it when other artists make remixes of my tracks. Because what could be better than getting to know new music that already has a piece of you in it? It’s a magic feeling.

You seem to have found a home base of sorts with Deepwibe Underground, with three originals and two remixes coming out over the last calendar year. What is it about that label that makes it a great home for your music?

First of all it’s a great team. It’s a big pleasure to work with people, who believe in you and appreciate the efforts you make to do your job as good as possible. Besides that, I feel very motivated when I write music for them, knowing that the best artists of not only mine, but also related genres will receive promos with my work. At every stage of interaction with the label, there is absolute confidence that you are working with pros. What else can you dream about?

Generally speaking, do you find it more difficult to come up with original tracks than remixing a track from another artist?

It doesn’t matter to me, may be even remixes are more difficult, because since working on them, I find myself within the limits set by the parameters of the original parts. An I always try to show them in a completely different way.

How much road testing or friend feedback is done before you’re ready to say a track is finished? And who is someone you share your new music with first for feedback?

Usually, I catch this moment when it’s better to stop working on the track, but sometimes to be sure that it’s really done, I show it to Dmitry Molosh. I think I’m lucky to have this opportunity and really happy to have a close friend like him.

Tell us about your bedj (https://bedj.io) service, what is it exactly and how does it work?

Oh, thanks for asking about it, because since I graduated from university and got my first job, I started dreaming about developing some interesting project, instead of doing the office routine. And today I’m happy to say that I’m a co-founder of such kind of project BeDJ, a brand new digital product for everyone who wants to be a DJ (and who is a DJ as well).

It’s a masterclass platform, where people can learn how to DJ from home using our software, which looks like a ‘sheet music’ for DJs. We called it Homework and it includes the tracklist and all the necessary time stamps to play strong pro class mixes. It works like for pianists, who before to start improvising, learn to play music by the sheet first. Exactly the same way novice DJs can use our Homeworks to become pros.

Our project is supported by such names as Tony McGuinness and D-Nox. And we create Homeworks in many genres in a collaboration with a famous names like DJ Glen, Albuquerque, Dmitry Molosh and many others. Also, on the website you can find two Homeworks with the tracks from Deepwibe Underground’s Chapter series.

So it is extremely helpful service for those who is learning DJing or for those who just like DJing. They can play sets with smooth transitions. Even I use it sometimes so as not for forget any details about my compilations:)

In your opinion, what’s the biggest risk you’ve taken and what made you do it?

Well, I think it was my retirement from office work 7 years ago. Because then I felt like my life was passing me by, leaving my real dreams and desires somewhere over the horizon. Since that my life has been totally changed and I’m really happy that I did it.

What’s a superpower you wish you had and how would you use it?

I think I already have one, and I use it in music production and DJing. It’s a perfect pitch, which I learned about in early childhood from the teachers of the music school.

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

I’m always happy when I get a chance to have a warm conversation with somebody, when it feels like two souls enter into a resonance, increasing the warm feeling inside of each one. This has gained special value for me over the past couple of years, when I was surprised to realize what an important role social life plays for me.

It is unlikely that it will be something original if I say that traveling also makes me happy. However, I’m sure this is something that works flawlessly for each of us.

What does the remainder of 2022 hold for you? Anything you can share with us?

Don’t really know what to expect even from tomorrow, but hope for the best as always, so let’s see. If seriously, I’m very excited about the BeDJ project. We invited many interesting artists to collaborate in creating new Homeworks and we also have many step-by-step ideas and features for development the BeDJ platform.

‘Empathy’ is available now via Deepwibe Underground: https://bit.ly/3tBWvVJ

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