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Kokiyo [Interview]

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Hailing from Mexico, emerging talent Jorge Evangelista aka Kokiyo quickly found his footing through early releases via Canopy Sounds, Flug Lab and RYNTH. The Tijuana resident was recognized for his organic, melodic, emotional and ethnic atmospheres, all combined to create a house sound with minimalist textures and progressive touches. After closing out 2022 with a contribution to Hoomidaas' 'Hoom Side of the Moon' collection, 2023 has brought further successes through projects for 90watts, Elebated Records, Music is 4 Lovers and Stellar Fountain. Now, as the year winds to a close, Kokiyo adds Musique de Lune to his resume with a three-track showcase entitled 'Astral Force'.

Progressive Astronaut caught up with Kokiyo to learn more about the release of 'Astral Force', his background, creative process, DJing, and more. Enjoy.

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

Hello, thank you for having me, now I feel very good with the new productions that I am doing in the studio and the last thing I was listening to was Stimming's new album ¨Elderberry¨, he is one of my favorite producers.

How was your summer in Mexico? Were there any gigs that stood out for you? And what are your plans for the coming week?

I had a good summer, some gigs and next week I will be on vacation in Puerto Vallarta.

Do you consider yourself a DJ or producer first? And which do you enjoy more and why?

Right now I consider myself more of a producer but it's true that I started in this as a DJ, I don't have a favorite, I enjoy doing both things equally.

You’ve been a DJ for close to two decades now but your production career is more recent, beginning 2019, tell us about eventually making the transition into becoming producer, when did that start for you?

Yes, well actually I had already produced before but I wasn't very comfortable with my style so I stopped producing for many years until I came back it in 2019 with this new project as Kokiyo and with my new organic house sound.

You’re best known for being an organic house producer and DJ but take us back to your earlier years of DJing, what sound were you playing pre-2010 and how did you eventually arrive at organic house. 

Yes, well I started in 2006, I played electro, electro-house for about 3 years, then I started playing minimal and house for 6 or 7 years. And since in 2018 I discovered this sound with more organic melodies that I fell in love with.

Talk to us about nightlife in Mexico, you’ve been a fixture of the scene there for almost two decades. What are some of your favourite venues to play and who are some local DJs everyone should know about?

I don't have favorite places, each one has its charm and DJs that you should know are 4004 who is a great house producer, Alberto Hernandez who is doing very well in the organic house scene and Josta I think is also doing good organic house.

You have a new EP ‘Astral Force’ out now via Musique de Lune. Tell us a bit about the release and who’s been playing it.

It is a 3 track EP, each track has a unique melody. I still don't know who played the tracks but Jim Rider told me that he really liked the tracks.

Let our readers inside your studio for a moment, what is your current setup and what studio tools are featured heavily in your recent productions and more specifically your EP for Musique de Lune?

My studio is just my Macbook, Adam Audio T7V monitors, an M-AUDIO midi controller and my AIAIAI headphones, that's it.

The first two tracks on the EP have a very distinct sound, quite whimsical and melancholic all at once. Was there anything that inspired these particular tracks? and what in general inspires your music?

It's just the moment in which I was and those melodies and sounds emerged, in general my productions are like this, depending on the moment that is happening and the influences that I have listening to music in general.

What is the task you enjoy the most when producing and what would you prefer someone else to do?

What I enjoy the most is creating the melodies and harmonies of the tracks and the least is doing the premaster.

You’ve had some notable releases on Hoomidaas, Music is 4 Lovers and The Purr recently so what was it about Musique de Lune that felt like a good home for your ‘Astral Force’ EP?

It's a label that I really like and it goes well with my style of music, I think it's a good home for these 3 tracks.

Let’s talk about DJing a bit more for a moment, it’s a unique discipline at the border between presenting great music and creating something new with it, between composition and improvisation to an extent. How would you describe your approach to it?

I handle it with total improvisation, depending on the audience, the place and the environment, I move between genres and melodies that create a good atmosphere.

How much prep do you put into the tracks you choose to play? Or are your sets totally spontaneous?

My sets are totally spontaneous, it is true that I always have an idea of what to play depending on the party but when it comes to being in front of the public I improvise.

Can you tell me a bit about how your work as a DJ has influenced your view of music, your way of listening to tracks and perhaps also, your work as a producer?

Being a DJ I think you pay more attention to the details of the tracks of any genre and it gives you a greater range of musical appreciation.

And as a producer it is about paying attention to the elements of the tracks and even taking ideas for future productions.

If you could set up an event with a line-up of five artists of your choice, who would you book and what set times would you ascribe to the artists?

Good question, I think I will choose Sebastien Leger, Roy Rosenfeld, Lee Burridge, Stimming and Guy J, I have no idea about the schedules haha.

If you were not a DJ/Producer what do you think you’d be doing with your life?

Soccer coach or something related to soccer.

If you are not DJing or socializing at clubs, where do we find you? And doing what?

In my studio producing or in the soccer stadium in my city watching a game.

Current top five tracks?

With no order

Sunchain - Swig Your strings(Original Mix)

DIM KELLY, Stereoclip - Preach The World(Original Mix)

Liva K, Vasilis - Moonwalking at acropolis(Original Mix)

Obbie, Reb - Break Free From Me(Original Mix)

Dulus - Nomy(Original Mix)

What’s a book you’ve read or film you watched that has left an impact on you, and why?

My favorite movies are La Haine and the impact I really don't know, I just love that movie.

What advice would you offer to your younger self or up and coming artists, considering all the knowledge you've acquired being in the industry for close to two decades?

Keep producing a lot, with practice you improve a lot and as a DJ try to improvise more.

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

I love playing soccer but I haven't done it lately, and I also love watching it, being with my friends is one of my favorite things.

What does the remainder of 2023 hold for you in terms of releases and gigs? Anything you can share with us?

In releases apart from this one on Musique De Lune, I have an ep coming soon on Bekool, another on Cafe de Anatolia and I have other pending tracks.

I have concerts scheduled in Tijuana and San Diego and I am about to confirm in other cities.

'Astral Force' is available now via Musique de Lune: https://shorturl.at/jmoU3

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