I recently got a chance to sit down with the always entertaining Kap Slap at the last stop of his “Say No More” tour at Rev Ultra Lounge in Minneapolis. I knew going in that Kap Slap was a super friendly producer, as I've interviewed him once before. We hugged it out (like men), then sat down at a booth which, hilariously enough, had a bunch of bananas on it. Kap Slap has recently been taking advantage of the #bananachallenge idea that a fan sent him on Snapchat. Basically, the challenge is where you snap someone in the background while you eat a banana as fast or as creepy as possible.
Welcome back to Minneapolis!
Thank you, sir!
This time you’re here as part of your “Say No More” tour. We’re your last stop. Looking back, were there any memorable moments on the tour?
Made In America was amazing! Awesome festival! I’m a fan of free swag as well and this place hooked it up (haha)! It was a really great time, and a great crowd. San Diego was also an amazing time. I brought some people out like M. Bronx and Ezi.
Summer is officially over, but your summer feel good track “Fuckin Amazing” was indeed fuckin’ amazing! What went into creating that one?
I started with an instrumental. I had a session with this guy, Alex Sacco (aka Sokko). He’s now a part of Papa Ya. I wanted to have a session with this guy forever. I had this basic instrumental, and we ran through different ideas for sounds and vibes. We had this track; I was trying to pitch it to anyone. I had a couple people writing for it. Then, I showed it to Cal. He’s a good buddy of mine. We hang out all the time in L.A.. He’s like ‘this is a fire track, I’m gonna write for it’.
Everyone loves the mixtapes you put out. I dig the Back To School 2015 mix. Any update on a fall mixtape?
So it’s tricky because Soundcloud is kind of…
Haha! Yeah for lack of better word! People are using Spotify now (Spotify playlists), and just putting it on and going. For an hour long mix of mine that was usually something people took to a party or to the gym where you don’t want to think about it, you just play it. I still do that, and it’s great! The problem is, the exposure is just dropping and dropping as far as getting these mixes out there. The idea now, I’m going to reformat it to be specifically like a workout (gym) mix. It’s all very high energy so you can be like ‘I’m going to the gym, I’ve gonna get the workout mix’. I’m still in the process of putting that together.
Speaking of Soundcloud, it’s seen better times lately. What’s your stance on it at the moment? Are you looking at other platforms?
They (platforms) have different purposes. For Soundcloud, I use that to find really cool new remixes from people, or hot stuff to play live that people might not have heard yet. Spotify, I kind of look to as ‘what are people overall listening to?’ not necessarily remixes or stuff like that. Spotify is great because you play the ‘Related Tracks’ and go down the rabbit hole of that stuff. It’s the Wild Wild West out there in music!
Doing mashups and remixes, do you have a certain artist or track that you won’t touch because it’s too perfect?
Very rarely is there a track that is one hundred percent infallible; a track that can’t get at least a little bit better. I will say with “Closing Time”, at least, being such a classic I kept the beginning in the remix the same. It has the guitar riff and I put in another piano. I also have another singer on it, then it kind of changes to a whole new vibe. For those kinds of tracks, you can’t really touch the beginning because as soon as people hear it, they’re like ‘Oh my god!’
Recently you did an Instagram live stream of you playing a mix session in your living room. Do you still enjoy rocking out on the decks to pass the time when it’s not show related?
What’s great is that, living in L.A., there’s a bunch of DJ buddies and I live with two other producers. It’s a blast! We usually have parties, and if we’re doing some back-to-back with people it’s a great kind of challenge when you have all of your songs, and they have all their songs that they play in a certain key and a certain BPM. Then, I go through my tracks and I’m like ‘Alright, what do I have in that key and that BPM?’ and ‘Oh shit! I completely forgot about that track! Let’s see if I can mix it in!’ Making the mix sound good, that’s a blast man. I always have a ton of fun with that.
Even finding new songs for the set or remaking sets, or remaking different chunks of a set is a lot of fun. It’s a lot of fun practicing like ‘Oh shit, if I don’t like this, I can go either this way or this way’ depending on how the crowd feels. It’s a lot of fun!
I think I saw your buddy, Gazzo, sneak into the Instagram stream. Are you guys still working closely together?
Oh yeah man! He’s keeping real busy! He’s doing some great work right now and working with a lot of really big people too.
In 2015, you said that “Trap Queen” was your current favorite track that you like to listen to. Do you have a new current favorite in 2017?
Oh! “Trap Queen”! I forgot about that one!
The new Grey EP just came out. I’m a huge Grey fan! These are the guys that did “Starving” with Zedd and Hailee Steinfeld. They’ve been working really closely with Zedd on a lot of his production. Their sound design is so fucking clean! It’s unbelievable. Their creativity, their percussive elements, fucking tight! They have this track called “These Roots”, with Stephen. I’m on a tear with this track! I like that track a lot, and (haha) surprisingly enough I like “Why” by Sabrina Carpenter. It’s a wild card track. There’s this one chorus that, at the very end, they have a very interesting structure of the song. There’s one four-bar little section where it’s this really cool vocal chop. Ugh! Really, really tight!
What else is new for Kap Slap in 2017?
I’ve got a remix of Semisonic's “Closing Time” coming out. That’s a great track! I’m like ‘I need to make a remix of this!’, because nobody has a remix of it yet. And, it’s a great song to play live. That will be coming out in a couple weeks. A new track called “If We Were Alone” featuring Evelyn, which is amazing. I’ve been sitting on this track for about a year at least. Just trying to find the right way to release it and throwing some ideas behind it. I’ve got like 12 more songs lined up right now.
The problem is getting it out there in the right outlet and trying to find the right ways to get everyone to hear it. We ran into some problems with “Fuckin Amazing”, because we were trying to put it out there ourselves.
Now is the time where I’m going to start working on the actual mix (fall mix) itself to get it out ASAP.
Finally – Do I have your permission to yell Send It tonight?
Haha! Abso-God-damn-lutely! ‘Fuckin’ send it!'
I'd like to thank Kap Slap for the fun interview, and amazing set he threw down afterword. Also a big thanks to my friend Jenn for the photo, SIMShows, and Rev Ultra Lounge for hosting Kap Slap once again!