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Electric Zoo 2018 Exclusive Interview: KUURO

KUURO is a duo that I'm positive you have seen a good amount of recently. These guys have been on an absolute tear releasing hard hitting, beautiful music while also playing shows to thousands of people every week. They are definitely on the fast track to super stardom, and well on their way to becoming one of the biggest acts in the bass music scene.

This past weekend on the festival grounds of Ezoo I had the pleasure of catching up with one of the members, Luke Shipstad. I got to talk with him about everything that's currently going on with the project and even how it came to be when he first formed the duo with Jordin Post…

-So what have you been up to this week? How's Everything Going?

“Good, just been working on production stuff mostly, came here from Vancouver. It's kind of our homebase with the Monstercat office being there and everything. I also live pretty close to it so it really works out and definitely got a lot done in the studio this week.”

-Tell me a little bit about the beginnings of KUURO and your guys relationship with Monstercat..

“Monstercat has treated us super well and we have really called them home basically since our first label release in October of 2016. Both Jordin and I first came together with a handful of tracks and for the first year and half basically we spent our time trying to come up with a cohesive, unified sound that we felt would be a good representation of KUURO. We made sure to just spend time refining the sounds we had initially so that once we started releasing music officially under the name it would be our best work.”

-Did you guys have other projects before KUURO?

“Yeah we both had our own projects, we were mainly working on progressive house and some poppy oriented stuff. We were also both touring under other alias's already and had relatively good success, playing at festivals and what not. Ultimately Jordin and I have known each other for like 7 years, we randomly came across each other's music and decided to start a new project together combining both of the styles we were already making. We were really trying to make something unique and felt that it could be done if we both released music under a new project together.”

-How do you feel when you see crowds reacting to your music?

“It's so great to see a crowds reaction to stuff you made in your apartment. It's a crazy feeling to see people raging at a festival to it. Definitely dope, especially when you captured a feeling in a particular song and it's received so well.”

-What would you say makes your music unique?

“I feel like we try to stray away form the generic hard bangers, we always try to incorporate that genuine melodic feeling in our music while also keeping the hard hitting “banger” aspect of it. Combining those two elements creates more of a unique look at bass music and we have definitely tried to capture that in every track.”

-How's the tour life going and what's Jordin up to? You seem to be touring a good amount recently..

“Yeah, I'm touring by myself at the moment, there were some travel issues with Jordin for a couple stops but we have been touring a lot this summer. Jordin is from Amsterdam so we are long distance but we make it work and constantly feed off of each other even when one of us isn't touring.”

-What DAW [Digital Audio Workstation] do both of you use?

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“We both use the same DAW, FL Studio, and we try to keep the same plugins and samples so we can maintain a consistent library. Ultimately we both understand the vision and even if we we're working in totally different DAWS I think it would be fine, as long as the vision is understood and still there.”

-So what was your favorite festival this summer?

“For both me and Jordin all of them are great, but Lollapalooza was like a bucket list festival for us. Doing that early in our career and having such a big turn out was crazy, it was a mega dream come true.”

-So music wise, what can you tell us about some new things you have coming out?

“We have this collab coming out with Clockvice, him and artists like vorso are really pushing the boundaries of bass music. They make it sound so cohesive and pleasing in a way that really adds precision and style to the art. Next month we have a little crossover thing that we are experimenting with, can't say too much about it but its going to be something special. There's a lot of other stuff slated for the rest of the year. We're really just trying to find a good balance between releasing bangers and more crossover styled music. Both Jordin I get really bored with one stagnant sound and we enjoy switching it up a lot. Bass music isn't first nature for us by any means, it's all about the melodies really, so we try to find a good balance for all our music.”

-What's the next show after this one?

“We're probably going to be taking off for a bit, we have a lot of music that we need to finish so we're just gonna spend some much needed studio time. We love our management team at Little Empire they really push us to create as much as we can, they provide a great atmosphere and really want us to finish some of these ideas we have going. It's so important because they definitely help give us direction and foundation to keep the momentum going.”

-Last question, how did you first come up with your symbol and the idea of KUURO?

“So yeah going back to how we first created KUURO, we took like a year and a half to really define the sound before we came up with a name. All the sounds we were using sounded more in the east asian realm and we had an affinity for Japanese culture, the music was also very hard so we wanted to match that aesthetic. KUURO comes from the Japanese word for black which is “Kuro”, since theres two of us we just added another u to it. Our symbol was made by a graphic designer from Hawaii and is in Katakana. We also work a lot with a graphic designer from Monstercat for our releases. She's a huge part of how we tell our story, we always wanted to carve out our own space and were heavily inspired by Porter Robinson's “Worlds” in order to create the aesthetic.”

There you have it, was great to finally meet and chat with Luke from KUURO. Being a fan myself, I am sure that they are absolutely on their way to doing incredible things in the scene. The duo is a talented force that will surely be taking over bass music for years to come!

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