In just over 2 years, AIKON has firmly established his credentials as one of the hottest talents coming through the ranks with an edgy style that blurs the lines between Indie, Afro, Electronica and MH&T with cohesive ease. With releases on the likes of Diynamic, Exploited, Multinotes, Monaberry, Disco Halal and more, AIKON has quickly picked-up support from Solomun, Dixon, Âme, Keinemusik and John Digweed (to name but a few). Earlier this month, the Ukrainian artist made his debut on UK imprint Renaissance Records, with his ‘Legends EP’ featuring four originals and a remix from Radeckt. To mark the EP’s release, we spoke with AIKON, enjoy!
Hello AIKON, very pleased to have you with us today to chat about the release of your debut EP on iconic UK imprint Renaissance Records. Congratulations on this. How does it feel to see the EP released on the label?
Hello, thank you very much for your congratulations. I am very excited about this release on a legendary label like Renaissance.
The ‘Legends EP’, released 1st July, takes inspiration from your home City of Kyiv, Ukraine, which is currently facing war at the hands of Russia. Can you talk us through how Kyiv inspired you to create this EP?
Kyiv is my favourite city, it has a very strong energy. Every walk through the streets of this city is magical. And what is happening there now is simply unthinkable. I never thought that there would be war in my country again. I wrote the ‘Legends’ release in my studio, which is located on a large avenue not far from the city centre. In between sessions, I went outside, took a cup of tea and enjoyed the hustle and bustle that was happening on the avenue.
How did you approach creating the EP? Were there any key pieces of equipment used in the creation?
In fact, I don’t use analog instruments much, because in my opinion, the technology that the world has reached allows you to write very high-quality music using only VST emulators. Therefore, there were no special methods for writing this EP as such. The only thing that interested me was to make cool music with broken rhythms since I’m a big fan of broken beats.
How did the Legends EP come to find its home on Renaissance?
I was interested in this label for a long time and I liked how they work. Many artists who have released there are close to me in terms of musical direction. Before this EP, I’d never sent a demo to Renaissance before. The first time was with my EP ‘Legends’ and almost immediately I got positive feedback from Marcus, the Renaissance manager. After some time we signed a contract for the release.
Copenhagen’s Radeckt features on the EP, providing a brilliant remix of the title track. What were your reactions like when you first heard his remix?
I said it’s cool, that’s what I wanted. In almost every DJ set I play Radeckt’s tracks. He is a really cool producer and a nice guy too.
We saw a great video clip of Solomun playing the EP’s title track, Legends. How does it feel to see artists of his calibre supporting your music?
At first, it was a great happiness for me to see my track played by Solomun. It still gives me these great feelings but now I would say it feels more in the order of things, as each of my tracks are receiving support from top DJs in the world.
We’d love to hear a bit about what first inspired you to follow music?
Sometime in 2006, when I was 13 years old, many of my peers listened to different styles of music, some listened to rock, some hip hop, some pop. I couldn’t figure out what style of music I liked and what artists I was really into. Soon my friend gave me a CD by some unknown dj from Kazantip. It was a very popular festival in Ukraine and when I came home and turned it on I was shocked. I no longer questioned what kind of music I should listen to… Then I began to learn how to mix music and after that I got acquainted with the FL Studio sequencer and Ableton.
And what about artists that have influenced you? Which artists have had the biggest effect on you throughout your life?
When I started making music – I think my biggest influence back then were the Chemical Brothers, Prodigy, and Fatboy Slim. I was always a fan of UK broken beats patterns. Nowadays, it might be Dixon, Âme and Keinemusik who inspire me.
Thank you for speaking with us today AIKON, we wish you all the best and congrats on the latest EP. To round off, is there anything else upcoming from yourself that you would like to share with us?
I’m glad you invited me to do this interview. Thank you. All I want to say in the end is “Pray for Ukraine”.