The Emergence of Berlin Resident, Kevin Knapp [Exclusive Interview]

With music for the body and mind is house producer and vocalist Kevin Knapp. By taking a bottom up approach to creating music, Kevin Knapp is notorious for house music with urgency that grabs the hips while treating listeners to intellectual intricacies that simulate the mind. Currently based out of Berlin, Knapp has been fine tuning his chops playing for the snobbiest of techno crowds and without falter has emerged within the electronic music scene as a favorite.

His stent in San Fran, appearances at Dirtybird Campout and Desert Hearts Festival, releases on leading labels including on Hot Creations, Crosstown Rebels, Hottrax, Sola, Dirtybird and Truesoul, collaborations with Audiojack, Richy Ahmed, Sirus Hood, Shiba San and Sacha Robotti as well as his recent US tour has brought Kevin into a well deserved limelight. Enjoy a collection of Kevin Knapp essential releases as you get to know the man himself. 

Without further ado, thatDROP presents Kevin Knapp in an exclusive interview.

photo credit Kevin Knapp

What is it about house music that drives your passion for producing? 

House music matters to me for a couple reasons.  I always describe it as the amalgamation of everywhere I’ve ever been/lived/studied/ practiced musically.  It’s got the boom bap of hip hop, the dissonance of indie rock, the crescendo and movement structure of classical at times, as well as many other nuanced historical and contemporary music references.  So, if I’m going to be making a type of music, why would I not be involved in a genre that dabbles in a bit of everything. I am also a firm believer in everyone in life doing what they are interested in and best at.  I have this idealist thought that if we all did that, we would fill all the available jobs in the world and that folks would be a lot happier, and the public efficacy level would be a bit higher. This just happens to be what I’m best at! 

Desert Hearts Festival 2018 photo credit Kevin Knapp

Listen to and grab the free download for Kevin Knapp’s Data Transmission Mix:

How is life in Berlin treating you? Where have been your favorite places to play?  What are some tracks have you been dropping lately that make the dance floor blow up?

Life in Berlin is good, my girlfriend and I just finished setting up our new apartment, so we are finally enjoying being settled.   Of course, I took off on tour immediately thereafter but I know it’s waiting for me when I get home. I love playing Kater Blau, it just feels like my home club.  I used to have rooms in San Francisco that felt that way, where you have a great understanding of how they work and what you can get away with in terms of programming.  Kater Blau in Berlin is now that club for me. As to what tracks have been working for me lately ‘Uh Oh’ from walker & Royce has been killing it for me. My new records Bleep Blop and Worldwide are proving to be formidable records as well.

You just wrapped up a US tour this month hitting Florida, Colorado and California. How did that go?  

Just a ton of good vibes, and a bunch of new slammin’ unreleased cuts.  Oh, and shows sprinkled with moments of catching the feels on stage, of course.

You recently released an EP titled, Head Up. Can you give us a little insight on your song writing process? How would you describe this EP in 3 words? 

Kevin Knapp ‘Heads Up’

As I always do, I started with a beat loop that continued to pose questions that lacked an answer and then the ass on bottom head on top bit, actually embodies my musical approach.  You gotta grab peeps by the hips and make sure they get down while keeping some edgy, minor key intellectual elements on top. Intrigue the mind and the body. 3 words: Steady Dealin’ Heat.

You have a collaboration with Nathan Barato on Repopulate Mars coming out in November. How did that collaboration come into fruition? Is there a set date we can look out for that track?   

I wrote the lyric to that track on stage with Richy Ahmed at EDC Orlando last year.  Nathan and I have been wanting to do something together and I sent it over and bam – the magic happened.  It will be out November 1 on Repop.

Dirtybird Campout, how was that experience? what was your favorite moment? Were there any dance floor shenanigans that you found particularly assuming? 

Dirtybird Campout was amazing.   One of the most insane moments for me was actually right when I got on stage because when I arrived the night before I went out for a bit, caught the vibe, and then retired to the camper for a bit to prep some tunes for my set the next day.  The day of the show I found out about 90 minutes before playing that we were all supposed to be across the campgrounds doing a press junket.

Generally speaking, an hour before show is a critical time for me, as I’m finalizing a lot of things in my preset process.  I rushed to make it to the press event, and then went directly to the stage. When I got on stage, I noticed I had not loaded the special folders I’d created of potential go to tracks for the set.

So, I played it as I would any other, off the cuff and pressing the gas pedal on vibe. 

I received so much good feedback on the set. Goes to show ya, adaptability continues to be one of the most important skills in this game. 

What is your favorite word? 


Anything else you would like to share with our readers? 

Be on the lookout for the appetizer episode of my new video series Beats ‘N Eats coming out next month in association with Magnetic Magazine.  It’s fire 😉

photo credit Kevin Knapp

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