The Real Ding
GET TO KNOW: Koto Kill
After originally breaking through with a wealth of diverse offerings in recent years, London-based artist Koto Kill now returns for the new year to deliver her long-awaited new single 'Téléphone Party'.
Lifted from her forthcoming debut album 'Fromage Et Fashion', which is set to drop on the 28th April, 'Téléphone Party' makes for a wonderfully bold and inventive listen. Dabbling in a heady mix of rock, EDM and electronic aesthetics throughout, she looks set to become one of the more distinctive names rising through the scene right now.
So with the new single available to stream now, we sat down with her to find out more about her origins and inspirations over the years.
What was the first band or artist you fell in love with?
It has to be Michael Jackson, right? I’m debating between him or Kylie Minogue. I’m not even saying this ironically; both of these artists arguably got me into music before I probably even knew how to spell my name. Maybe it’s more accurate to say I fell in love with Michael Jackson’s music and videos but I fell in love with Kylie full stop.
Did you ever form a band when you were younger and if so, what did they sound like?
For sure. I had a band called Angelchrome in my late-teens / early 20s that started as a college rock band and eventually became my ‘practice’ band while studying music and audio technology at university. I produced two albums (thankfully, neither of which are online, so don’t even try!) that fitted very much in my “I want to be Nine Inch Nails” phase. I didn’t know how to use my voice effectively so a few of years later I co-formed a band called Plastique that was much more electronic-rock and had two of the the most talented musicians I could hope for [vocalist Anelise Kunz and guitarist Fabio Couto - now of the band Yur Mum], both of whom feature on my new album performing live drums and bass.
What has been your primary inspiration in writing music?
I never fully considered writing music since I don’t consider myself much of a musician (I could ostensibly play the piano if you put a gun to my head). With anything I create, I feel like I’m paying something forward: if I consume a piece of art that I feel emotionally strong about, be it some music, a video and - more recently - photography, I want to create something that will have that same emotional effect for someone else. Music just ended up being one of the many forms of media I do this.
You could argue that the inspiration to create is simply a means to obtain attention and validation from others and, in my case, that’s certainly been true. In recent years I have worked hard to refocus that to self-validation; essentially regurgitating the shit I love into something I love.
What is a song you wish you had written yourself?
This question made me laugh because so many songs I write start off as me trying to recapture the essence of a song I wanted to be my own. In the case of the song ‘Zašto’ [from the new album], this started out being strongly inspired by the song ‘Over’ by So Below - I was listening to that (pun slightly-intended) over and over again during the pandemic. If you listen to the two side by side, I think its influence is pretty obvious in places. Ultimately, it’s great to be inspired but, eventually, you need to learn to love and appreciate someone else’s work for what it is and do your own thing.
If there was any moment in your career you could relive, what would it be?
I’m not sure I would. I have many great memories and many amazing shows but I always feel bittersweet looking back, like “that was great but I didn’t appreciate it enough at the time” or “I had an argument with someone and it tainted my mood for the rest of the day.” I mostly just miss recording with my friends at my studio until 4-5am on summer nights, not knowing what we were creating but having a lot of fun finding out. Those were the best days (he says with rose-tinted glasses).
Which artist would you most love to share a stage with?
Difficult to say. I’ve not performed live for a hot minute and I’m essentially just a DJ of sorts when playing live. Which is to say I’d rather be in the audience to watch my heroes rather than be on stage with them.
And is there an artist you would love to collaborate with as well?
I always wanted to do something with Matilda Eyre and Gazel and, in both cases, we did discuss something at one point but it never happened (most likely each of us being too involved in our own projects). The very nature of Koto Kill is to collaborate with artists I love so I’d love to revisit this when the time feels right.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Not a clue. Five years ago I was finishing my first Koto Kill album and I don’t think I’d have believed me if I told myself that it would take five years for the follow-up to be ready (on the back of a pandemic at that), but here we are.
Koto Kill's new single 'Téléphone Party' is available to stream now. Listen to it in the player below.