As if we didn’t have enough proof, the musical mastermind behind your favorite tracks continues to solidify her standing as one of today’s most influential, inventive minds. Enter Kito boasting her signature suave style and a contagious collection of beats consistently meeting international acclaim. She’s already snagged the coveted No. 1 slot on the iTunes dance chart and swept playlists like a visionary of new wave disco. For Kito, limits are nonexistent – and if we have any guess towards what her beaming future holds, it’s surely full of experimental flair and vibrant rhythms.
Fresh off the release of the irresistible track “Recap” (with VanJess and Channel Tres), Kito is setting the world aflame with neon colors and a fiery spirit as bright as her vivid discography. In her first record since collaborating with ZHU and Jeremih on “Follow,” the track gave listeners the privilege of hearing Kito’s soulful abilities at play. The Australia native turned Los Angeles regular seems to have an infinite set of strengths — from the seductiveness of Fletcher’s “Bitter” to the lively spunk of “Alone With You” (feat. AlunaGeorge). Kito’s touch is nothing short of musical gold.
What’s the secret behind crafting brilliant beats and joining forces with such a diverse deck of artists? EUPHORIA. sat down with Kito to unearth the producer’s songwriting process, visiting Bob Dylan’s iconic Malibu Airstream, and what makes “Recap” the epitome of genre-bending genius.
Every songwriter/producer seems to have that special something that allows them to stand out from the crowd. For you, what do you think that is? What defines Kito?
I think it’s my palate! From my background as a DJ to being a self-taught producer making electronic music. When I first moved to LA I was trying to compete with (or be as good as) all these amazing pop producers — and then realized the best thing I could do is lean into what sets me apart and sounds that I naturally gravitate towards — and collaborate with the people that are good at doing the stuff that I’m not so good at. Play to your strengths!
Being an Australian native in Los Angeles, how does the music scene differ from one end of the globe to the other?
I spent nine years in London before moving to LA and I think the biggest difference is how celebrated collaboration is in LA compared to London. It also might just be what I was up to at the time, but I love how open people are to collaborate here. Also, the weather has had an impact on the way my music sounds. It sounds way happier these days!
Your song “Follow” was created during quarantine — an amazing accomplishment given the obstacles! How has this extra time alone changed your music creation? Has it at all?
It has been an interesting ride! In some ways, it’s been great and has reminded me why I fell in love with producing. Back to the old internet collabs. I definitely will make sure I always have enough time in the studio on my own going forward — I think I always create better music when I have the time to marinate over ideas and explore different production directions for songs.
When people play to a Kito track, what would you wish they get out of their listen?
I think music is a unique experience for everyone, so I don’t really have an agenda there! I just hope there’s something in my music that sticks and makes people feel good and want to listen again.
“Recap” with VanJess and Channel Tres is truly the perfect infusion of pop and soul. How did its sound come about? Are you driven to any specific genre over the other?
Thank you! I think it’s such a good collab in that you can hear a bit of everyone on this track. I love R&B, I love house, and I’m a big fan of the guitar style on a lot of Afrobeat records. We bonded over all of these shared loves and I think you can hear it all in “Recap” — along with everyone’s individual artistic style! Helps when you’re a fan of the people you’re collaborating with.
“Recap” was written during a weekend at Bob Dylan’s Airstream in Malibu — what was that like? How did it influence the track?
It was a surreal experience! We were excited to be working there and it was such a gorgeous day — sun coming in through the windows with the ocean in the background. I think the vibe plus the company set us up to write a great song.
Creating a song, do you always prefer traveling to get into a new headspace? Or can you be found from the comfort of your bedroom making musical magic?
I am lucky enough to have my own studio in LA so most of the writing/producing/finishing is done there. However, I love switching things up too and working in other people’s spaces. A healthy balance of both!
Thinking into the future towards a day you can finally get on stage and play “Recap,” what do you wish it looks like? Be it visuals, sounds, or audience vibe, what do you look forward to seeing?
I think what I look forward to the most is a crowd just having a good time and dancing together. I can’t believe I’m saying it but I miss being in a sweaty club!
Let’s take a moment to end with a good memory! With COVID halting shows for the time being, do you have any moments from a previous live show (yours or others!) that stand out to you?
I threw a small “Wild Girl” release party with Empress Of in LA. It was so much fun — some friends came down to DJ, we played “Wild Girl” multiple times, drank so much, danced on tables, and made “Wild Girl” bucket hats! I hope that when the world gets back to some kind of normal I can throw regular release parties!