Last week we featured a remix by yet another young SA musician producing under the guise of Women Who Kill – it was fairly massive. After chatting to the man behind the beat, we decided that the right thing to do was get the lad in for an interview and a mix. Here’s more about Women Who Kill and our latest MyCityByNight exclusive mix.
MCBN: Who have some of your main musical influences over the years been?
Women Who Kill: Wow, there are so so many, especially coming from a mixed genre background. Nirvana, Radiohead, Portishead, Placebo, Michael Jackson, Massive Attack, Rachmaninov, Franz Shubert, Tchaikovsky, Daniel Bortz, Detroit Swindle, Cassius.. Yes, my iTunes is a mess.
If you could work with any artist dead or alive who would it be and why?
It’ll have to be a supergroup consisting of FourTet, Michael Jackson, Thom Yorke, Johhny Greenwood, Colin Greenwood, Phil Selway, Ed O’Brien, Markus Wormstorm, Shigeto, Daedelus, Flying Lotus, Daniel Bortz, Kidkanevil, Himanshu Suri, Victor Vazquez and Ashok Kondabolu. Not exactly sure how it’ll all work together.
All these above artists have somehow managed to escape the pigeonhole by truly believing in themselves and creating the music they want to make.
You were born in Durbs and have lived in both Cape Town and Jozi. What do the cities have in common in terms of nightlife and clubbing culture and what are the major differences?
Growing up in Durban we were extremely starved for choice. If you were into any type of Alternative music, you went to Burn or The Winston. If you wanted to dance to House, you went to 330 or Tilt. If you wanted to drink yourself into a stupor whilst discussing the rugby, you went to 80′s or 54. The kids were staving. Whenever a band or DJ played you would go hard, no matter whether they sucked.
We were extremely appreciative and thankful, always. Durban is home to DIY.
Moving to Cape Town, it was like I discovered Toffie Apples for the first time. There were at least 4 things to do EVERY night of the week! I got exposed to a lot during my time there and made a lot of good friends , some I will never truly be able to thank enough. One of the most important things i learnt was “First impressions don’t happen twice.” I grew up and learnt a lot.. musically and personally.
I’m a month fresh in Johannesburg and there’s an amazing vibe. Everyone is hungry, constantly pushing the envelope. Creating opportunities. So far so good, time will tell
One thing all these cities have in common, is that they always love a good time regardless of setting.
How long have you been producing music?
As Women who Kill, a little over a year.
How did you get into djing and music production?
I played in various bands and orchestras, growing up writing songs and performing. But the whole electronica vibe pretty much started out by messing around on Fruity Loops trying to create tracks similar to The REal Estate Agents, Felix Laband, The Kalahari Surfers.. when I should’ve been working on varsity assignments and my thesis. I didn’t really think anything of it. Years later I found myself tired and frustrated with the band scene and revisited something that’s been on my mind for ages. Electronica was an unexplored territory where I could manipulate and tweak sounds, something I’ve always been intrigued by.
A year later Women who Kill is still going strong, growing every day. Slowly climbing that mountain.
Are there any principles that you abide by when putting a track together?
I never follow a certain formula when it comes to making music.. I never know what I’m going to make when I sit down and start working. I don’t like to limit myself and I get bored very quickly, this way you always keep on creating something new.
It’s all about feeling, emotion. Being in a certain space at the time. To me, music needs to move you and be true and real. I try and find the perfect balance between electronic harshness and acoustic beauty.
I love remixing and deconstructing songs to create something completely new.. Whether it be to change meaning or try draw out a different emotion from the listener. I’ve remixed artists like The Frown, Usher, Fire Through The Window, Lindiwe Suttle.
We know that you produce under multiple aliases, could you tell us a little bit more about them?
I love all genres of music. If a song tickle my eardrums the right way, it gets two thumbs up. The new alias most people haven’t even heard of yet, but it was inevitable. Women who Kill is and will always be experimental.. Chillwave, Broken beat, Acid Jazz, Trip Hop.. music you can party to, but might also only listen to on the couch.
Lately, I’ve started writing a lot of Deep House and 2Step tracks.I don’t want to confuse people. This is how Johannes Willem was born.
What was the craziest gig you’ve ever played at?
Two stand out…
Playing as Popskarr’s drummer at the first LIVEEVIL gig, Waiting Room. There was no stage, you were on ground level.. The crowd was hanging onto every one of Yannick’s words, there were people falling over my drumkit and bashing into Terrence’s gear. The place was filled to the brim with energy. Everyone was connected as one.
The second on is playing Splashy Fen with my old band, His Dying Wish, and have the crowd sing/shout the lyrics, you wrote, back at you. As cheesy as it sounds, it really is something special.
We won’t go into me falling off stage…
What has the highlight of your career been thus far?
It’s been a crazy roller coaster ride thus far.. from getting asked to remix big names, to getting asked to write the entire score to a movie, to sharing the stage with amazing artists. I’d say the biggest highlight so far is winning the 5Gum 2012 remix A-trak competition, where I was up against big influential names like Sibot, Mr Sakitumi. I got to hang with him backstage and got VIP treatment, but knowing he personally chose my track is definitely the cherry on top.
Any big things we should be looking out for this year?
City of Gold – the short film I wrote the score to, which will be shown at the Jozi Film Festival and other yet to be names festivals, the Women who Kill EP and live shows, Johannes Willem live shows and tracks… naming just a few.
You can catch more of Women Who Kill over here: