In Conversation With... KRISTY HARPER
As far as routes to market go, Kristy Harper is unquestionably taking the most credible path; playing clubs and festivals across Europe and Asia like Magnetic Fields, Snowbombing, Houghton and Love International, guesting on radio shows for Red Light Radio and Slothboogie, hosting her own monthly shows on East London’s Netil Radio and Operator Radio Rotterdam, and regularly playing all night long vinyl sets at one of our favourite London spots, Brilliant Corners. Yeah, we know, it doesn’t get much more on point.
To add to her already impressive portfolio, she’s also dropping undeniable groove driven rhythms on the likes of Jacques Renault’s Let’s Play House. Her latest self-released offering ‘The System is F*cked’ doesn’t let up either, check it out below and see what she had to say when we asked her all things bitcoin, styling and partying…
1. Let’s start with the single. Tell us all about it and how you like to go about your own productions in the studio. Is there a particular bit kit you couldn’t live without?
I definitely made this single as a bit of a pressure release. It’s been an insanely tough time for everyone and I wasn’t feeling hugely creative! When I heard Eric talking at the BLM march I instantly knew I needed to build something around his speech. I usually start with a sample I’ve heard online or on a record I’ve found at a charity shop and then build everything else around that. I recently got back onto Twitter and have been finding SO many incredible soundbites on there. Kit-wise, I friggin’ love the Moog Sub Phatty. The bass sounds you can create with it are so gritty, booming and perfect. I also use my MPD32 sampler a lot as I’m constantly chopping bits up and layering sounds over each other.
2. ‘The System is F*cked’ explores peaceful revolution, injustice and inequality in the current system, taking inspiration from a speech by Eric Latham a.k.a ‘The Character’ made at a BLM protest. The link between modern financial systems, Black oppression and the possibilities that new technologies could provide to break down systematic inequality in the future is a really interesting area of discussion, and one we could probably do a whole interview on in itself. How do you see the three linked?
Haha, yes, I could talk about this until the cows come home! The way I see it, and a lot of others who are real advocates of Bitcoin and blockchain technology, is that it’s a way to become self sovereign. To protect your wealth and exit a system that just isn’t working for so many of the population. I’m definitely not saying Bitcoin is going to solve everything! But it’s a way to address economic disparity. The system we are in predominantly serves white men. Black communities are still hugely discriminated against; with high interest on loans and median income in parts of America sometimes half of their white counterparts. With central banks printing a shed load of cash, inflation is going to get out of control. It’s good to take control and have a solid option as a hedge against that. At the end of the day, it’ll be low income areas and the BAME community who will feel it the most. In ‘Bitcoin and Black America’ by Isaiah Jackson, he really lays out how Bitcoin and blockchain can help the black community.
3. It seems you’re building a pretty comprehensive Kristy Harper brand, through a fine balance of live performance, releases and strong visual thread throughout. Is imagery and styling something you’ve always been into? Where does your love for it come from?
Aw, thank you! I’ve always been really into photography, filming and styling. My parents have been hugely influential in that. My dad was an audiophile with a hi-fi shop and massive record collection and he used to shoot film and had about 8 VHS cameras. I used to make my own home music videos with my best friend Jack. Funny, Jack is now playing a sold out Brixton academy 4 nights in a row with his band! Music always connected us. My mum is an actress with the most incredible style. She was a model in the 70’s and made all her own clothes. She helps me with my shoots sometimes, too. I guess it’s been part of my life for a long time!
4. London’s female DJ scene is exploding. Who do you see as your inspirations, and also who do you see as your peers on the come up with you?
There are so many incredible wxmen creating music and playing fabulous records. I’ve been getting massively into Elkka recently; I’m totally digging her productions. DJ-wise, I love fellow record collectors like Poly Ritmo and Donna Leake. Every set is a groove laden journey. People I’ve been enjoying on the dance floor and peers I’ve been playing with are Lucy Stannard, Ariana V, TSHA, Helena Star, Jaye Ward, DJ Faro, Jaguar, Paramida (I know she’s in Berlin but her London Rinse show gets me every time). I feel like there’s an amazing level of support in the community right now and am loving seeing how everyone is progressing and expressing.
5. We want to remind everyone of what it was like to be able to party together. If we were able to be out at festivals this Summer, what three records wouldn’t leave you bag?
Tell me about it! I’m missing the club and festival field more than anything. Ooh, OK, so these are all tracks that have been on repeat recently and feel would work perfectly on the festival field.
Teto Preto - Pedra Preta
Cycles - Masalo
Pump up London (Acid dub) - Mr. Lee
6. What’s the ultimate goal for you in your music career? What would be the pinnacle?
That’s a tough one as I feel like the current situation has left a lot of time for reflecting and the re-jigging of goals and dreams. I’d love to release a full length album with some incredible jazz and blues musicians I met on my travels. That would be a really fun project to create. I’m definitely moving more towards taking my time and creating quality music with people I want to spend time with. Gig-wise, I’d absolutely love to play the Garden stage at Dekmantel. It’s one of my favourite places to be on a Sunday drinking Aperol Spritz while the sun goes down. It shines so perfectly on the green house roof and the programming is ridiculous. The DJ’s really get to experiment with their record collection and the crowd love the weird and wonderful.
Kristy has also jumped on our mix series this week! Check it out below...
'THE SYSTEM IS F*CKED'
RELEASE DATE: Monday 24th August