Leading up to her very special afterhours set at Dawn this Saturday night / Sunday morning, we had the pleasure to sit down and talk all things music, living around the world, and what she has in store for us when she plays Dawn. Read what she had to say below:
Hi Kate, Did you want to introduce yourself to our readers for those who may not be familiar with who you are and what you do?
Hi I’m Kate, a DJ and producer from Chicago. My first releases were on the Detroit label Spectral Sound, alongside Matthew Dear, Seth Troxler, Benoit & Sergio, etc and since then I’ve released on a number of labels including Leftroom, No. 19, Last Night On Earth, Get Physical, and collaborated with artists like Tevo Howard and Jamie Jones.
Your music reflects a vast array of styles that reflect the underground sound in Chicago and beyond. What music were you listening to growing up in Chicago, and were there any parties / club nights you would attend that stick out in memory?
When I was 15-years-old a friend gave me a bunch of mix tapes, which included DJ Keoki, Future Sound of London, and a bunch of underground Chicago house, disco house, New York hard house, Detroit techno, and drum n’ bass. I started going to underground parties in the Midwest (Chicago and Detroit mainly) and heard so many amazing DJ’s play on a weekly basis around then it was pretty incredible.
You studied composition in Chile, where you recorded your album Shapes of Summer, and now reside in London. Do you think your experiences worldwide and exposing yourself to new cultures has had an effect on your music?
Yes, definitely. The different places I’ve been and people I’ve met have inspired me along the way.
With such a variety in musical projects you must be exposed to a lot of different crowds. What aspects of a show do you enjoy from when you’re playing somewhere like the National Gallery with the London Electronic Orchestra, to somewhere such as an after hours party like Dawn?
I love the variety! It keeps it fresh for me to jump between different sorts of production and shows. It’s all music and the experiences feed each other, and give a new perspective.
What made you decide to move to London?
I moved to London to get a masters in Composition for Screen at the Royal College of Music. It was one an incredible program, that’s where I learned how to write for orchestra.
What is it about London that separates it from other musically famous cities around the world?
I think London is the best city for music in the world. All genres can be found here, and there are more venues and a much better pop and radio culture here than in New York (probably the second best city). Berlin is great for techno and some house, but it has it’s own specific sound. What I love about London is it allows artists to express their personality. They don’t need to cater to a “London sound” when they play here.
What do your various projects have in store for the remainder of 2017?
I have a new EP out on Leftroom in April, and a bunch of new tunes in the works. Also Jamie Jones and I have a new project with live orchestra that I’m excited about.
Looking forward to your set at Lightbox, what kind of a set do you have in store for Dawn, and what are you expecting from the Dawn crowd?
I’m waiting on my set time, but I’m thinking to bring a mixture of jackin’ techno and house for this one. It’s my first time at Lightbox in a minute, so will read the crowd and feel the vibe when I get there!
Kate Simko plays the first Dawn Afterhours Female Session of the year alongside Lola, Becky Bird and Caruana on Sunday morning. Click the flyer below for tickets + info!