Two years have elapsed since KINGDM’s fresh electro-soul sound formally surfaced with a sublime series of four singles, all of which generated millions of streams combined. Just over a month ago, the gifted songwriter-producer returned with his excellent new track “Your Love,” a collaborative effort with Soran and Reo Cragun that expands upon the promise of its precursors.
As his infectious songs continue to seduce new sets of eager eardrums, I recently had the great pleasure of catching up with the ambitious yet refreshingly humble tunesmith to learn more about the inspirations and aspirations that have propelled his career to date.
Justin Chadwick: Congratulations on the recent release of your new single “Your Love,” which is divine. How do you think your sound and approach to making music has developed since your debut single “Can’t Get Over You” arrived a few years ago?
KINGDM: Thanks, I appreciate it! My sound has definitely evolved. I took some time to sit in the studio which allowed me to explore and experiment. My approach is pretty much the same. I like to work on production on my own and I like to co-write and collaborate on melodies and lyrics with a close circle of friends.
JC: You’re truly a multi-dimensional artist, in that you write, sing and produce your songs. Which part of making music is most gratifying for you? Which part is most challenging?
KINGDM: I like to work on production and sounds, but the most gratifying part of the process is definitely co-writing and creating with others. The energy you get being in the room with the right people is priceless. Getting to share the experience of seeing a song come to life is incredible. The most challenging part is finishing production on projects that I’ve left open for a while. There’s something about the first spontaneous flow that when interrupted, it’s hard to recreate.
JC: The press release that accompanied the unveiling of “Your Love” classifies your music as “nocturnal electronic pop.” Is that how you would describe your music?
KINGDM: Partially, but there are many more facets to the music that's coming.
JC: Can you explain the inspiration behind your stage moniker KINGDM? What does it mean and why did you decide to embrace it?
KINGDM: Me and my good friend, Reuben James, were hanging in Italy during summertime. We both love chess and the name came out during a game. It was a blitz game—one of those fast ones—and when the name came out, it was overwhelming cause we knew it was the right one, so we started jumping around trying to still focus on the game at the same time. [Laughs]
JC: So you’ve signed with Capitol Records. How do you feel about being part of one of the most iconic record labels in the world? How do you think this will impact the evolution of your music and career?
KINGDM: I definitely feel honored to be part of such an incredible label and team. It's still early to say, but they seem to understand and support my vision.
JC: You now have five official singles under your belt. Is your debut full-length album on the horizon? If so, what can you tell us about your vision for the album?
KINGDM: Yes, it is. I’ve been working on it for the last couple of years. I think you'll get a solid idea of the direction of the album after the next few releases.
JC: Which artists have influenced your songcraft most profoundly? Who are your musical heroes?
KINGDM: One of my biggest influences is Chopin. His music has accompanied me throughout my whole life and career.
JC: Any plans to go on tour soon and bring your songs to a live setting?
KINGDM: Yeah, I’m currently working on my live show and I’m probably gonna start performing at the end of this summer.
JC: You’re arguably still in the nascent stage of your recording career, but when you steal a glimpse into the future, what’s your conception of success? What would need to happen in order for you to feel satisfied (or gratified) professionally?
KINGDM: Helping others is definitely the drive and purpose behind my career. I suffered from depression for many years and I was able to completely change and transform my life. I now have this burning desire inside of me to help people that are going through difficult times and similar experiences and to share what I’ve learnt.
So, true success for me means impacting millions of people and influencing them to be their best selves.
JC: OK, last question. In the spirit of Albumism, what are your FIVE favorite albums of all time?
KINGDM: I don’t actually listen to albums. I tend to listen to songs on repeat for a while. I can tell you a few of my favorite songs, which include Chopin’s “Nocturne Op. 72 No. 1 in E minor,”
Kleerup and Lykkeli’s “ Until We Bleed,” Mozart’s “Requiem Lacrimosa,” Justice vs Simian’s “We Are Your Friends,” Louis Armstrong’s “ Dark Eyes,” Koop’s “Koop Island Blues,” and Michael Petrucciani’s “Besame Mucho” (Live in Paris).