Red Dog Music | Oct 9, 2018 | 0
Sunday Spotlight: Khalid Al Khajah
2. Tell us a bit about the music you make.
I make moody electronic R&B with elements of jazz and neo-soul. My biggest influences are Prince, D’Angelo, Janet Jackson, Lewis Taylor and The Blue Nile. If there is a setting for ‘Open’, I would say its music to walk home to at 2am in Edinburgh when you’re slightly pished and its raining and you have a certain someone on your mind. Ooh that’s quite specific, isn’t it? I wonder how it would sound on a humid Tuesday morning in Lagos? Is Lagos humid.. who knows? People in Lagos, probably. They would know. Next question!
3. When did you start and what made you want to start making music?
I started making hip hop beats for fun when I was around 16 because I loved Kanye West’s Late Registration album and wanted to learn how to sample like him. I picked up the piano to help with that, but then became infatuated with the old soul samples themselves, more so than the Kanye songs! Marvin, Curtis, Sly, that kind of stuff. You should hear some of the beats I was making back then. Actually, you shouldn’t because they were straight trash. I didn’t take music too seriously until I joined the Edinburgh University Jazz Orchestra (Shout-out to EUJO!) as a vocalist. I had never sung in front of anyone in public before and got the biggest buzz ever from that! I remember leaving the Jazz Bar after the first band audition with the biggest grin on my face that afternoon, sprinting back across the street like Usain Bolt on acid to the university’s Old College to tell my mate how it went. That feeling inspired and continues to inspire me to make and perform music. It took a while to find my sound, and a little while longer for me to feel comfortable and confident with sharing what are pretty personal songs based on real experiences with others. So far, composing music has been quite a solitary process, which is cool and therapeutic, but I look forward to developing my sound in the future with more collaborations.
4. Stage or studio?
Stage. Best feeling in the world, yo! I haven’t spent too much time in studios… not yet, anyway. I made my EP on my living room dining table, so when people come over to mine they have to eat on the sofa. Even if its soup. You had better pray that bowl ain’t too hot to hold! You spill, you mop. Next question!
5. What gear do you use to make your tunes?
A Yamaha P-90, a SE X1 (which got me in trouble once in Bahrain airport, when I had to explain to customs that it wasn’t what they thought it was) and Logic Pro X.
6. And what is your choice bit of gear and why?
This is just a terrible answer but I don’t know much about gear, so I’ll say vocals. Since the music I have been making has mostly been electronic so far, I suppose its the one element that is unique to it. I just love finding interesting harmonies with layered vocals. Voodoo by D’Angelo is definitely my most-played album of all time. That album and its vocal arrangements are just so sick.
Red Dog Music Sunday Spotlight is your chance to get your music in front of the world, and our chance to discover some great new sounds. If you want to be featured in this weekly column, you can get all the details here.
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