WORDS: Alex Caslano
It takes commitment and something a bit special to get your music heard. The sheer number of producers vying for attention on Soundcloud can often eclipse the real talent, which means it requires extra effort to get your name out there. At the start of 2015, aspiring Glaswegian producer, Kami-O, decided to challenge himself by writing one tune a week for twelve months. As much about developing himself as an artist as generating interest, the result of this year-long experiment is ‘ANNUM’, a ‘name-your-price’ compilation which features 40 of his favourite tracks from the past year in the order they were produced.
Needless to say, there’s plenty to absorb along the musical timeline, but what is most impressive about the release is the quality and diversity of each production, some of which we featured on our radio show last year. Clever samples and original ideas are matched by intriguing detail and polished sound, with little evidence of a rushed job or lack of inspiration. Perhaps Kami-O had a lot of time on his hands last year, but with the dedication applied to this project and the quality of the finished product, it’s obvious he’s got some serious potential.
Listen to a preview of 'ANNUM' via the playlist below, and check out our interview in which we talk more about the motivation behind the project and the challenges he faced:
SynthGlasgow: You produced and uploaded a track every week in 2015 which is really quite remarkable considering the quality and consistency. What motivated you to produce so many tracks and how did you maintain that inspiration throughout the year?
Kami-O: I wanted to challenge myself; to see if I had it in me to make that much music in such a short amount of time. In previous years I'd stress about making tracks, taking weeks or even months to release anything, so I wanted to try and change that. I'm glad they sound consistent; the main thing that kept me going was the positive feedback that I was getting. It made me want to improve as each new week came around.
SG: Each track has its own vibe, character and style; how difficult was it to create something individual each week which represented your sound and did you experience any stumbling blocks along the way?
Kami-O: Some weeks were definitely more difficult than others. Sometimes it would be almost easy; I’d have an idea or I’d hear a sample and already know what the track would sound like. Other times it would be a lot more difficult with no good ideas coming to mind. When that happened I just had to knock out a track last minute and hope for the best; but in a way I made some of my favourite tracks during those weeks. My track ‘Crash’ was made in 45 minutes - no prior ideas, no samples, just spur of the moment. I like working like that sometimes.
SG: You’ve selected 40 tracks for your new compilation ‘Annum’; how are you hoping to be perceived as an artist when people hear it? Do you feel your sound is coherent throughout the compilation?
Kami-O: I hope so. My aim for ‘ANNUM’ is for people to be able to hear my progression from track 1-40 since I've put them in the order they were released. My style has changed quite a bit since the beginning of last year and I hope that comes through by the end of the compilation.
SG: You also promote a monthly event called Lightworks featuring local production talent; can you tell us a little about the concept behind it and what you have planned over the coming months?
Kami-O: Glasgow has so much production/DJ talent and I love the idea of showcasing as much of it as possible to as many people as I can. Like the running slogan for Lightworks says, I want to "spread music and celebrate the unique". In terms of future plans I’m just aiming for bigger and better each time; I want to keep setting myself new challenges!