K.LED has been one of the very first acts we invited for a podcast on our platform, featured on Husa Sounds over 6 years ago, under a different alias, On.Ket. Since then, K.LED has embarked on a journey of his own, and has been playing an integral part in the change and the rise of the electronic music scene in Saudi Arabia. We wanted to know more, so we had a little chat.
HS: Can you take us back. How did it all start for you? Where did your passion for music come from?
K.LED: Music and a good sound system have always been around me growing up. I started off as a self-taught guitarist and drummer. I enjoyed the technicality and theory behind both instruments which later on led me to understand music much more fundamentally and the theory behind it. I was involved in a family business that specialized in auditorium & theatre design and execution. So a good PA was never out of sight and it turns out my dad too played around with a couple of 10” and CDs back in his day. The main star that made me preserve playing music was my grandfather; he’s played the oud and he’s been a man of music since he was 4. I got lucky to grow around someone that spent most of his retirement composing and playing music for the love of it. To give you a flavour of what I’m talking about, here’s a little collaboration, a tribute to my grandfather, playing the oud with my edit.
HS: We know that your profession and your passion intersect. Can you tell us more?
K.LED: I gained interest in electronic music when I moved to Canada in 2010. But it only really hit me after I visited Stereo for the first time in February, 2011. Like most, I wanted to play with sand as well and get my hands messy. So I started producing music as I started my educational journey studying electronics engineering, no surprise, I decided to create a symbiotic relationship between my studies and passion for music through sound design; given that the principles of sound design come from the fundamentals and physics of electrical signals in electronic systems.
When I started my career, the first task I was assigned was to produce an acoustic report to justify the request to raise the overall quality and specifications of the design of several auditoriums. From that day I never looked at sound the same way again. How I played had completely taken a different direction by understanding how sound waves would react with surrounding material and in different enclosed spaces. Today, I am very grateful to still be doing what I love in my own hometown and to be working with one of the biggest change makers in Saudi, MDLBEAST. With them, myself and many other artists, we have been able to share our passions and expressions with the public. I am truly grateful that I can be a part of their journey as an artist and a part of the management team in efforts to continue building and shaping the industry in the country.
HS: Can you give us a fact about sound that we (as non-technical sound & music enthusiasts) can understand and relate to?
K.LED: Of course, I could go on for hours here, but I will limit it to one. The reason why most of us love the BOOM BOOM BASS is not because of its roaring ceiling-bending sounds as much as it is about the vibrations generated from the subwoofer and that are felt with our bodies. Sound is a type of mechanical wave with a low kinetic force that causes air molecules to be compressed and retracted. This then is captured and sensed through by our ear drums, hair follicles, skin and body fluids. If you have not read about water memory, it is the ability of water to store information, and when you also start to realise that emotions can be represented by being in certain frequency ranges along with their octaves, as seen in the ‘Hawkins scale’, you start to consider the kind of frequencies you want to be bombarded with. Hence, why I like my sounds to be clean (wink) and my music to be with intent.
HS: You performed at SoundStorm 2019, the largest music festival that took place in the Middle East region. How was it for you?
K.LED: For decades there was almost no music played in public, at all, and if there was, it was frowned upon. Fast forward: I’ll never forget the rush and disbelief I had, being behind the decks at Soundstorm 2019 – and witnessing the energy and excitement of the beautiful people. Seeing family and friends, all together, celebrating life by not only listening to music in public, but by expressing and dancing in public, and last & certainly not least, was having the absolute honour and privilege of sharing the stage with one of my all time idols, Kerry Chandler, right here in Saudi. This was a turning point for me and this is the amazing change we are witnessing and that I am so proud of.
HS :From long ago, you’ve worked on your creations. Do you have anything recent? And what are your plans in this area?
K.LED: My recent work Pearls, has been released on KNZ Records, on the 25th of June this year. I’m very proud of this one, as it made it to #17 on the minimal / deep tech hype picks chart worldwide on Beatport. There have been a couple of new creations since then that I can’t wait to share with everybody. But for now, you can find my latest track “Tweet.e” on Bandcamp.
HS: A very cliche question, but from an artist perspective, where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I’ve gained quite a bit of knowledge and experience; that I’d love to share with the world and others; basically give my perspective and gained knowledge on music and sound. Next is, explore other types of vibrations; and love music from yet another angle, another perspective. Through it all though… Still dancing, still loving music, still connecting through music and doing my best to keep pushing for music.
HS: What are the main attributes of success for you?
K.LED: Love is the drive and the message behind what I do. For as long as I’m doing what I do from the heart, this to me is success to keep pushing and doing what I do.
HS: Can you name a few of your inspirations back in the day; and a few inspirations today.
Back in the day…