Our latest Interview features Russian producer Kirill Hopeless who has a brand new EP out on FutureForm Music this week.
1. Hi Kirill, thanks very much for joining us here! This is the first time I’ve interviewed you so let’s give our readers and your fans some background info. How old are you and how long have you been producing and Djing?
Hello. Today I am 24 years old. Producing and DJ for 8 years.
2. Where do your musical roots lie and when did you know you wanted to pursue electronic music seriously?
It all started when my mother sent me to a music school in 1996. I knew I wanted to seriously engage in electronic music in 2005, 2 years after its completion.
3. You are based in Russia which is a country well known for having an abundance of electronic musicians, you reside in Tver which is a large city in the north of Russia, how is the nightlife there? are there clubs and events you can go out to which showcase quality electronic music? Do you get a chance to DJ there at all?
Yes I Am. In Russia too many electronic musicians. However, the majority of them – lay people. They make music for fun, not for creativity. Many of them are vain and make cheap kitsch. My city is not in the north. By the standards of Russia, he in the center, near our capital 🙂 Nightlife this year is in decline. Perhaps this is due to the difficult political situation. People do not want to have fun and to understand good music now. There are few clubs, and they played pop music and EDM. But four years ago, Tver was called “the little capital of techno” in Russia. Of course, I took part in this movement, made many appearances and traveled around the country.
4. Your Kirill Hopeless artist moniker is a relatively new alias, you have a discography of nearly 150 releases under your Digital Mess alias which dates back to 2008. Why did you start Kirill Hopeless and how do the projects differ?
I strongly wanted to change the style. And it seemed to me that the fans of Digital Mess will not be able to make such a change. During the first year of operation as Kirill Hopeless, new style evolved and came closer to Digital Mess. Perhaps then this brand absorbs my old philosophy. Among other things, Kirill Hopeless an adult musician, but Digital Mess – a young guy I was in 2008.
5. You have a new release out this week on FutureForm Music; the tracks are outstanding and this definitely represents some of your best work. Tell us a bit about the tracks and how the project came about? And how do you think your sound has changed over the course of your career?
In the beginning, I like the club house and electro house. I was young. Then I met a cool DJ’s in my town that played techno. I myself began to play and write techno. Over time I grew older, my tastes have changed. Now I’m an adult sound, in which there is absolutely no aggression. “Jet Cat” and “Running Lights” tracks embody this principle. Now I just try to write good music that does not want to destroy the brain of the listener 🙂
6. How difficult was learning to produce for you in the beginning? Did you take any Audio Engineering programs or production courses to help you out or are you pretty much self taught? And did anyone give any advice early on in your career that really helped?
I did not have teachers. I experimented a lot, learned a lot to do with my hands. I’ve talked with some other musicians who give me ideas that help me gain knowledge and skills. One book has helped me (Ted Brown “Cubase SX”).
7. What’s a normal day like for you? Do you have a job outside of electronic music? And what do you like to do when you’re not working on production?
I work as a design engineer in construction. A little bit of my work is on the Olympic Games in Sochi 2014 🙂 I spend a little time to the music, I want more. So I do not need to want something else. I have a lot of things besides producing. So now I want to be able to work more with my music in my home studio.
8. One of the biggest moments in your career would have to be having your ‘Open The Box’ track appear on Jimmy Van M and Oliver Lieb’s Bedrock ‘Collaborations’ compilation. What other moments stand out for you?
I have no great achievements, unfortunately. Many “big DJs” played my tracks, but I have always been in the underground. My biggest achievement – is a DJ-sets before or after some “big DJs” in some festivals in Russia. But still I am more a producer than a DJ.
9. Apart from electronic music what other genres do you listen to and who are your favourite artists outside of electronic? and do these genres or artists have a direct effort on your own productions?
Too much music I listen to talk about any one. I like Bonobo, Hanz Zimmer, Deftones, Crystall Method, Moderat, Two Steps From Hell and many more. I feel their influence on my music, but I do not borrow directly.
10. What are you currently working on? What can we expect to hear from you in 2015?
I make new tracks for Kirill Hopeless, and this is important. In addition, I gradually preparing the material and the basis for complex DJ-sets with elements of live performance. Today, even any dog may play two tracks on the cdj-players. This is not cool 🙂 I want more
11. When you sign a new original track to a label do you have complete confidence in them selecting the remixers? Or is this something you would prefer to have a part in and why?
I’m not strong in commerce. Remixers I would like too expensive. Usually, I trust the label that I trust my track. Sometimes I myself am looking for a part of remixers.
12. You’ve been releasing music for seven plus years and producing for even longer, how has your studio changed in that time and what does it consist of now?
Fundamental changes during this time did not happen. I use FL Studio and Ableton Live, some good plugins, launchpad and xone k2. I do not have a good midi-keyboard, this is the first planned purchase.
13. If you had to pick one track which solidified your love for electronic music early on what would it be?
The Prodigy – Firestater
14. What was your first and last DJ gig?
First: Galactika Club (Ostashkov) in december 2007. Last: Mill Party (Tver) in November 2013. In 2014 I decided to take a break
15. What was the first and last record you purchased?
First: Linkin Park – The Hybrid Theory. Last: Four jacks – 15 years of poker flat. I do not remember exactly.
16. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
I’m not too special. I have nothing to surprise anyone 🙂
17. Who are some of the best undiscovered talents in your eyes?
I like the Portuguese musician Re: Axis. He makes music a higher level but little known outside his country. I find it difficult to judge the unsolved talents.
18. Which producers consistently inspire you?
Mind Against, Maceo Plex, Tale of Us, Dixon, Oliver Huntemann, Cari Lekebusch, Carlo Lio, Alan Fitzpatrick and more.
19. What artist or track would you love to remix? and who would you love to be remixed by?
I always dreamed of getting a remix by Maetrik. And he would be my pleasure to do a remix for him.
20. Record labels are a dime a dozen these days. Which ones if any standout for you?
Always: Traum, Trapez, Parquet, Bedrock. Now: Ellum, Moda Black, Life and Death
21. What would you say is the best mix compilation of all time?
This is a very difficult question for me. I remember a long time ago I had a souvenir CD by Dave Seaman, and I even played tracks from it. I do not remember its title. It is also possible, one of the compilations by Sasha could be called the best. But I will not say exactly.
22. Current Favourites (you can list more than one per category if you like)
Food: Russian dishes
Drink: Chinese red tea or a lager beer
Drug: I do not like drugs. They inhibit
TV Show: Doctor Who
Movie: the Matrix
Video Game: Battlefield 4
Album: Deftones – Koi No Yokan
Track / Song: Deftones – Gauze
Producer / Band: Deftones
Record Label: may be Traum
Nightclub: City Night Club (Tver, 2000-2010)
DJ: Maceo Plex, Cari Lekebusch
23. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
Digital Mess – Blue lake city.
‘Jet Cat’ is out now on FutureForm Music, you can purchase the release: here