We recently had the opportunity to chat with Canadian trio Keys N Krates at Chicago’s North Coast Music Festival about their sound, style, and more! Read on for more from the electronic music group, and be sure to check out their latest single, “Are We Faded”!


Hey! Thanks for chatting with us at The Dankles. Tell our readers a bit more about you and your music! 

We are a three piece Electronic Hip Hop Band out of Toronto, Canada. Flo plays turntables, Tune on Drums and Matisse on keys. We make weird rap beats.


Do you feel that with the use of live instrumentation, your music is shaping the electronic scene in a new way? 

Matisse: I wouldn’t say we are shaping the electronic scene in any way, but we do hope that more acts start to incorporate instruments into their sets. I know we are a fan of watching people play live and I think it’s a different experience to watch someone re-creating electronic music with actual instruments.


Who are your biggest inspirations as musicians? 

Tune: It’s been hard to find other that are playing electronic music the way we do, so we’ve had to make it up as we go along. I know myself as a drummer playing all electronic drums, it’s been a bit of a learning curve. As far as actual drummer go, I’m a fan of Steve Gadd and Aaron Spears


What was the creative process like for your forthcoming EP, Every Nite?

Matisse: We had a bunch of tracks that all of us had brought to the table and we went through them and selected a few to start developing. We all took turns in the hot seat, taking a stab at finishing these tunes and we basically kept revising until all of us were happy (Which is not an easy thing to accomplish). We knew we wanted certain elements for the tracks and the EP as a whole, so we had a vision in mind to work towards.


How do you balance work and play while touring? Are you able to make music on the road, or do you find it more difficult to do so as you’re playing instruments? 

Flo: We do start things on the road. Usually they are just basic Ideas. Funny enough, we actually program most of the drums and keys on our produced music, so most of it can be done on the road. We prefer to work in our room with monitors and all of us taking turns producing the tracks.


 You’re embarking on a massive USA tour this fall, playing dates at both clubs and festivals. How would you say festivals differ from club sets for Keys N Krates? What do you like most about each setting?  

Tune: Both are equally as fun. As a band, a soundcheck is always amazing, so clubs are usually better for that. As far as the actual show, I feel like we get to play for a lot of people who don’t know who we are at festivals. Making new fans at festivals is pretty awesome. Equally, having all your fans come to a club show and know all your music, is a vibe that’s hard to mess with. In smaller clubs, we can really connect with our fans and create that thing that really connects people to live music.


What are the top three lessons you’ve learned as artists while developing your sound and production style?

Flo: Arguing is a part of production.  The best ideas, usually come the fastest. And don’t be afraid to try things that are unconventional in production, it’s how a new sound is made!


About Joe Burchard