San Diego, Get Ready for the World Touring Lee K to Take the Stage
Written By: Will Lange Lee K at CRSSD Festival
If the purpose of music is to elicit a response, then nothing moves us like EDM. For some, it’s the ultimate form – a limitless way to push our minds (and heart rates) to the limit. For others, it’s soulless, artificial noise. Love it or hate it, it’s here to stay. New artists are showing up all the time, hungry and scrambling to stake their claim. But one new(er) act is starting to get noticed, and for good reason. Lee K treats her work and her life in a compelling and authentic way. Because she loves it, and she wants you to do the same.
Q: What pulled you into the music world, and how did you learn your craft?
Lee K: Music has been a big part of my life since I can remember. My mom is a musician and raised my sister and I surrounded by it – she bought us our first CDs, took us to our first concerts, would sing us lullabies at night with her Guild F47. My first memory of dance music was listening to the cassette tapes she taught aerobics to in the early 90s. From there my love of music grew – and once I started going to raves as a teenager, electronic music became the center of my life. I spent all of my money on shows. I became very interested in DJing around this time and asked friends to teach me and was lent a pair of CDJ-800s. I played a lot at home and eventually began playing out, which I would argue is where most of the learning actually happens.
Q: How would you describe your particular style of music?
LK: Groovy, funky sounds – sometimes light hearted and sometimes dark – stemming from house and techno.
Q: Since your career started taking off, you’ve been all over the world. What’s your favorite place you’ve played so far?
LK: Ibiza for the island’s magic, Chile and Argentina for the crowds.
Q:Traveling as much as you do, it can be hard to stay grounded. What do you do while you’re abroad to keep yourself happy and healthy?
LK: This I think is one of the most difficult things to manage when being on the road. It takes a lot of conscious effort to maintain physical and mental health when traveling, which for me, very much ties into my productivity and as you said, happiness. Planning ahead and being aware of what you need to be functional is important. I try to make time to meditate and stretch daily (sometimes this means doing it in the airport or on a plane), drink lots of water, and find nutritionally-based restaurants wherever I’m traveling. Accepting that there will be stressful things that happen along the way and learning how be flexible is also helpful.
Q: What’s it been like for you to become a part of CRSSD? What do you love about it and what can we expect for the future?
LK: I’ve been there since its inception so it’s been very cool to watch it grow. What’s special for me is that the entire team is like family – from the sound and production crews to hospitality and everything in between, so naturally I love playing for them. As for the future? We’ll see…
Q: One of the top artists in the world, Richie Hawtin, picked you to play several shows. How did that feel and what was it like working alongside him?
LK: It’s surreal and an honor getting to play for someone who you respect so much. Every time I’ve played a show with Rich it’s been a fun experience. His team works tirelessly to put on each event that they do and you can feel it when you’re there.
Q: What shows do you have coming up in the near future?
LK: CRSSD Festival on October 1st as well as an after party the following night with Dubfire and M.A.N.D.Y. After that I will go to Lima for Superclub’s Anniversary. Phoenix, Chicago, Dominican Republic and Ecuador will follow before the end of the year.
Q: What’s your dream venue? Where do you want to play more than anywhere in the world?
LK: My dream venue is anywhere outside, in nature, surrounded by people that are lost in the music. Insomnia Festival in Portugal, Dimensions in Croatia, and Into The Valley in Sweden all look amazing…
Q: You’re working in one of the most saturated and competitive industries in the world. Ther’s so many amazing artists now, and more appearing every day. How do you plan to set yourself apart from the crowd?
LK: Yes it’s true, there are many many artists and that number is only growing. However I try not to think about what I’m doing in terms of, “what do I need to do to stand out?” You need to do what comes naturally for you. Play and create the music that you like, work on projects you believe in and work with people who you enjoy being around. I think people need to let their identity come together organically instead of going out of their way to be different. Generally if you stay true to yourself, you’ll stand out without trying.
Q: Speaking of other artists, who’s on your playlist right now?
LK: I’ve been in a throwback phase this week, so have been digging up some Frank De Wulf, Legowelt, and James Talk.
Q: Outside of music, what moves you? Where can we find you on your free time?
LK: With my dog, reading, going outside, eating, cooking, spending time with my family.
Q: What is the future of your industry and how do you see the music evolving?
LK: Things are constantly changing so I think it’s impossible to say. I can only hope that those who love the music continue to support it and that society as a whole deepens their understanding of why it’s important for electronic music to have its place. I say this in the face of things like overtly negative press in the States (see the latest LA Times piece), the threat of the fabric closure, etc. There’s still a lot of work to be done.
Q: If you could tell the world one thing about yourself, what would it be?
LK: Hmmm… I love wolves! I support a local conservation and education center called California Wolf Center and have “adopted” a lovely gray wolf named Kuma.
DJ Lee K Drops a Beat