Rey&Kjavik has a preference for mystical and spiritual soundscapes in an electronic music context. His debut album, ‘Rkadash’, released in 2017, emphasized the artist’s state of mind and transfered the creativity of this significant chapter in his life to the dancefloor. With his second album, ‘Mountiri’, Rey&Kjavik crosses the frontiers of a visible reality being turned into an auditory experience and to become one in the musically experienced moment.
We caught up with Rey&Kjavik to talk about his latest album ‘Mountiri’.
Electronic Groove: Hello Rey&Kjavik, thanks to chat with us today. How was 2018 for you?
Rey&Kjavik: Thanks for having me. 2018 was a full scheduled year with lots of traveling, meeting lot of nice souls from all around the world. My second LP ‘Mountiri’ was released on my label RKJVK, and above all I’m healthy, which is the most important thing. It was a good year for me.
EG: How did you enjoy writing your latest album? Was it a fun process?
Rey&Kjavik: On past January I took some time off from touring to calm down and relax away from all the hustle and bustle. What ended up happening was that I spent this time in my studio in Frankfurt, and the result was ‘Mountiri’. I really enjoyed producing it and I had fun writing the album because it was a different type of workflow and style of working with everything – from arrangements and sounds to the dancefloor affinity of the individual tracks. The LP was done in one flow. Therefore I think that ‘Mountiri’ has to be seen and listened as one piece and something that was very personal to me, as it reflects an exact period of time in my life.
EG: What did you do differently from the last album? Did you approach this one in a different way?
Rey&Kjavik: ‘Rkadash’, my last album, was created in different cities such as Istanbul, San Francisco or Tbilisi – just to name a few. I try to produce music whenever I can, so I always have my MacBook and midi keyboard with me whilst traveling, so I can use my travel time wisely when I’m on planes or trains. My method for creating ‘Mountiri’ was totally different than before, but it felt fine by doing it that way. I will never hold myself back or even stop when being creative – or having these creative moments – and just let it happen. It allows the most realistic picture of my feelings at that moment.
EG: How much research did you do to find the authentic, oriental and dessert sounds that are infused into the album? How much is played versus sampled?
Rey&Kjavik: I do research a lot. I mean, if it comes to the point that some pieces of a puzzle are missing, you just have to keep searching until you’re happy with what you hear. That’s one thing which is the hardest – to say to yourself, “That’s it and I’m finally happy with it”. This is what matters the most to me.
The balance between played versus sampled is always totally different; the situation and tune decide for itself what comes together. With the use of more unique, rare instruments, what should be the most important thing is that it has to sound as though it’s being played by someone who is familiar with the instrument – otherwise you’ll hear the difference. What makes samples or collaborations make sense is to come to a result where it sounds authentic and you feel that your soul feels satisfied too. I started with producing in 2011, learned everything from scratch, and had a great teacher for all questions when it came to producing my music.
“What makes samples or collaborations make sense is to come to a result where it sounds authentic and you feel that your soul feels satisfied too”
EG: Where do you start on these tracks? With the melodies or with a certain mood?
Rey&Kjavik: It’s always different. Let’s talk about the album tunes, for example with ‘Saraswati’ I started with the melody because I wanted a new version for ‘Mountiri’ which sounds more like classic instruments assembling. For ‘Nahimana’ I had the particular vocal idea in my head after a Venice Beach walk where I heard Indians singing on the sidewalk. On the closing track ‘Mountiri’ I wanted to have this particular percussion build up for a nice album finale, so creating the percussion came first. Generally I try not to set myself any creative limitations and work as free as possible on my music.
EG: The album is finished now, do you have further plans to make more music for the dance floor?
Rey&Kjavik: To be honest, I don’t follow plans like this; my last dancefloor single was ‘Iye Mitena’ released on last August, which isn’t long ago. The album was basically completely done on last January, so way before my last so-called dancefloor single was finished. Of course, I always try to keep the dancefloor fresh with new productions – it’s where I came from – but on the other hand, I just love to produce music that I’m feeling in the moment. I never enter the studio and say, “Man, today we need a dancefloor tune, or whatever else, to move forward”. I always leave the studio happy with my result; whether people like it or whether DJs can play it, that not my focus or motivation. I always project my inner, personal feelings through my music and share the moments that I have experienced. That’s me.
EG: What’s in the pipeline for you?
Rey&Kjavik: In 2019 my team and I will be looking to bring original tunes from other artists into the label. For now, there’s just been my original versions and remixed works from close friends and artists. I’m really looking forward to this next chapter.
EG: Finally, where did you spend your Christmas and where?
Rey&Kjavik: I spent Christmas at home with my family. We relaxed and had a great time together – after last year’s busy schedule and this was the perfect time for it!
Rey&Kjavik’s ‘Mountiri’ LP is out now on RJKVK. Grab your copy here.