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Unveiling the UNSEEN with Citizen Kain

Known as the DJ’s DJ, Citizen Kain is a prominent figure in the electronic music scene. His journey in the music industry has been filled with remarkable achievements. He started from the French illegal rave scene and went on to launch his own label, UNSEEN, bringing an authentic and rebellious spirit to his craft. In addition to his own releases and remixes, Citizen Kain is dedicated to showcasing emerging artists on the label.

Photo credit: Citizen Kain – Instagram

His tracks are played by renowned artists such as Tale Of Us, Maceo Plex, Artbat, Solomun, Mind Against, and Adriatique. Citizen Kain has made a significant impact globally with releases on labels like Afterlife, Ellum, Upperground, Siamese, and Atlant. He has also performed at events like Fusion Festival, Marvelous Island, Ying Yang Festival, Les Plages Electroniques, Sunburn Festival, Spilt Milk, Les Nuits Sonores, and Piknic Électronik.

EG had the opportunity to chat with Citizen Kain about his latest release, ‘Around The Clock,’ a collaborative single with Florent Vazquez. He discussed the creative process and the time constraints they faced.  During the interview, Citizen Kain shared insight into his artistic journey, his love for music, and his commitment to nurturing new talent through UNSEEN Records.

EG: Hi, Kain! Welcome to EG. It’s a pleasure to have you here with us. How have you been? Where are you right now?

Citizen Kain: Hi EG, thank you for having me! I just came back from a tour in India, and now I’m at home to spend Christmas and NYE with my friends and family, as it’s my regular time off.

EG: First of all, congratulations on the release of ‘Around The Clock,’ your new collaborative single with Florent Vazquez! You must be very excited to share this one. What has the initial reception been like so far?

Citizen Kain: Thank you very much. Indeed, I’m very excited to finally see this track released. It’s been a long time since I’ve been playing it and waiting for this release. It seems that people love to dance to this track and it has a great mood in it.

EG: So, what’s ‘Around The Clock’ all about? Is there a concept or inspirational trigger behind this one?

Citizen Kain: Well, Florent is an old friend who moved a bit far from my house 2 years ago, so it’s not always easy to spend time together. He came to my home for a weekend, and we decided to make this track together during that time. It was a race against the clock to finish it on time! So we called it ‘Around The Clock.’

EG: How did ‘Around The Clock’ come about? What was the process of collaborating with Florent like? Did you run into any particular roadblocks while writing ‘Around The Clock’?

Citizen Kain: It was really easy. Florent is more into House Music, and I’m more into Techno, so we crossed over the genres. We built a strong Techno foundation and added a funky lead inspired by House Music. Then the track naturally came together.

“We wanted to create a platform to push young talents in the scene and give more exposure to their music”

EG: And the single is out now as a part of your UNSEEN Record’s own ‘Timeless’ VA. What was the process of selecting these pieces like? Do you have any help with the label?

Citizen Kain: Yes, of course. Members of the team and I received tracks from different artists, and I also asked some friends to send me free tracks. Then we selected our favorites to create this great VA. We are very happy with the result, and it’s doing really well on Beatport and all the streaming platforms.

EG: What else can fans of UNSEEN expect to find on ‘Timeless’? Was there a concept in mind when looking for material for ‘Timeless’?

Citizen Kain: We wanted to create an album that connects established artists with up-and-coming new talents. As part of UNSEEN’s philosophy, we wanted to create a platform to push young talents in the scene and give more exposure to their music. That’s where the VA came to life: from artists like The Element, Binaryh, and Oscar L, to artists like Anthon, RDJ, and others.

EG: Over the past few years, we have seen a significant rise in acts or concepts that rely on these large screens and stunning visuals. Do you think this enhances the musical experience? Or is it taking away too much from the actual music?

Citizen Kain: I love the concept. I think visuals, such as lights, are very important in a party. The only problem is that it takes up so much space at a party that people spend more time recording the visuals than dancing, which is a bit of a shame. Let’s forget about the phones and enjoy the moment! I also wanted to give a big shoutout to our visual designer, Karl Sfeit, for these amazing artworks!

EG: Also, the use of AI in music has become quite common after its initial introduction, which raised many eyebrows. What’s your stance on this?

Citizen Kain: In my opinion, machines cannot replace humans for music, especially when it comes to creating emotions and interactions. However, they can certainly help a bit with creativity. Personally, I don’t feel the need to have this assistance, but maybe it will become more relevant in the future. Who knows…

“Let’s forget about the phones and enjoy the moment!”

EG: Finally, can you provide some insights into what’s next for Citizen Kain & UNSEEN Records? What’s in store for 2024? Where can your fans catch you next?

Citizen Kain: We are preparing my next EP for the end of January on Unseen. We have also received some very strong demos from friends, and we are in the process of deciding what will come next. Additionally, I will be on tour in January in Dubai, Mexico, Tunisia, and my hometown. Then, I will be in Thailand for the entire month of February for some gigs and a holiday. We are also preparing a tour in South America for March.

EG: Thank you so much for your time, Kain! We wish you all the best for the future. Take care!

Citizen Kain: Thank you for this moment. It was a pleasure. I also wish you all the best for the future! Take care.

Citizen Kain’s ‘Around The Clock’ is out now via UNSEEN Records. Stream and download here.

Follow Citizen Kain: Spotify | Instagram | Soundcloud

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