Toronto-based Keys N Krates came together in 2008 with the intent to bring a different element to the electronic scene and create live jams using DJing, sampling and live instruments. The band places a special emphasis on their live show, developing cuts in the studio that they plan to recreate at shows using live instruments or instrument substitutes, such as hitting a drum pad and a sample kicker or sample 808 instead of a drum set.
Over the five past years, members Adam Tune, David Matisse and Jr. Flo have evolved beyond their live show, crafting bass heavy studio releases but with live performance still always on their mind.
“We’ve figured out ways to ourselves sound like we’re more than three people but without compromising the fact that we don’t want to play to backing tracks,” shared band member Flo when taking time out for an interview.” We still want everything that’s happening to be coming 100% live out of our hands, so I think that alone makes us kind of unique.
With a strong reference rooted in hip-hop, their particular brand of trap music has the trio gathering a strong fan base and recently earned them the number 1 spot on Billboard’s “Next Big Sound” chart. “I don’t know how much stock we put into it, but it’s definitely really cool.,” said Flo.”If anything it shows us we’re going in the right direction…if that’s the case we’re really happy about it. And to be number one on a list like that, it’s surreal.”
Since their start KNK have released two mixtapes, two independently released EPs, “Blackout” and “Lucid Dreams,” and a number of remixes and mash-ups. They have performed at major festivals including; Ultra Music Festival, Movement Festival, Osheaga, Wakarusa and have remixed everyone from Florence + the Machine and Nelly Furtado to Zedd, Bassnectar and Madeon.
Recently, the guys played a slew of shows at SXSW and are currently in Miami performing a number of club events for Miami Music Week. While on the road in between performances, and interviews Flo, Matisse and Tune are also working hard, putting the final touches on their upcoming EP, Solow.
To crafting the new album, and all their music, Flo talked about how the band finds samples and begins the process of collaborating, with each of them adding a certain sound or element to the creation, until it all comes together and then working out the way to best play it live. Not just with the instrumentation but to ensure that they get people partying, dancing and hopefully, even tap into their emotions.
“At the root of it that’s really what it’s all about for us, people coming to our shows. That’s where this started and when we make music we think about that…and how’s the crowd going to react,“ said Flo.
The trio recently released “Treat Me Right,” their first release on the Dim Mak label and the lead single off of Solow. The album is anticipated to release later this spring, and Flo promised plenty of releases to satiate fans while they wait for the new material.
Check out their single below and be sure to follow the band online to catch the trio’s next performance date near you for a live show.