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Kid Smpl - Star Ocean

The 22-year-old producer making lush hip hop-influenced electronic beats chats about his current sounds

It's one thing to be inspired by the greats, but it's another to expand on their legacies and create a new sound. 22-year-old Seattle-based producer, Kid Smpl, makes ambient, atmospheric bass resembling Burial or Brian Eno, but in a style all his own. His debut album Skylight, which was just released on Hush Hush Records, uses futuristic-sounding synths and muffled vocal samples to reflect the breadth of his production skills and the direction he's looking to take the ambient genre. With underlying hip-hop influences and admitted aspirations to produce pop music, one discovers that Kid Smpl isn't really that simple after all. Check out the extended version of 'Star Ocean' here.

What's your favourite sound right now?
Hydraulics? Robot sounds in general really. I like really dead sounding kick drums too.

What are you currently listening to?
Blood Diamonds on the Boiler Room

What inspires you about where you live?
The weather and nature within the whole urban environment. Seattle has a nice blend of the two.

Do you feel the 'night bus' genre applies to your music?
It's more of a vibe/aesthetic than a genre for me. Like I don't think it applies strictly to music. It's a label that I definitely fell into but I'm very accepting of. It's the general mood behind my music.

What has been the best and worst parts about making a full-length album?
The best part is that you have a lot of room to clearly make your statement. The worst is probably the amount of pressure that you feel from making that statement.

Skylight sounds like it has a range of influences, both ambient and not. What artists, if any, inspired the full-length?
Burial and J Dilla have been the biggest influences for a long time but inspiration for the album came more from personal experiences, my environment, video games (mostly the Final Fantasy series), and movies (a lot of stuff by Makoto Shinkai).

Who would be your dream collaborators?
Probably Drake. I'd like to produce stuff for The Weeknd, Jhene Aiko, and Rihanna too though.