Dimensions Festival: Interview with Kozee
As you may have gathered from recent themes in my Music Mondays, I’m headed to Croatia for the debut of Dimensions Festival, which is kicking off exactly two weeks from today. You can find out full details and peep the line-up for the festival here.
After a handful of giddy chats about the fest and bass-driven music alike with Kozee, a DJ and producer based out of the Bay Area, we decided to take some time for a proper Q+A.
Kozee will be playing this year’s Dimension’s festival on the Audio Doughnuts curated stage alongside label mates Pusherman, Shox, TOYC, ADDJ’s, as well as guests Koreless, Dark Sky, George Fitzgerald, and Sei A, plus a special guest headliner and some additional surprises.
Kozee has been in the game since 2005 and is considered to be an integral part of the now burgeoning bass music scene in the States, drawing inspiration from multi-genre bass music. She’s toured the UK and Sweden, while also playing out across the US and doing her thing in San Francisco, such as recently playing a gig with fellow SF’er and former OUTPOST1 guest 5kinandbone5!
She’s also been busy as hell, to say the least, with eleven releases starting in 2009 and handful of giveaways along the way.
Needless to say, I’m very excited to catch this fellow Gemini behind the decks at Dimensions. Check out some of her sounds and hit the jump for the interview.
Read in your Dimensions bio that you compiled your first mixtape at age 7. Do you still have a copy? Have you had the opportunity to listen back with adult ears? If so, what was that like?
I have not been able to find it but I made a bunch like that, I would actually put different tunes on it and then like read a book, then try to interview my mom, and then like tell a story and add more music.
In getting infatuated with music so early on in life, have you always wanted to DJ/produce as your platform? How did you come into it?
When I left my first underground rave in Oakland, I knew I had to DJ and I knew that I would start producing too but I wanted to put time into DJing before production.
How large is your vinyl collection these days?
Ohhhh It’s very big, I’ve been collecting regularly since 1993 with hip hop and jazz, 1996 started drum and bass and dubstep in 2006 and then a bunch of random stuff in-between. I def love my hip hop vinyl the most!
Tell us a bit about your production process. How do you get into the mindset to create and what are you inspired by? When does a track feel finished to you?
I always need my desk work space to be clean and clutter free, I’ll also make sure my room is tidy and my bed made.
Most times I make myself sit down and work (even if I don’t want to). I’m inspired by chords and pads, they really move me.
I think I know I’m done with a tune when you can play it over and over and bounce it and listen over and over more and not want to change anything; it will just feel right.
How much of your day is dedicated to your craft would you say?
Oh god I feel so lazy these day (I have like vacation on my mind, bad! ) so I’ll really only dedicate like maybe an hour or two after work. The last two years (before the last couple months) I’ve been straight work horse mode, its all or nothing for me. But yea, there would be days I would work 8 hours, come home, work 5 more hours, then work throughout the weekends and not go out at all.
Did you create the design for your Bandcamp release? Did you make your Kozee logo as well How did you come to have the name Kozee?
Yea I have an awesome designer I work with. I am able to come up with any sort of idea and he is very good at creating what I want just from our email communication! Yea, he made the Kozee logo especially for me!
The name Kozee came about when I used to write graffiti, so when I wanted to DJ out I just used that name since it was already an integral part of me.
Are you still doing “Makeout Sessions”? What is it like doing a monthly in SF?
No, there are no more Make Out sessions parties. It was such a fun party at such a fun time in San Francisco Dubstep. I eventually stepped away from helping to throw or promote parties with that crew to focus on production.
Yea, most of any of the standard west coast producers and DJs most people know of know DJed and frequented the party. You’d walk in some times and it would be like the who’s who of west coast Dubstep. I got Loefah to come chill one night too although I’m not sure people even recognized him, he was so low key.
Where was “Makeout Sessions” hosted and what was the vibe like?
Oh yea man, it was such a fun party; it was in a super small venue on the most crack head street in SF, 6th street (heh). I think the combination of all our amazing friends running it with the time of the music was something we may never experience anymore but am so grateful for that time and will never forget it.
The vibe was off the hook! Vibe is essential, you can have a venue ram jam but if people are there for the ‘scene’ then I do not think you will ever get to understand the power of music and connectivness (is that even a word??) that it creates.
What is your favorite type of venue to play?
Like a nice boutique-ey 300 capacity place. Best vibes ever I think!
What are some current projects you’re working on?
I’ve been doing a TON of edits lately, and then getting some VIPs’ ready for the Dimensions and Baltimore gigs!
What are you listening to these days? Any recent “go-to” tracks or mixes during your day-to-day routine you’d like to share?
Hmmmm…. I usually listen to a shit load of Rinse during my work days, then on the iPhone I have my favorite Ben Westbeech XLR8R mix and the rest are tunes that I want to learn for my sets or just old rnb or rock tunes I used to love!
Heard you’re going to be on the East Coast following Dimensions. Any gigs planned?
No, I have no gigs following Dimensions; I will be traveling around and trying to kick it with friends and family.
What are you most looking forward to at Outlook and Dimensions?
Meeting and hanging out with acquaintances and friends that I have made through music……ugh and the warmth and beach!!!
Who are some DJs/producers you are looking forward to catching live out there?
Really looking forward to seeing Addison Groove (always love his sets!), Dark Sky, Blawan, Carl Craig, Moody Man, Kode 9, Zed Bias, Mala (always), Drum Machine (get my twerk on), I’ve not seen Jimmy Edgar yet, Fatima, and Author.
What do you absolutely never travel without?
I love me some Al Pastor, or Fish!
Thanks again for taking the time, Koz!