"I don't want to be put in a box musically. I just want the listener to feel ecstasy when they hear my music"
SHA SHA KIMBO has an honest and sincere career. Hers musical selection and hers good judgment have crossed borders. The DJ sets and productions of this singular artist are a powerful statement, emblematic of her unfettered approach to hers. We take the opportunity to interview her.
Hey, where can we find you right now? How did you start your day?
I'm at my parents house in La Habra due to lockdown from Covid. I woke up, did some light yoga, drank some yerba mate and now just listening to a mix from one of my favorite producers- ICE from Knoxville, Tennessee. Can you tell us a little about your experience? Where are you from / how did you get into music? Was it all internet based?
I am from La Habra, California. About 25 miles from Los Angeles. My earliest memory of music was my dad blasting Led Zeppelin through out the house every weekend. Music was and still a big deal in my family. Me mother and cousin were always buying my vinyl records as a kid and CD's as I got older. They took me to my first concert which was Madonna and Technotronic. As I grew into High School i started going to raves in Los Angeles, Riverside and the desert. I was instantly hooked. Raves were full of electrifying sounds, art and people. I was always drawn to music and the subcultures that followed them. From the Grateful Dead to the local LA rave scene to Brixton's DMZ, it was really the music and scene that made me feel like this is where i needed to be. When I went to DMZ in 2008, i decided then and there that i needed to make my mark musically. The bass really spoke to me. A few years later I started producing and the rest is history.
Who have been your main inspirations (both musical and in 'life')? And how have they affected your sound?
Musically, I have been inspired by Mala (DMZ), GOLDIE and Fatboy Slim. My productions are an attempt to mix their sounds together. Immersed in the bass, the breaks and the big room beats is where I want to be. In life, I am inspired by nature. It is ever evolving. It grows, changes and dies. There is a beautiful cycle to it and I feel that adapting to that cycle is crucial to our survival.
How would you define your sound?
Honestly, I feel like it is always evolving. It's truly a mash up of 4x4, breaks and big bass. I don't want to be put in a box musically. I just want the listener to feel ecstasy when they hear my music.
How has your sound evolved so far?
When I first started I was making more bass heavy, deconstructed beats. As I grew as a producer, I wanted to go back to my rave roots and focus more on the old school sounds of house, techno and drum and bass. Are you the type of producer who can create music on the fly or do you need to be rooted in a studio?
I can create music on the fly. I get an idea and i try to put it down before it drifts away. What can you tell us about your latest release "Mind Your Head"? What have you wanted to convey?
Mind Your Head was really a tribute to my LA raver experience. I wanted to make songs that took listeners back to a very special time in history.
Could you tell us briefly what you wanted to express in each topic?
Your music is lighthearted How are you living the current situation because of COVID? Has your work affected a lot? Do you think there is hope?
Covid has changed my life. It has shown me how truly adaptable i can be. I have struggled with being content in the past but being forced into lockdown has made me feel really grounded.
As far as music, lockdown has given me the special gift of having loads of time to work on music. I have written more than I ever have. I have an EP coming out with WRACK from Japan in March and have another EP coming out on EVAR Records in July. All this music was made during lockdown. This time has really given me room to focus on music and grow.
Yes, I think there is hope. Without hope we really have nothing. I feel like the underground scene will continue to persist. Do you think we can go back to "normal" events and festivals?
One day we will be back to normal. It might take a few years, but you can't keep the people from dancing. People will and aree finding was to dance. It's human nature. What projects are you working on at the moment?
I am getting ready for the release of a collab with WRACK called Go To Mars. The music is a soundtrack to the idea of space exploration, particularly leaving Earth and discovering Mars and its inhabitants. Do you have any final words of wisdom?
Be kind to each other, don't stress too much on the little things and love is always the answer.