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SXSW 2008 has ended
Thursday, March 13 • 10:20pm - 10:50pm
Killa Kela

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Killa Kela lives and breathes and speaks creativity. He’s been mad on it since he was a kid in Billingshurst, West Sussex, UK. This is a guy who understands the building blocks of the music, the beats and pieces that make it up. That’s how he crafts his tunes: bit by bit, step by step, all his own work and that of his crew. You won’t find a cheeky-pop or diggin’-in-the-crates old-gold sample airlifted into Kela’s tunes to provide tune-relief. He does it all himself. Of course he does. When you’re arguably the best beatboxer on the planet, you know a thing or two about conjuring up whole songs – entire mini symphonies – using just the tools at your immediate disposal. In Kela’s case, his mouth. It’s a unique skill which forms the basis of one the most progressive and exciting live shows from the UK’s shores. With Kela’s multi-vocal skills at the heart, weaved in and out of live instrumentation, Djing, singing and rapping (courtesy of his Spit Kingdom co-horts), it’s a spellbinding experience. Kela served an effective apprenticeship – touring with Jurassic 5, being mentored by DJ Vadim, serving time with the Scratch Perverts and Rocksteady Crew, throwing out low-key singles, being snapped up by Sony BMG, touring and performing with new-found fans Pharrell Williams and Justin Timberlake. Kela then released his first major album :”Elocution”. You might think you’ll know what a beatbox album might sound like: a bit Biz Markie (a bit old school and cool), a bit Clunk from Wacky Races, a bit of that bloke from Police Academy with the microphone (a bit, well, novelty). Not so. You frankly won’t believe the sounds you hear on Killa Kela’s Elocution. There are strings and piano, instruments Kela can’t work with his jaw. But the rest? The rest’s pretty much him. The mosaic of voices on the verses of soulful jam ‘Sleeping Patterns’? The sound of creaking woodwork on ‘The Door’? The appearance by pal Roots Manuva on the burbling, grimey ‘Here Come The Submarines’ and ‘Time Frame’ is Isaac Hayes remixed by Massive Attack. The Prince-like funk moves on first single proper ‘Secrets’? Killa Kela did all those. All that, and then ‘Killa Cello’, a brilliantly imaginative showdown-skit between our man and a violin on steroids. Sounds wonky, is staggering. The collective result was the vivid, ear-popping, street-cool album of the year. A musical landmark, with a cool British twist. The Killa Kela / Pharrell Williams link is an interesting one…and has influenced Kela greatly. The Neptunes’ production genius is one of Killa Kela’s biggest supporters. Kela first met him after hiding out at a NERD London gig, pre-soundcheck. After four hours’ wait, he got his audience. One 80-second beatboxed medley of NERD/Neptunes/Pharrell tunes later, a fast friendship was formed. Kela and Pharrell ended up recording a live Radio One session as well shows and tours in the US, Europe and the UK, including an appearance together at last years Wireless Festival in Hyde Park, London. 2007 saw Kela’s first new studio output since “Elocution”…”Reveal Your Inner Self” is a departure. It’s a departure into more aggressive waters. It saw Kela team up with one of the most sought after new producers making music at the moment: James Rushent of Does It Offend You, Yeah? (Virgin), and together they have created an intriguingly simple piece of music that oozes attitude. It’s raw, abrasive stuff but when set against a chorus chock full of creativity and harmony it forms a track of real diversity and interest. Think, The Prodigy meets Daft Punk – aggression meets melody. This is Killa Kela 2007. And late 2007, sees Kela release his “OnTour VanDamage” Mix CD. Expertly compiled and mixed by Plus One of the Scratch Perverts it contains 100% Kela material and truly shows off his undeniable diversity and originality as an artist : smashed together are brand-new, “fresh from the studio” tracks alongside complete re-workings of older material and all tied together by a rich vein of live recordings ingeniously interspersed throughout the mix. You witness Kela on stage staggering various audiences across the world as well hearing first hand how effortlessly Kela collaborates with a whole host of different artists : Get Cape Wear Cape, Fly, Wiley, Adam Freeland, Roots Manuva, Does It Offend You, Yeah?, Clipz and Plan B, just to name a few, all appear alongside Kela. It’s an amazingly creative listen. The new tracks exclusively previewed on the “On Tour Van Damage” Mix CD form the basis of where Killa Kela is headed in 2008 : with a whole stack load of new tracks under his belt and a mind-blowing live show to show them off in, one of the UK’s most creative musical forces is ready to explode… Press Update, Aug 3rd 2007 : Killa Kela found himself jamming live on-stage at the O2 Arena in London with one of his musical idols : PRINCE. Whilst Kela performed alongside Nikka Costa (who was supporting Prince), Prince unexpectedly arrived on-stage with his guitar and as the band faded out, Kela was left, alongside Prince on guitar, for what was a memorable musical work-out. Kela said “Now that was definitely one of the most ridiculously amazing things I’ve ever done!” While Prince remarked to Kela :”You’re a talented guy…that was fun.”
http://2008.sxsw.com/music/showcases/band/71187.html

Thursday March 13, 2008 10:20pm - 10:50pm
Fuze 505 Neches St

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