With a new release ‘Everything I Love’ dropping on his label Slightly Sizzled, Kricked joins us on the latest instalment of the Little Talk series.
WWD: Hey Kricked, how are you, what’s good and bad for you personally right now?
I’ve been pretty good considering the circumstances I’d say. The shutdowns and closures were bittersweet in a way – completely halted our Slightly Sizzled events, label takeovers, warehouse & desert gatherings, which we were running pretty regularly in Los Angeles for some years, but it also allowed us to adapt, learn some new skills and connect with some new audiences. We launched our weekly Twitch streams, ‘Sizzled Sundays’ and developed skills in creating animated mixed reality worlds for our streams and built up strong tight-knit communities on both our Twitch channel and our Facebook Group, which now has 5,000 members that are active weekly. We also made it a point to continue hustling hard during the pandemic while it seemed many labels and top artists decided to go on a year-long vacation. This allowed our labels to grow significantly during this time: Slightly Sizzled Records currently sits in the Top 50 Tech House labels on Beatport and Slightly Sizzled White sits in the Top 25 Minimal labels. Besides all of this, I’m getting married in a few weeks to my highschool sweetheart and it’ll be our 10-year anniversary the weekend of our wedding! Needless to say, I’m pretty excited for what this next chapter in our lives has in store for us!
WWD: What would you like to see change about the dance world once we all return?
I would like to see the artists that went to work during the shutdowns be rewarded for keeping the industry alive during this time. A lot of us were really sick of seeing the same names on every lineup (even the underground was guilty of this) and most of those artists disappeared off the face of the earth as soon as things started to shut down. Let’s give the next wave of talented artists that rose to the occasion some of those opportunities when things reopen.
WWD: What have been the best and worst bits of the last 12 months for you?
Some of my absolute best releases came out during the last 12 months; my single ‘Da Hot Nation’ with Andre Salmon was released on Jamie Jones’ label Hottrax, had some of my music come out on Nathan Barato & Carlo Lio’s label Rawthentic, also Junior Sanchez & Demuir’s label Kultur, my first #1 single on Beatport with ‘Fish Steps’ on Whoyostro and many others. Looking back at the last year and looks like I had 36 releases in total which blows my mind, no wonder I’ve been so tired these last couple months ha! Other than releasing music, I was also really proud to be one of the only labels that took over the Desert Hearts TV Twitch stream twice over the last 12 months. Have mad love to the DH guys for bringing us in and allowing us to showcase what we are all about to their 100,000 viewers during each of the takeovers. We also were fortunate enough to perform on Beatport’s livestream as well, which was broadcasted on their Twitch channel as well as at the top of Beatport.com.
On the flipside, the worst bits had to do with mental health as it was hard to stay positive and creative when everything seems to be collapsing around you. We ended up figuring out how to best redirect our efforts to keep us as distracted as possible, but there were still many hard times. What kept us going was mostly reminders from fans who would say what we were doing was actually therapeutic for them. Knowing that we were helping some of our community whether it be through our Twitch streams or our Facebook groups really made it seem worth the extra efforts.
WWD: What inspired your new one “Everything I Love” on your label Slightly Sizzled?
The past year and a half really made us appreciate everything a lot more. With this track in particular we were trying to sort of capture that feeling you get when you think of some of your happiest memories where you can’t help but smile. We all missed those kinds of moments during this time so I like to imagine the track is set in an environment sort of like,”vibing with your best mates among thousands of friendly faces grooving under the warm sun”.
WWD: And how and when did you link with Andre Salmon for it?
I’ve been working with Andre for years on music, one of my best bros. We usually work on something new together every week for the most part.
WWD: Did you talk about the tune before you started, was there a plan before starting out?
Yeah, we wanted to capture that vibe I was referring to before.
WWD: Who did what on it, did one do bass and one do keys or something?
We sort of go back and forth as we go, adjusting earlier layers as one of us adds another layer on top. It was really fun working on layering the vocals and sculpting the bassline of this tune in particular, though.
WWD: The tune was used on an MK mix for Defected, right? How did that make you feel? Are you a fan of his?
Yep that’s right. MK has given Andre and I some love in the past when he played one of our unreleased tunes during his Mixmag mix over a year ago and then recently he surprised us again by supporting ‘Everything I Love’ during the opening of his mix for Defected. That was a really cool moment because it was the first time that I’ve ever seen hundreds of people asking in the comments for the track ID of a track I produced! As far as being a fan of MK or not, of course I am! MK is a legend. I was lucky enough to meet him maybe 6 years ago at a club in LA – he’s a really stand up guy.
WWD: What is the most important part of a tune to get right for you?
Swingy drums & the bassline for me takes top priority, but I also love chopping up vocals and having fun sculpting sound by automating fx as well.
WWD: What else are you working on/are you looking forward to?
So earlier in the interview I mentioned that we’ve been working on creating a bunch of virtual reality / mixed reality worlds for us to DJ inside of for our streams, right. So we have things like a Slightly Sizzled art car that we can explore different worlds in and DJ from the top of, firework shows all mapped out, pro lighting and laser shows and a bunch of really cool festival stages and what not as well. My goal is to sort of blend these into our live events once things open up again so that people that don’t live in the vicinity of the show can still join us virtually via VR or a device. We have been working on gamifying this experience so that those watching from home can do things like challenge other viewers to dance offs or other games and it’ll all be streamed live inside the ‘Sizzled world’. Other than that, more dope releases on cool labels and plenty of shows to come!
Kricked’s collaboration EP “Everything I Love” is out now on Slightly Sizzled Records
Grab it here – https://www.beatport.com/release/everything-i-love/3322950