Kid Kenobi: Not Kidding Around

24 Jan

Kid Kenobi

Remaining relevant over the course of a decade is no easy feat. While the life of an international DJ/producer might seem like an effortless and glamorous life, there’s actually more to it than travelling around the world playing tunes. If you plan on being around for the long term, the secret is to keep evolving as an artist.

“It’s a challenge,” Jesse Desenberg a.k.a Kid Kenobi says from his Sydney home. “People like Miles Davis, they didn’t get attached to a sound and what they were doing forever, they had periods where they embraced new styles and pushed themselves and I think you’ve got to stay open to new influences.

“It’s good to have your own sound, but if you don’t embrace new sounds you fade away. You’ve got to find new ways to do the same old thing.”

After being voted number one DJ in the Inthemix Top 50 for three years in a row, creating mix-ups CDs for Ministry of Sound, and releasing hits like The Bump with Hook n Sling, it seemed the time had come for Kid Kenobi to do a bit of soul searching.

“I think for a long time I was doing a particular sound and I guess there wasn’t a lot of stuff I was in to and I was trying to keep the motivation and inspiration up. I was wondering, ‘Where do I go from here?’ For me it was time to put my money where my mouth is and to just get in the studio and start writing the stuff I wanted to hear.”

So Desenberg moved his studio to a basement underneath his mums place, a 40-minute drive out of Sydney.

“It’s been really nice to separate my work and home life, which I’d never had before. I think I’ve been a lot more productive because of that. I actually feel like I’m getting up and going to work – treating it more like a job.

“Personally I found I didn’t have a lot of self-discipline (working from home). I’d lounge around in my underwear till about one o’clock in the afternoon and then I’d walk past my studio door at eight or nine at night and start working. The next minute it’s like 1am and my girlfriend’s shouting, ‘What are you doing?’

“So last year I decided not to party so much, I started going to the gym and getting up early, being really productive during the week and pushing myself as much as I could. I decided that if I was going to start writing music, the best thing was to put it out myself.”

And so Kid Kenobi’s label Klub Kids was born. The first release is a mix-up compilation showing the two sides of Desenberg. There are the party tracks, of course, but the second disc is dedicated to dub. You’ll also find included some tunes he’s been writing with his brother under the Two Fresh moniker.

“Me and my brother obviously grew up with music together and he’s a DJ as well; similar stuff, except it becomes a bit more banging. It’s nice he has a slightly different approach to writing music. I’m always been about the bass and he’s more about the funk and making it groovy. It’s a nice combination I guess.”

THE PLUG: Kid Kenobi’s Klub Kids 01 out now

[An edited version was published in The Wire, The West Australian, Issue 10, 30.07.09]

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