Kodak to Graph talks inspiration, hiking, and the future
2015 has been a big year for Michael Maleki, who produces under the name Kodak to Graph. He put out an genre-defying album, ISA, and is currently traveling the US on his Break the Ice Tour, with opening support from Big Wild and OBESØN. I was able to meet up with Kodak to Graph before his show in New Orleans, LA. His set was filled with trappy beats, complemented by spiraling-light visuals and his ambient influenced tracks. During our chat, the 23-year-old artist told me about his musical influences, living in Los Angeles, and who he’s been listening to lately. Check out our conversation below.
Only the Beat: How long have you been making music as Kodak to Graph?
Kodak to Graph: Kodak to Graph started when I was 19, so 2010. It’s been about five years now, which is crazy.
OTB: Your new album, ISA, blends together a lot of different elements to create its own sound and is pretty different from your other work. Can you tell me a bit about the creative process behind the production of the album?
KTG: I started writing the record like three years ago in Pensacola. It encapsulates a lot that has happened to me over the last three years, like musical changes and stuff. I moved to Gainesville and continued writing there. I was spending a lot of time hiking and I was very reclusive in Gainesville, just writing music.
I started touring while I was living there and continued writing throughout that whole process as well. Eventually, I moved to LA after spending more time touring, so I was getting to see a lot of the country and I was really inspired by things I was seeing and people I was playing with. I was able to pull from a lot of the bands I was touring with and music I was listening to at the time. I was listening to a lot of ambient music and club music, so I wanted to fuse those two worlds.
OTB: Is there any particular way you like to describe your sound?
KTG: I mean, the biggest umbrella term for it is just ‘experimental electronic music.’ It’s so all over the place, it’s hard to actual pin down what it is.
OTB: I saw your show last year when you were touring with ODESZA as an opener. How does headlining a tour compare to opening?
KTG: It’s a lot more work than supporting another artist. [As an opener], you’re just there playing music. The whole tour is run by whoever is headlining it. It’s been cool to see the turnouts at shows and see how it’s going. It’s a lot of fun.
OTB: You mentioned that you recently moved to Los Angeles. What’s your favorite thing to do out there, besides make music?
KTG: There’s so much to see within and beyond the city. You can be at the beach one day and then be up in the mountains the next…like in the snow, snowboarding. I try to spend every weekend going somewhere new and just hiking, chilling or exploring. Plus there’s so much music coming through. Everyone’s making good art out there.
Kodak to Graph – IAMANTHEM : Watch the full music video here: https://youtu.be/9aIiF1qQdPU
Posted by Kodak To Graph on Monday, March 16, 2015
OTB: Which artists have you been listening to lately?
KTG: I’ve been listening to a lot of this guy greyhat. I’ve been listening to OBESØN, underwaters like all the time, a lot of Allan Hawkshaw, Stars of the Lid. I’m trying to think of new artists…Oshi? Have you heard of Oshi?
oshi – mellifluous (Free Download)
OTB: Yes, he’s been blowing up.
KTG: Yeah, him and Mura Masa, plus Sam Geillatry and stuff. Then I listen to a lot of ambient music and old, 70’s television advert music. So all kinds of stuff.
OTB: Between your album and this tour, I feel like you’ve already had a big year. What’s next in 2015?
KTG: I’m going to finish up this tour and then I’m playing a few festivals this summer. Pretty much as soon as I get home from this tour I’m going to start writing new music. I haven’t written anything new in the past like two or three months. Hopefully I’ll put out an EP by the end of the year. I’ll definitely do some remixes.
OTB: Dope. Thanks for meeting with me!
KTG: For sure.
Stream Kodak to Graph’s new album, ISA, right here.
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