Behind the Beat: Kill Paris
Cory Baker, commonly known as the producer Kill Paris is back and better than ever having recently released his new track “Junkie”. Baker returned to his original producer name Kill Paris after changing it last year to Chill Harris due to the tragic attacks at the Bataclan in Paris. The name comes from Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet” and was adopted by Baker more than 13 years ago. Baker discusses the name change, his career and outlook on dance music.
Only The Beat: How did you start your career as a DJ and producer? What was your first official gig?
Kill Paris: I started playing guitar when I was in middle school, played in bands all throughout college. I used to play shows in coffee shops and places like that. When I lived in Nashville I did a “one man band” show every Thursday in this Bosnian restaurant. I had a guitar, bass, keyboard, Ableton and some drum pads. I never really got paid because no one was ever there. I mean like no one. But, I did get free food. So, that was pretty sweet.
OTB: If you had to pick another career…?
KP: Though I don’t understand most it, I love physics, quantum physics, and astronomy. I also wouldn’t mind working for UPS again.
OTB: You also recently changed your name back from Chill Harris to Kill Paris. Has the switch back and forth affected your music? How have your fans reacted?
KP: I’ve felt so great about it since I’ve been able to go back to Kill Paris. My die hard fans have missed the name, I’ve missed the name and damnit, I just want to be myself and release music! Everybody has been super supportive because they know what the name stands for. I’m happy to be back.
OTB: You recently released the single “Junkie”. Can you tell us a little more about the track? Production? Initial reception?
KP: It’s about the addiction to the chemistry of falling in and out of love. That rush that isn’t comfortable or something you can withstand for long, but you’re addicted to it. For sure the saddest song I’ve wrote and released, but it’s a reflection of the time I went through when I changed my name.
Kill Paris – Junkie (feat. Nevve & Monstre)
OTB: How would you personally describe your style and sound?
KP: Heavy Chill
OTB: Do you have any mentors in the industry? If so, how have they helped your career?
KP: If you keep your eyes open and your head on straight, you can learn from everybody. Skrillex really helped me early in my career, and I’m very grateful for that. Touring with Zedd on his first North American tour was so much fun and that set the tone for how the “vibe” should be for tours. Touring with Big Gigantic and Manic Focus really, really inspired me to just keep being me and remember to have fun.
I think focusing on the “career” aspect too much can really fuck things up. You can have a great career but be a horrible person. I look at it as working on being a better person. A good career doesn’t really have any merit if you’re a dick.
OTB: What would you say has been the top milestone or highlight of your music career so far?
KP: It has to be “time.” My career has afforded me time. Time to spend however I like. Making music mostly, but also time to explore other things I enjoy. I work all the time, but I love the work, so it doesn’t really drain my energy. I’m so grateful for that. This career has allowed me to make a living off being the best version of myself. It motivates me to work hard on the music and on myself. I can’t thank my fans enough for supporting me.
OTB: What is your favorite track the you produced and one that you did not produce?
KP: I love and hate all my songs almost absolutely equal. My favorite and least favorite is usually whatever I’m working on at the moment. One song that I’ve been so in love with (I’m listening to it right now) is Mam’selle by Pied Pipers. Makes me swoon.
OTB: What advice do you have for an aspiring DJ that is trying to get a shot in the industry?
KP: Find a way to be yourself, which might mean you need to change some things, but it’s the only way. You gotta love the music too, not just the fame and bullshit that comes with it. All that stuff is transient. If you don’t love the grind of making music, you’re not going to be happy.
OTB: Where do you see the dance music industry in the next five years? New trends? New technology?
KP: I never have any idea. I do think live performance is going to continue to be more of the norm. VR is going to change everything as well, interactive performances.
OTB: Outside of Djing, what are your other interests or hobbies?
KP: Where do I start!? Skateboarding, video games, LEGOs, quantum physics, yoga, Batman, RC Cars, slacklining, wakeboarding, rollerblading, Nerf basketball, meditation, zen, go-karts, coffee.
OTB: What can we expect coming up in the new year? Any new tracks or collaborations coming up?
KP: Lots of new music! I’ve been working hard on my label Sexy Electric and helping support artists I really believe in. Virtu has some great stuff coming out. Xie has some amazing stuff coming as well. It’s really exciting to be a part of a family and to help each other.