Interview – K-OS

The artistic and humble musical explosive named K-OS talks about his new material, Toronto’s music scene and the handful of talented guests scheduled to appear on his new record.


Where was your upcoming album, Yes!, recorded?

I started recording it at home, just in my bedroom. Then I went to Vancouver this summer, hung out incessantly with friends and a landslide of songs came to me. Of course coming back to the block in Toronto and randomly jumping into the studio helped as well.


What were your main inspirations while writing the tracks for the latest album?

The main inspiration was this line from a Sam Roberts song: “I feel more alone than the children of a dying breed” (laughs). I was probably motivated mostly by the threat of becoming an extinct musical species and also that thing called summer love!


Why the title Yes!?

It’s positive! And I will not be told NO by myself to my life dreams.


In the past you have collaborated with a variety of musicians. Can fans expect any collaborations on the new album?

YES! Saukrates, Nelly Furtado, Emily Haines (Metric) and Murray Lightburn (The Dears). All friends – who like me – have been waiting for the right song to fall from the ether so we could hang out!


All of your digital albums have been recorded between two to three years apart. Is that a timeline you like to use or is that just the way the writing process has worked out for you?

To tell you the truth, I wish I could spend more time away from writing albums. But the songs just start growing out of the ground and I see these buds peeking and I get excited and then stuff happens.


There’s no doubt about it, you have created a distinguished sound when it comes to your music. Do you think living in different places (ie. Trinidad) has had an effect on the way you write?

OSMOSIS! Yeah in that way I think all musicians are sponges. You hear stories of David Bowie moving to Berlin or Lauryn Hill moving to Jamaica and you hear their music change as a result. I read once that when a human walks down the street, there is like a “soul radar” that is emitting from the body and it bounces off the immediate environment and when it returns to the person it carries all kinds of information. If this “radar” truly does exist then it is useful when writing a song.


What do you think the music scene in Toronto is like at the moment?

Gangbusters! Which used to refer to great vigor, speed or success.


Do you think the Canadian music industry is on the rise or is it fading?

The industry? I have no clue. The new Metric record and the new young MC named Drake? EPIC!!! All well is in GOTHAM!


Are there any up-and-coming Canadian musicians that you are listening to right now and think people should pay attention to?

Drake! Foxfire!


Recently, synthesizers have been quite common in today’s music (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Kanye West, Franz Ferdinand). Do you think that sound is the direction new music will be taking in the next year or two?

If it is then I’m throwing all my keyboards in Lake Ontario!


When can fans expect to see you out on tour? Where do you hope to play?

Hopefully May or June. I think we are also doing something where the fans pick the venue!


Are there any specific musicians you plan on touring with this year?

Sebastien Grainger, You Say Party We Say Die and Thunderheist!


In 2007, you received five Juno nominations for the record Atlantis: Hymns For Disco, but managed not to win an award. Has that provoked you to explore your musical talents and work harder as a musician?

provoke {verb} – to stimulate or give rise to (a reaction or emotion, typically a strong or unwelcome one) in someone.

explore {verb} – travel in or through (an unfamiliar country or area) in order to learn about or familiarize oneself with it.

astral {adjective} – of, connected with, or resembling the stars; astral navigation; of or relating to a supposed nonphysical realm of existence to which various psychic and paranormal phenomena are ascribed, and in which the physical human body is said to have a counterpart.



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