London-based DJ-Producer Kradiff gets to you with the debut EP titled “Dark Riff”. Dark Riff journeys through sadness, grief, and despair. It focuses on the daily struggles of a character who has had enough of carrying the weight of the world and is about to experience rebirth in a new avatar. “Groans of Misery,” “Lament Soul,” and “Unconscious Despair” make up the EP.
The song “Groans of Misery” is about confusion and not knowing what to do. It tells the story of a person who is given a number of options but chooses not to take advantage of them, continuing to bear the weight already on his shoulders.
The agony and suffering caused by holding onto things for too long is addressed in the song “Lament Soul.” The hypnotic melody illustrates how the soul cries out for release with each passing day and how monotonous life.
The feeling of unease and discomfort you experience when something is wrong but you do nothing to fix it is captured in the song “Unconscious Despair.” As if you’ve had enough of your problems and are ready to take control of your life, the melody gives you a restless, agitated feeling.
Three thunderous Progressive Techno tracks that will only let you rest during their ethereal breaks will blast the dancefloor with powerful synth explosions and relentless beats. Check out this EP and the exclusive interview below:
1. Can you tell us a bit about where you come from and how you got started?
KRADRIFF: I’m originally from India, and have lived in Dubai and Singapore before moving to London in 2020. I started my career as a Software Developer and Researcher in an algorithmic trading firm, and I loved working there. I didn’t have much exposure to electronic music back then, and this changed when a friend of mine convinced me to go to Sunburn Goa, the biggest electronic music festival in India. It was an eye-opener for me, and I made up my mind that this was what I was going to pursue no matter what and how long it takes. After countless YouTube tutorials and an online course later, I feel confident to put my music in front of the world.
2. Did you have any formal training or are you self-taught?
KRADRIFF: I don’t have any formal training in playing any instrument; however, I took an online music production course last year from Point Blank Music School. I’m glad that I did the course as it kept me disciplined during my learning stage. I’m still learning advanced sound design concepts and self-teaching how to play keys, I guess the learning would never stop.
3. Who were your first and strongest musical influences and why the name ‘KRADRIFF’?
KRADRIFF: Eric Prydz is the reason I make music. I fell in love with progressive house and melodic techno when I first listened to his track ‘Opus’. Fun story, I had a ticket to Eric Prydz’s first tour ever in India, but it got cancelled for some reason. Finally, after six years, I’m going to his show in Manchester in September.
If you reverse the first four letters of ‘Kradriff’, you’ll get ‘dark riff’. The idea behind Kradriff is to mix dark melodies into house and techno to create something that would take you on an emotional and euphoric ride.
4. What do you feel are the key elements in your music that should resonate with listeners, and how would you personally describe your sound?
KRADRIFF: I enjoy making music that tells a story and I approach it by creating hooky and relatable melodies. The hook and a complimentary bassline are the key elements of my music. In my opinion, these two elements are what everyone can relate to.
6. Do you feel that your music is giving you back just as much fulfilment as the amount of work you are putting into it, or are you expecting something more, or different in the future?
To be honest, I feel that I’m not giving my 100% to music. There is much more music to be made, and many stories to be told, and it becomes overwhelming when you have to create marketing strategies as well. I believe I still have a lot to grasp in this industry. With that in mind, I’m only focusing on working on my craft and giving my best.
7. Could you describe your creative processes? How do usually start, and go about shaping ideas into a completed song? Do you usually start with a tune, a beat, or a narrative in your head? And do you collaborate with others in this process?
I think of music as a way of telling stories. Keeping that in mind, I pick an experience from my life and try to express it into melodies. For example, a few years ago, I was very nervous when I first scuba into the ocean. As I further dove down, I felt joy and happiness. From that experience, I would make the verse portray apprehension and the chorus full of energy and euphoria. Once I have an initial tune and a bassline, I would then make a rough arrangement and would add different elements to have variations in the composition. I haven’t got a chance to collaborate with others but would love to with someone who shares the same taste in music.
8. What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your life or music career so far?
I’m a quiet person and I find it challenging to make initial conversations. I never thought of it as a problem until I started making and promoting music. The window for opportunity is very small in this industry and not taking the initiative may cost you big in the long run. I still find it difficult but the good thing is that I’ve identified the issue and am working towards it, small steps at a time.
9. On the contrary, what would you consider a successful, proud or significant point in your life or music career so far?
KRADRIFF: I believe I’m only getting started as an artist and still have a long journey in front of me. With that being said, the biggest proud moment for me was finishing my EP in four weeks. It taught me how to prioritize things and work on goals that matter. I also have my label debut for an upcoming track ‘Teeter Totter’ which is releasing on 16th September.
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