We had a chat with the UK's most creative and high profile beatboxing talent Killa Kella. He talks about his new single 'Reveal Your Inner Self' and where's left to take his music.
How's life treating you?
Not too bad. Got the flu at the moment, so could be better.
How's being snapped in the tabloids with soap stars effected day to day life?
I take it you're refering to my girlfriend? Well, it's never effected me. It only effects you if you choose it to. I aint playing up to tabloid scum man. Straight up. If I were to, then cars with camera's would get paint jobs. Straight up. I aint in it bro.
What material have you been working on lately and when do you think your next major project will drop?
My new single 'Reveal Your Inner Self' is out on the 20th of Feb and I'm really excited about that. Plus, I'm working on a new album for this year.
Tell us about the new single and what we can expect from it.
'Reveal Your Inner Self' is actually based off my experiences with the tabloids. Those "magazines" are the lowest form of journalism you're ever likely to read, so I'm gunnin' 'em. For the single, I got some sick remixes too from Plan B, Jackbeats, MC Trip and Super Furry's. It's fresh like mountain snow.
What are your hopes for it in terms of sales and exposure?
Sales wise, we all have high hopes simply because it's a wicked song. Exposure wise… I'm doing my own tour, then an 8 date instore tour with FOPP, 6 dates with Plan B, plus a showcase with Lady Sov' and Super Furry Animals. It's the most I've done for any single in one month. Watch the ride I guess.
What can fans expect from your forthcoming nationwide tour?
Stage destruction. That's my world man.
What's been the best place you've visted over the last few years of touring and who's been the best crowd?
London's my home town, so ofcourse, that gets my heart. But I have a great time in Oz, Canada, eastern Europe. Good times man! Love festivals actually.
You've pushed the limits of what beat boxers can do music career wise. What places are left for you to go?
International superstardom my friend. I don't wanna think too hard about what I've done, 'cause in my mind it aint finished. There's loads of things I wanna do and achieve. It's what keeps me going man.
In terms of your raw skill, how much further do you think you can develop and grow?
With my last album 'Elocution', the discovery of singing really pushed me in a creative place. 'Cause I had, have, such a wide vocabulary of sound, the singing almost merged my voice with the synthetic sounds and the human voice which was wicked. It's those kind of moments I search for and love. Child like creativity.
How does a beatboxer 'train' or improve his skill. Is it just about sittting around practicing and seeing where it leads?
You know, if I'm being honest, I've never really practiced. Well, not since I was 15 or something. It doesn't switch like that for me. I tend to get on one in sound checks and studio's. It's a good thing I guess. At least I don't walk around the street like a freak making noises at people.
Are you much of a rock head are you and how do you think beatboxing could work outside of hiphop and into different genres?
I been into old Heavy Metal and Rock since I was really young. I like the liveness and the showmanship. Bands like Iggy Pop, Guns N Roses, Metalica, Motley Crue, Sepultura, Sex Pistols. You know… Some other smaller American Glam rock bands. I'm not afraid to admit that.
As far as me pushing beatbox across to other places, I've toured with every type of scene man. Super Furry Animals, Ninja Tune, World of Drum & Bass, Get Cape Where Cape Fly, Nikka Costa, Dizzie Rascal to name a few… It's all about bridging scenes for me.
What do you make of the less traditional forms of hiphop such as Grime, and Dubstep too?
Love all music. Especially music with big rebelious balls. Not so much into that folky stuff that mums in tesco's would buy. You know, your James Blunt's, Jack what's his name… Not my bag. I grew up on Prodigy.
Who are some of your favourite UK beatboxers that you respect and would like to work with at some point?
That's a fairly political question. I love the beatbox scene man. I don't have any favourites, because there's so many people doing great things. There's so many beatboxers that I haven't even heard yet that are doing good things. You really need to check the scene for yourself.
How did you feel about the underground heads moaning about your Fruit Pastals advert appearance?
I thought they were jealous crabs. And I felt like I broke another barrier for myself.
Did you get a life time supply of the Rowntrees?
Nope. Jus' publishing.
Do you get stopped in the street a lot and asked to drop a beat? Did you ever think you'd reach that level of recognition?
Yeah I do get stopped in the street. Mostly at night for some strange reason. I guess that's the time when my people come out.
Never get asked to do a beat.
How can fans keep up to date with what you're doing and where you'll be?
www.killakela.com for all products, music, dates, live stuff, myspace links and stuff on Spitkingdom.
Have you got any shout out's you'd like to make?
Baby P, Spitkingdom, Spider, Trip, Skels, Rookwood. Mixo's, Badlands and does it offend you, yeah? Porge, Rocksteady, my boy Plan B, Sham DDS; Steaz, Zonk, Bosh, 2cold, Martin Rushant, Stunt Double, Indelible Crew, G10 and the Scratch Perverts. Shabba Ta!
Photography by Chekothari.com