After teasing their pioneering new film series with an appetizer episode last year, Berlin-based DJ and producer Kevin Knapp’ Kevin Knapp and his creative partner Mario Münster are launching a video series about the often interconnected worlds of global cuisine and house music, hosted exclusively by YouTube channel turned record label Eton Messy.
If there’s one thing – other than house music – that Kevin Knapp knows, it’s good food. Several years in the making, Beats N Eats is the brainchild of Kevin and his creative partner Mario Münster who set out to launch a series that married the two separate but interconnected worlds, travelling round the world to meet chefs, musicians, DJs and anyone who shared their passion.
Following an appetizer last year, in this first episode, Kevin travels to San Francisco, and hooks up with Scott Carelli, Worthy and various other chefs and house aficionados with their feet in both worlds. The episode was produced by videographer Gabriel Santos and editor Matthew Freiheit.
With the episode launching yesterday, we caught up with Kevin for a chat.
Hey Kevin – thanks for talking to us today. We’re going to dive right into the serious stuff…
The industry is currently facing an unprecedented situation with coronavirus… how is it affecting you, and what do you think some of the long term implications of this will be?
Well first off thanks for having me. I hope you and the HMWL team are healthy and maintaining high spirits and a positive outlook. I, like most other DJ’s in the industry, have had all my upcoming shows cancelled or postponed. I was supposed to close the terrace at Space Miami for the Dirtybird Crew and also to play a festival I’ve really grown to love in SoCal and one of these was cancelled and the other postponed. I was really excited about both of those so that stung a bit. That’s tough, because since I took off my lawyer cap, I am only living from music these days, which means living from gigs. We’re all in the same boat though, so my situation is not special to me nor to so many other in the business. I would not be surprised if the market shrinks some due to those who could not weather the storm of losing crucial income during this time. I could see that panning out as gigs becoming even more competitive to land, and perhaps for lower fees while promoters and clubs get themselves back above water, but we’ll just have to wait and see. The music will always be there though, it’s too important to too many of us not to be.
Some producers have said that this is giving them plenty of time to get creative in the studio… has that been the case for you?
Absolutely. I mean if I’m honest, after losing a few shows I was really looking forward to and considering the sheer weight of what is happening in the world it took me a minute to be able to focus again, but humans are pretty adaptable creatures. So, after about two weeks of self-quarantine here in Berlin, my restless nature kicked in and I’ve been in the groove ever since. My fiancé and I actually just moved into a two room studio in north part of the city but we went and got some of the essentials and brought them home so we can work. I’ve got a bunch of projects & collaborations in the air at the moment, so full steam ahead with what I affectionately refer to as “work mode” Kev.
Do you think there are any positives at all that we can take from this?
Yes, absolutely. For me in a world that has become so divided it’s nice to see people coming together again. I’m even getting random smiles from some of the Berliners on the street when I finally suit up and head out to a grocery store or whatever. Yesterday I saw musicians video of people on balconies playing music together next to Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. In no way am I happy this happened nor do I wish for anyones health to be compromised by it, but I gotta say that in a world that was starting to appear pretty divided, maybe this is just the kick in the ass we needed to act with some love again.
You’re currently living in Berlin… how is one of the most socially and culturally vibrant cities in the world coping with a sudden shutdown of a lot of its infrastructure?
In general Germany seems to be doing a pretty good job with everything, as good as one can hope I guess. I get a little annoyed when I see young folks or people from our scene not taking this serious enough but I’m not seeing a bunch of that so that’s good. Then again how much can I see from my balcony? Supply lines are holding up great, although toilet paper and hand sanitizer can be tricky to find. We are not on official lockdown per se but we are not to be outside in groups larger than two (excluding immediate family and house mates) and it seems like local citizens are honoring that.
Let’s talk about something a bit less bleak… tell us about what music you’re currently working on and what you have coming up soon?
Well I just released Dig This on Dirtybird’s Miami Comp last week and peeps seem to be enjoying that. I did a remix for Andre Salmon of his track called Friki with a new up and coming artist buddy of mine Keith Kraft, that is out now. And I have another remix of The Glitz dropping on Katermukke on May 8th that I am pretty excited about. I’m also working on a big collab EP with one of house musics true pioneers but for the moment, that’ll just have to remain a surprise.
Do you have any bucket list labels or other artists you’d like to work with at some point in your career?
If I’m honest I’ve been blessed enough for a lot of that to come true. I’d love to do an EP with Claude VonStroke at some point and it’d be nice to do something with Jamie Jones again. Of course, Koze, Robag Whrume and Four Tet will always remain on my list as well.
Your Beats N Eats series sounds incredible! Please explains what it is…
Beats ‘N Eats was a thought I had a few years ago which I can’t believe has become a reality! It’s a streaming TV show I produce with my creative partner Mario Munster and the first official episode is released on Monday March 30, on Eton Messy’s YouTube channel.
Why is this something you feel so passionate about?
I often talk about my sets in terms of adding textural tracks and needing to achieve some level of balance, the same way a great dish does. I think the same can be said for approaching dishes in the kitchen and putting one’s self on a plate so to speak. You need some bangers, you need some bridging elements you also need some set up elements to stimulate and prepare the pallet.
I grew up with a mother who is an excellent amateur chef (among many other talents she has,) so she has been a big culinary influence on me in general. What’s interesting is that it’s rare to find a good producer that does not know their way around the kitchen and whilst trying to explore that connection viola, Beats ‘N Eats was born. That connection is fascinating to me.
What else is happening in your world right now?
I’ve started a livestream as many of us have called Kevin Knapp Captivity Cut’s to keep sharp on the decks and give the community an escape while we wait to get back on a dance floor together! I am also starting a record label soon with my fiancé, visual artist and vocalist Hutchtastic so be on the look out for that later this year.
With lots of us holed up around the world, do you have any thoughts on how we can all stay sane and help keep the industry afloat?
Donate to your favorite local club or promotional outfit if you can as times are really tough. Also I’d suggest using this time to relax a bit, take it all in and reset. We may not be back super quickly but we will be eventually and that’s for sure. Can you imagine what the world opening parties are gonna be like? Hang in there
Thanks Kevin, stay safe.
Hugs & High Fives – Kev