[INTERVIEW] KEYNES WOODS

We’ve got a Thanksgiving feast for your eyes and ears, as VIPER bring you the premiere of the new video from Keynes Woods! Along with the video for ‘Oh Lord!’ we have an exclusive interview, take a read and get to know the Canadian superstar …

From R&B chords to EDM drums, you have a pretty versatile repertoire in terms of bodying a beat. Do you feel, having lived in such varied landscapes – first Kinshasa, then Ottawa, and now Toronto – has helped influence the eclectic soundscape you find yourself in?

I think that definitely helped. I’ve moved around a lot and have seen a lot so it’s made me more open to trying new things. Also met a lot of people with different tastes and grew up with siblings who listened to music that I couldn’t really understand at the time but grew to appreciate. 

The cinematographic visuals for ‘Oh Lord!’, not to mention the beat itself, are eerily beautiful. What was the inspiration behind this?

I gotta give a shoutout to Anorak films for this one. We were trying to be bold with the visuals for this project and they delivered. They really liked the song and pitched the idea to take some old clips and sync them with the lyrics and I thought it sounded like a really fun idea. 

‘Oh Lord!’ harmoniously blends your high-energy, high-octane sound which we heard on your ‘Kongo Kane’ EP, released earlier this year. However, that project felt quite introspective whilst this song exhibits more self-confidence. What encouraged this shift and will we continue to see you grow in this way?

Oh lord was originally freestyle and I just liked the energy of it so I thought it’d be nice to throw it in the mix. Don’t think I’ll be going that direction moving forward though, but it was fun.

Your last music video, ‘Tim Burt’, which adopted similar hauntingly dark themes, was shot here in London so of course we gotta know what your favourite thing was about our city?

The people. I like the fact that I’ve never met anyone from London that talks down on the city.

As part of the collective ‘No Tourists’, we’ve heard you experiment with a drill/grime inspired beat on ‘Dumbo’. Do you have any favourite drill and/or grime artists from the UK? 

I really like Pa Salieu, he’s hard. Not fully a grime artist like that but I relate the most to him still.

Can you tell us more about your creative process in general?

I try to keep it spontaneous while still staying productive, so it’s different all the time. Sometimes I start with lyrics, sometimes I start with melodies; it really depends on the mood. I just don’t ever want this thing to become boring or too robotic because that’s not what I got in this for. The goal is to keep the process exciting and have fun with it.

How has COVID-19 and all its ramifications impacted your music, whether that’s been logistical issues or your state of mind and artistry?

It’s been really introspective. Everyone around me is healthy so I’m grateful. Spending a lot of time alone. Took the filter off my creativity and just let myself try everything while isolating. I feel good about what I’m working on so I’m in a good place for sure. 

What can we expect from you next? 

I got a lot of heat. Also working on a side business that I know will have a positive impact in the toy industry. Will announce it early next year.

@keyneswoods

Credits 

Lead photographer: STORM

2nd photographer: SXMBA

BTS videographer: Ryan Nisker

Art Direction: Eddie Cheaba 

Creative Studio: Anthem Creative Arts

Brands

Jacket: G.F.C. – GET FRESH COMPANY 

Trousers/ Joggers:  Atelier New Regime 

Shoes: Vans 

Interview by Ema Lillie.