FLOW Soundtrack Out Now!

“(I)t was undeniably a KoFlow show and the gig cemented the idea that turntablism, and the hip hop culture it sprang from, has its place in the vaunted, posh confines of the Esplanade Concert Hall.”
The Straits Times Life
— http://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/entertainment/hip-hop-tale-of-overcoming-the-odds

FLOW is the soundtrack to a hip hop theatrical performance of the same name that sets out to tell the journey of the artist, DJ KoFlow (Wayne Liu), taking the route less travelled to become one of the top turntablist in Singapore. From boyhood troubles to representing Singapore at the DMC World DJ Championships, FLOW is a story about pain, doubt, love and the search for an idenity. The staging of the perfomance in itself is a landmark event as the artist became the first local hip hop act to headline a show at the prestigious Esplanade Concert Hall.

This soundtrack presents a selection of work that was exclusively written and produced for the show. Each song is set to mark out the various stages of DJ KoFlow’s life and crafted to reflect his influences, values and environment that have helped him to become the celebrated artist today.

Just like the performance, he has roped in the who’s who in the Singapore music scene into the studio and the list features a wide range of collaborators such as fellow hip hop artist ShiGGa Shay, powerhouse chanteuse Vandetta, pianist Audrey Teng and electronic producer/DJ Lincey.

Other than the musical collaborations, this release includes inspirational interludes taken off video interview excerpts that were screened during the performance. These interludes feature another stellar list of artists who have played instrumental roles in KoFlow’s artistic adventures. From Singapore Idol, Taufik Batisah, to globally acclaimed turntablist, DJ Shortcut, these quotes capture the ethos of KoFlow’s craft.

FLOW [Soundtrack] is the seed and core to the performance that represents the artist’s life. Even if you have missed the chance to catch the performance, this album is the next best thing to immerse yourself in the Story of KoFlow.


You can stream/purchase FLOW [Soundtrack] at:

▶  Bandcamp:  http://bit.ly/flowbandcamp  

▶ Spotify: http://bit.ly/flowspotify  

▶ iTunes: http://apple.co/2tn3BhD

▶ Juno: http://bit.ly/flowjuno

Under Covers: Kiat

Kiat's accomplishments in music have been well documented. As the head honcho of experimental audio-visual collective Syndicate, the godfather of Singapore's drum & bass scene, and a prominent producer on heralded labels like Metalheadz and Soul:R - he's (deservedly) been held up as one of tiny's country's greatest electronic music exports.

But beyond his exploits as an internationally-renowned DJ and beatsmith, Kiat is equally well-known in his day job as a visual artist. A veteran of the design and advertising industry, Kiat's celebrated work is just as prolific and boundary-pushing. Naturally, the multi-talented multimedia artist has also been combining his twin passions for many decades now.

In the realm of music, Kiat has contributed sleeve art to several notable imprints around the world (including his own), and designed a multitude of collaterals ranging from posters to fliers. Most recently, he's been tasked by iconic Metalheadz founder Goldie and drum & bass legend Digital to craft the cover artwork for the latter's In The Lurch EP.

So for this edition of Under Covers, we figured it'd be an opportune time to have a chat with Kiat about his visual endeavours.

 

Hi Kiat! Most fans mostly know for your music, but you’ve been a designer for a very long time as well. Could you tell us a bit about your background in the visual arts?

I’ve actually been into design throughout my life. Graduated from Lasalle and finished a degree in Multimedia Arts in Melbourne. After graduation, my first job was as an art director at a small design studio for about four and a half years called WORK which was started by Theseus Chan. From then on, I was in the design/advertising industry for too long! I’ve always been attracted to the visual arts in my childhood through multimedia cultures such as hip-hop.

What drives your passion as an artist and designer?

The desire to create and make stuff though different mediums. As well as a certain feeling that my work constantly isn't good enough for myself… that’s a lifelong struggle that has become my DNA somewhat. Or it could be just ADHD.

When was the first time you realised that you dual interests in music and design could intertwine?

Not so much design in it’s purest sense but my early experiences listening to hip-hop DJs play while artists paint in the background did leave a strong impression on me from an early age. In my secondary school days, I think the experience of going record hunting with my seniors during lunch hours and digging through the record shelves played a role. 

Looking at the artwork and wondering what the music sounded like was a large part of discovering how the two different disciplines are not that different, and can not only exist simultaneously, but also in a symbiotic way, where both actually benefit. When I started making music at a later stage, I found countless similarities in the creation process… just like how design or art leaves a physical mark on an object, music leaves a sonic mark on a canvas of time.

Could you tell our readers about some of your past design work in music?

Due to my relationship in the drum & bass scene, I’ve been fortunate enough to contribute sleeve art to many labels that I've always admired such as Soul:RFunction and Metalheadz. I think it’s a nice way to complete the circle by contributing to something that has always inspired me. Currently, I also do artwork for Defrostatica, a new label from Germany run by Booga whom I’ve known through music for over 12 years.

All these labels do give me complete freedom to create anything and it’s a good exercise to expand my mind to come up with something that is hopefully different and memorable. And of course, having the Syndicate label really allows me to have some fun and try out new directions which I normally wouldn’t for other labels.

When was the first time you realised that you dual interests in music and design could intertwine?

Not so much design in it’s purest sense but my early experiences listening to hip-hop DJs play while artists paint in the background did leave a strong impression on me from an early age. In my secondary school days, I think the experience of going record hunting with my seniors during lunch hours and digging through the record shelves played a role. 

Looking at the artwork and wondering what the music sounded like was a large part of discovering how the two different disciplines are not that different, and can not only exist simultaneously, but also in a symbiotic way, where both actually benefit. When I started making music at a later stage, I found countless similarities in the creation process… just like how design or art leaves a physical mark on an object, music leaves a sonic mark on a canvas of time.

Could you tell our readers about some of your past design work in music?

Due to my relationship in the drum & bass scene, I’ve been fortunate enough to contribute sleeve art to many labels that I've always admired such as Soul:RFunction and Metalheadz. I think it’s a nice way to complete the circle by contributing to something that has always inspired me. Currently, I also do artwork for Defrostatica, a new label from Germany run by Booga whom I’ve known through music for over 12 years.

All these labels do give me complete freedom to create anything and it’s a good exercise to expand my mind to come up with something that is hopefully different and memorable. And of course, having the Syndicate label really allows me to have some fun and try out new directions which I normally wouldn’t for other labels.

What’s your favourite track on the album?

Frankly, I really do like them all! It would be hard to pick just one really as they work as a nice little EP. But if you put a gun to my head, I’d choose the title track ‘In The Lurch’ as the mood is classic Digital, moody and cinematic!

Lastly, what’s your favourite album artwork of all time?

I can’t decide! I think it’s between Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew and Massive Attack’s Blue Lines. Very different styles but both iconic in their own right!