79 ‘Inspiraton comes from whatever i relevant t me at te tme. It’s important t be hones regardless of wheter it seems trite or verbose when you write. Te tric i t record everytig you can, because later you can sif trough it all and fnd rare gems.’ KALA MorE INFo j Website soundcloud.com/kala_seoul, ideosyncratica.com Groove Korea: What’s your defnition of music? KALA: Because I think in pictures, the imagery that the word “music” invokes in my mind is an infinite, multicolored fractal loop (a repeating, mathematical pattern vis- ible both close up and far away). Fractals, like music, are “beautiful, damn hard and increasingly useful,” in the words of Man- delbrot. The quality of “self-similarity” is expressed through the different genres, which on the surface are entirely different, but the deeper we zoom in, the more we can see that the key elements that make good music are the same: earnest dedication, love, fun and the desire to change something. There’s a math to music that is intangible. It’s in the ether; it encompasses everything. The joy is in discovering — to keep discov- ering. What is the songwriting process like for you? It gets harder the more I know because once I’ve set a standard for myself, I always want to do better. At times, the song just writes itself. It can be cathartic, when there is so much of me going into it that I’m al- most afraid to let that part of me float about somewhere and plant itself in other people ... or be lost. At best, it’s pure, undiluted magic. How do you hone your inspirations into a song? Inspiration comes from whatever is rele- vant to me at the time. It’s important to be honest regardless of whether it seems trite or verbose when you write. The trick is to record everything you can, because later you can sift through it all and find rare gems. What is the meaning behind the name you’ve been performing under? KALA was inspired by the title of M.I.A.’s second album. In Hinduism, it is a Sanskrit term for time. According to this mythology, Kala is “time personified,” destroying all things and sometimes identified as a god or goddess of death. The real definition is a little emo, so I decided to remix it a bit and own KALA because I acknowledge that death or destruction are the forebearers of creation. I wanted to un-create and create at will, to be and un-be whatever I want to be. I’m not affiliated with any particular reli- gion and my intention is not to appropriate anything disrespectfully; I guess at some point I may be confronted about this. But in all honesty, the name just felt right for me. When did you start performing in Ko- rea? I started emceeing with DJ-producer J-Path in 2010. We formed a collective, Low End Theory, which included three DJs (J-path, Heuristics and Helix) and two MCs (MC Lucid and myself). We held events in clubs around Hongdae and Itaewon and were featured in some of the major elec- tronic music festivals in Korea such as the World DJ Festival, Jisan Valley Rock Fes- tival, Pentaport Festival and Ultra Music Festival. Together with J-path, I performed alongside drum-and-bass industry greats such as Goldie, Andy C, Roni Size, High Contrast and Fabio, as well as a bunch of DJs from Hospital Records. I was a member of a DNB collective called Troublemakerz simultaneously, with DJ Fenner, DJ Yann Cavaille and MC Jake Pains. We did some festivals and university gigs and performed at the Boryeong Mud Festival. I’ve been exploring other avenues as a vocalist. I’ve featured on tracks with House Rulez, Rudepaper, Jake Pains, Pinnacle TheHustler, Elliot Ashby and producers J-Path, Scotty Soul and Blackthought. I occasionally session with a jazz ensemble called the Cavalier and I’m the lead vocal- ist in a deep house/jazz fusion band called M!LK. I try to stay busy and expand my “musical vocabulary,” so to speak. I guess I’m in the process of evolving into more of an all-round vocalist. How has Korea inspired your personal journey in artistry? I’ve managed to take the time to get to know myself here. My intentions for coming have shifted and it’s a continuous struggle working the 9 to 5 and having to manipu- late time to do what I really love. I’ve gained insight into my working habits and creative persona; I’ve been afforded opportunities to work with incredible people, inverted all existing ideas of self and excavated talents I wasn’t even sure I had. I can’t say that I’ve had many literal influences from Korea on my craft, but on a metaphysical level this place has been both my oasis and my is- land.