interview with kojo

we are pleased to welcome Alex green aka Kojo as the second guest in our series "Avanyah's Interview Session".

artist interview with Kojo

We are very happy to welcome Alex Green aka Kojo Style as a guest in our next edition of the "Avanyah Interview Sessions". Today we talk about music, art, festivals and the Fusion Culture Project, a music event series in Israel.

Kojo Style

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Hi Kojo, let’s start from the beginning, when did you become involved in the psytrance scene?

I stated I guess like everyone else, going to parties when I was maybe 16 years old. Now I’m almost a 40-year-old, but I don’t feel like one 🙂

 

You definitely don’t act like one! 

Yes, I know, trying my best and hope it will stay like this.

 

When did you start producing music by yourself and why?

I started Broken Blender at the age of 17. Two little boys who ran away from school every day to reach my house, because I had a computer. We started producing music together, although I’m not sure you can call it music, it was pretty shit.
We played with the software and started to understand how things work there, how the production process work. This was in 1998, but in 2008 I stopped producing. I don’t remember why, but back then I even sold all my equipment. I started all over again in 2014, then I was more serious, because this is what I want to become, this is what I want to do with my life. So I bought all the equipment again, learned a lot from Broken Blender, even more professionally, and have been developing ever since.

 

And what caused the change, restart 10 years later?

Because back then I started with my friends the project Fusion Culture. I became more involved in the psytrance scene in Israel and knew that I would have a stage for my music, for my unique music, as well as more connections to be able to start a career with it. I got more involved in the psytrance scene in Israel and knew that I would have a stage for my music, my unique music, as well as more connections to start my career with. Mantis Mash also gave me some advice. He told me, “The best thing you can do for yourself is to produce music!”

 
Nice, very good advice from a very wise man! You mention the Fusion Culture project, can you tell us a little bit more about this project?

This project was founded by my good friends Elad Curdi, Yoni Pollack, and Guy Zappa. Three very talented guys. I was involved more in the art side of the Fusion Culture. I joined as a painter, concept designer, and sculptor. Fusion Culture is about creating a fusion of music and visual art, so they took me to this side of the production. I was also responsible for the organisation and supervision of the other artists in this project, rom the point of view of the visual arts.

 

So, the idea of Fusion Culture is to let the people experience the visual art together with unique styles of music and to allow individual artists to present their art?

Yes, especially the different styles of music. Because back then there was only psytrance. A very grown scene, but very limited in terms of music styles. We brought something new. We started with 200-300 people at a party and today we have a big group of 10,000 people here in Israel who follow and support the project, who attend our events, appreciate and enjoy this fusion.

 
Which kind of music are we talking about?

Psychedelic breakbeat, psychedelic drum and bass, PsyDub, an alternative to psytrance.

 

We already had the opportunity to enjoy the first edition of the Fusion Culture Festival in Israel, unfortunately that was also our last international festival since 2019. It was very inspiring to see the art around the festival and we enjoyed the great music there. We really enjoyed it, thank you very much for inviting us!

And thank you for coming! You did an amazing job with the artists and the art gallery. We appreciate your help! I love you guys!

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We love you too, it’s been a pleasure! Let’s go a little further and talk about your visual art as well. How did you get started with it? When did you start drawing?

I started when I was 3 years old, I guess like any artist who is good at something. You start naturally, with the first pencil or brush you pick up. But the serious progress I made with my art was after a course called “Frame by Frame” by Dream Works in LA. These courses were all about concept design. I think that was the biggest development, the biggest step forward I took.
They opened up everything to me. The vision, the techniques, everything. They empowered me to do anything, without limits. I was 27 years old at the time. I could draw before, but not like after this course. That was a decisive turning point for me.

 
What kind of drawing do you make, or what do you like to draw the most?

It’s my style, so very crazy 🙂
Something like Psychotic vision art, between wicked and psychedelic. I express my craziness with the drawings.

 

I can see what you mean. So, you can say that art was also your therapy…?

Definitely! Visual art and of course the music.

 

If you have to choose one track or one artist that inspired you the most, which one will it be?

Ozric Tentacles and Tipper. They had the strongest impact on me.

 

Let’s say that until now your musical style was very specific to you and truly expressing your character. Yet lately, or more correct, in the last two years you were working on a much wider project, can you tell us more about that?

Yes, two and a half years ago I was with Eyal, Master Minded in a couple of festivalsand I saw that the organisers and the audience really appreciated artists like Master Minded who have their own style and produce their own music. The audience was “ready” for other, new styles. Then I understood that I had to create something broader. Not only my own style, because it doesn’t fit on every stage or festival, as it is very extraordinary. I decided to create both, a bass album and a trance album.
I was equally enthusiastic about both, so in the end I decided to do a triple album with bass music, trance music and my style of music. It’s the first time I’ve tried to produce bass and trance. So when I thought about the name of the album, I wanted to have a name that would give me the power to do this and to be successful. So I called it “Yes I can”. “Yes” represents the style I love, bass music. “I” is who I am, my style and “Can” is what I think I can do, the psytrance music.
I also gave them additional names: Yes (Kojo & Bass), I (Kojo Style), and Can (Kojo on Acid). I think the names speak for their sounds 🙂

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Those are great names, excellent! And they really are reflecting the music and sounds. We love it! Are all of them already out?

Yes, yesterday was the last release!

 
Congratulations! So, you released three albums in how long?

Four albums 🙂
The first was an EP album, one track of each album of the trilogy. Two weeks later the first full album of the trilogy “YES” came out, then two weeks later the second album “I” was released, and two weeks later the last part “CAN” was out. So, four albums in six weeks.

 

Wow! Celebration!

Yes, it was crazy, still is. I am very happy and proud. It was a long journey, and I am happy that it is finally out in the world. It was hard to keep it only for me. I was waiting almost 8 months to release them from when the project was done, so it’s amazing that it’s finally happening.

 
We are very proud of you and happy that you tried new things, out of your comfort zone, it’s great!

Thank you. I think it’s the best way to develop ourselves , to go out of our comfort zone and try new things. 

 
Indeed!
Can you give us a small piece of advice, for other artists at the begging of their way? What would you recommend for creative inspiration, Musa, evolvement? 

The best way to start something is not to think too much beforehand, but to just start. If we think too much and plan too much, we are afraid of disappointing ourselves. So it is more difficult to get something done. Just start with the project! If it’s a drawing, take a piece of paper and a pencil. If it’s music, open the software. You need to warm up and develop through practice. Just let it flow and watch yourself get better and better through practice. Then the ideas, the inspiration will also come. But first you have to start impulsively. Train your brain to flow, stretch your mind, practice your techniques. Even if you don’t have time for it. Just 20 minutes a day to practice is enough and you will see that you get better with each day. Your inspiration is like another muscle in your body, you need to warm it up and stretch it constantly.
To be creative, you also have to have influence. If you are a musician you have to listen to other musicians, even if they are not your style. If you are a trance artist, listen to jazz or other styles. That will give you more ideas and more creativity. If you are a painter, search Google for other art or other artists. Be inspired by others, expand your knowledge, your boundaries and your mind.

 

True words! Can you tell us a bit about your daily routine?
What are you doing when you are not playing some gigs or producing new music?

There is not a day when I don’t produce music. I spend at least one to two hours a day listening to what I’m doing and practising, even when I’m not producing. I have a daily routine, a clear goal for each day. What time do I wake up and what do I do with my time. I dedicate the first hour of the morning to myself. I do some exercise or stretching and, of course, drink coffee. 
As soon as I feel awake I start creating something. Whether that’s music, drawing or a graphic, every day is different. But I always spend most of the day practising and creating art in different ways. I also spend some time promoting myself because we are independent artists and that is part of the job. We need to work on getting more people to enjoy our work and our art.
There is no other way, that’s what my day usually looks like. Occasionally I allow myself a day to relax more when I see that I have done a lot and made some progress. I always keep a balance between doing and being. I create spaces for myself where I can relax and take some time out. On those days, I usually relax and listen to music.

 

Which kind of music do you like to listen to?

Wenn ich traurig bin, höre ich gerne etwas Fröhliches und Aufmunterndes. Zum Beispiel Jazz, aber nicht klassisch, eher außergewöhnlich. Mit sehr guten Musikern, etwas was ich nicht nur “höre”, sondern dem ich folgen und zuhören muss. Für mich gibt es nie eine “Hintergrundmusik”. Music influences everything I do, and I do everything with listening, flowing with every sound, every subtitle. I perceive every sound.

 
Amazing. Can you tell us, what do you feel is the highlight of your career so far, or a memorable moment you would like to share? 

Future Music Record, the label that produces my music now. Part of it is Iboga Record and ethics booking. This is the biggest booking for psytrance. For me, to be in this label, is the top of the Everest. I am so grateful.

 
So from this high achievement, what would you wish for yourself next?

I wish that my main income will come from music and art. So I can leave everything else and make more music. I also wish to make an exhibition of my art, all on big canvases. And of course, as every music producer, I wish to play in more and more stages, more festivals. Especially in Ozora Festival, Boom Festival, and others. This is my biggest dream. To feel the power and the energy of the audience is such an incredible feeling. It is hard to describe it in words. The biggest “trip” that you can have without taking anything!

 
Beautifully said! We are also expecting and wishing for all that! I feel that you are very close.

Yes, it is just a matter of time.

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Do you have some past or future collaborations with artists that you can tell us about?

It’s a small secret, but I’m going to make a full remix album of Psy bass with many artists, such as MantisMash and Master Minded of course, Gumi and many more. It’s going to be 12 or 14 tracks in this album. For now, I also work on a new trance album. I want to expand my music and have more of everything, so I can perform a full set with my music and have a variety of styles.
I already have finished five tracks in this album, and two more are in process, so in a few months it will be already done. After that, I will start to invest more time in the remix album.

 
Very good to hear! You don’t waste time…

No, I am full power! I’m ensuing my dreams with all that I have.

 
Incredible! We are very excited to hear and see everything you give to the world! And very thrilled to get from you soon also graphics for our designs!

Definitely! I’m so excited! It is my pleasure! It will make me so proud; I love your clothing!

 
Thank you! And thank you for joining us for this interview and sharing with us all of this! We hope that we will see each other soon again and wish you  with all our heart  the best for your jurney.

Thank you! Miss you guys, hope to see you soon, too! And thank you for this interview! It was really fun 🙂

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