In our quest to source great drum & bass music for our record label we’ve secured our first release of 2023 from the other side of the planet!!
At just 17 years of age, Kybat (pronounced kay-bee-at) is quickly becoming a voice for a new generation of New Zealand bass music lovers, despite not even being old enough to get into the events his music is being played at!
We spoke to this exciting young producer to find out more about him, his music & his latest release ‘Free Falling’.
So firstly a bit about yourself. Where are you from, how did you get into music?
Originally I am from a small coastal town on the East coast of England but moved over to New Zealand at a young age.
I was always a musical child growing up. I took drums lessons from a young age, I also taught myself a lot on the piano. I started making my own music when I was about 11 years old using an online DAW called Audiotool. I was just learning how to put different instruments and loops together.
Is there much of a scene in your local area?
Drum and bass is definitely popular in my local area – particularly through youth / teenagers. It is always being pumped at house parties and people listening to it through town.
Do you remember first hearing drum and bass?
The first time I heard drum and bass was the iconic ‘Tour’ by Macky Gee. I remember I was about 12 or 13 years old, we were driving out to the coast and it came on through the speaker as someone played it through their phone. The energy I felt from that one track was incredible. I got home that evening and went straight on to youtube to find the track.
You’re in an interesting position in that you’re too young to attend the events where your music is being played!! That must be frustrating isn’t it?
It is frustrating being too young to attend events and raves where my music is being pumped a lot but it is something out of my control so the best I can do is keep leveling up my production skills and making better music. However, seeing videos of people having a good time and dancing to my music is so motivating. It is also cool to think that my music made it to the rave before I did.
Do people send you videos of your tracks going off?
I do get a lot of videos of people listening to my music. A lot of people found my snapchat account and I’m always getting sent videos of people listening, it is so sick to see.
How did you come up with your artist name? Is there any special meaning behind it?
I came up with the name Kbyat because it looks and sounds different to a lot of other DJ/producer names. It has no deeper meaning other than being yourself and not following what everybody else does.
I can imagine people are always saying it wrong? I know I keep spelling it wrong!!!
I’ve had a lot of people spell/pronounce it wrong but I hope the bigger the name gets, the more people will get it right.
The NZ scene seems to be incredibly strong right now. What local artists / DJ’s inspired you to do what you do?
NZ drum and bass is thriving and is leveling up every year. I mostly get inspired by a lot of UK DJ/producers but the New Zealand based duo Lee Mvtthews have always inspired me.
Blowing Up On TikTok
TikTok seems to have really helped push your name out there. What was it, do you think, that got everyone hyped for ‘How Do You Do”?
Tiktok has been phenomenal for me. I think ‘How Do You Do’ did so well on there because of the catchy vocals. Although it is wicked to see me tune all over tiktok at such a young age, I don’t want to be known as the “Tiktok DNB Kid“
What would you say to any artists that still aren’t using TikTok?
If you’re an artist and you’re not using tiktok to get your music out there, I highly recommend getting on it. It is one of the best for promoting yourself as the app is produced to make people explore and find new things.
Production wise, have you always set out to make D&B? Ever dabbled in other genres?
I started off my musical production by making hip-hop beats and selling them to rappers across the globe, I soon found that it got very repetitive so I started producing house, tropical house and different EDM subgenres and then naturally made my way over to making drum and bass.
It has taken time to find what kind of music I want to make but I’m grateful I’ve found it at a young age.
Tell us about your studio. What DAW are you running? Any hardware gear?
I don’t use much to produce my music, I run FL studio on one of my macbooks with some headphones and a MIDI keyboard. I do a lot of the work inside the DAW. I also use serum alot for sound design, however I would like to try out massive because a lot of people have told me how good it is.
A lot of people think you need a professional recording studio to make high quality music when you really don’t, you just need to have a good ear.
Do you have a particular plugin that you find using over & over? If so, what is it about that plugin that you like?
I enjoy using a lot of stock FL Studio plugins to try and show people that you don’t need to spend all your money to make good music. I use the stock FL studio plugin “Maximus” alot in my production.
Your release on Device was particularly well received. How did Rene LaVice hear your music?
Releasing on DeVice had always been a dream of mine, I love the label, the music and team behind it – such a sick record label. I was lucky enough to be a part of their DeVice Exposed 002 Compilation which saw the release of my single “Before”.
I emailed through the tune one night and a couple days later I got the email saying they wanted to use it. I just kept reading the same email thinking it wasn’t real. I was watching Rene Lavice set at Rampage Belgium one night and heard him play out my tune to all those people – one of the highlights of my career so far.
I’m lucky enough to have another release with them this year.
We first started discussing getting a release for LoveThatBass last summer, so this has been a long time coming. Tell us about ‘Free Falling’, any stories behind the release?
“Free Falling” was one of the first productions where I really tried to make a song rather than a beat so it’s quite a special track in that sense. I think it encapsulates a special time in my life and career where there was a lot of change and just adapting to new situations and surroundings around me.
I feel very grateful to be able to release the track with the LoveThatBass crew and I’m looking forward to working together in the future.
Finally tell us what’s next… This is really just the start of your journey. Any goals you’re hoping to achieve?
My goals for the future are to just keep sharing high-quality music, collaborate with vocalists/producers and make music for people to enjoy.
More Music For You
Have a listen to all the freshest drum & bass on our very own LoveThatBass record label. Our music covers the full spectrum of the jungle / dnb genre with tracks from the likes of Kleu, Waypoint, Glitch City, AKAS, Jaydan, Georgia Phoenix, Oversight & more!