Name: Kira Blush
Kira Blush is an electronic music duo, from Aberdeen & now based in London, consisting of Fraser Bush & Iain Forbes.
Their brand of atmospheric music for dancing has been released on HustlerTrax, EELF, OOUKFunkyOO and more. In May 2020 they reached #10 in the Beatport Deep House Top 100 chart & their music has found tens of thousands of listeners across the globe. They are currently working on new music, and are looking forward to the industry restarting so they can get stuck back into performing live.
Fraser & Ian’s Favourite Tracks
Best event you have ever been to and why?
Fraser – Honestly Lost Village has had a few cracking years, I love the mixture of high concept worlds, actors, and thumping tunes. I’ve also got to give Lovebox a shoutout – the team behind the festival are great! Wilderness is one that surprised me with one of the best stages for dancing at (The Valley) but, as predictable as it may seem, Glastonbury has to take the gold.
Iain – Primavera Festival in Barcelona. It’s the perfect mix of artists from different genres and the city & festival site are incredible. You can hit the beach during the day and see your favourite acts in the evening. Of course i can’t not mention Glastonbury.
Who would you like to go B2B with and why?
We always have a sick time playing together – if we had to add someone else into the mix it might have to be another 2-piece, so we can have 4 of us up front, and both crews making it a proper party behind the decks. If we’re getting imaginative… Let’s make it the 90’s again so we can hit up Daft Punk in France.
Who would you like to collaborate on a track with why?
James Blake… He’s a unique producer & singer/songwriter so i’m sure whatever we made would turn out great.
What first sparked your interest in electronic music?
Fraser – I came in through Drum and Bass, and Dubstep – artists like Noisia, Skream, Benga, Rusko etc. It was a sound that was so fresh! I had been making music in more traditional band set ups (bass, guitar, singing) for years, so I was definitely pulled in by the idea of being able to make a sound that no one else had ever made.
Iain – To be honest when I first started listening to EDM I was into people like David Guetta, Afrojack & Laidback Luke. It’s always a good entry point and as you get older and your tastes mature you can delve a little deeper to find some more interesting music
Which artists do you listen to the most for inspiration or enjoyment?
Iain – I don’t really have set artists I go to for inspiration. It usually just comes when i’m browsing Spotify or Soundcloud or even watching TV. The weirder the better… Shlohmo is one artist who always leaves me inspired.
Fraser – I think we both pull inspiration from all over the place. We have quite different tastes across the whole spectrum that meet in the middle to become Kira Blush. One eye keeping up with the scene, the other scanning the horizon. I can never get enough of the avant garde stuff coming out of London right now – Henry Wu, Yussef Dayes… Just after I moved here we snuck into an Oscar Jerome gig without knowing who it was, just cause it sounded so good from outside.
Why do you enjoy producing electronic music?
We can do the whole thing ourselves – we have complete control over every element of the track. We used to get bogged down in genres, but really it’s all about letting the track go where it needs to go. Our best tracks come when we are jamming together, feeling high energy and they just seem to flow out. Then the process of refining them is an experience in itself… You can just get fully lost in the sound for hours and hours.
Which are your all time favourite labels to dig tracks from?
Studio Barnhus, Numbers & Running Back usually do the trick. There was a period in 2013 when everything Numbers released was a hit. Steel City Dance Discs, Shall Not Fade, Distant Hawaii and (of course) Ninja Tune are some more faves.
If you could meet any person from the underground music scene who would it be and why?
Iain – I’ve been lucky enough to meet most of the artists I respect already through booking them for the club night I ran back in Scotland.
Fraser – Gerd Jansen… I imagine he’d be sort of like the cool uncle that has done it all already, but still has loads more stories to tell.
What is your favourite club and why?
Iain – Snafu was and always will be my favourite club. It’s based in Aberdeen, Scotland and closed in 2014 but that’s where I got my first DJ gig & PR job in music. It was a dark sweaty basement with a lot of great characters and it was loved by every guest that played there.
Fraser – Yeah. I honestly can’t imagine giving a different answer – Snafu had a great community around it, and was at its best just as we were coming up. The closing party was insane, I think it lasted about 3 days, and loads of people were just trying to take a piece of it home with them.
What is your go to guilty pleasure track and why?
Iain – I love everything on the label PC Music – SOPHIE, AG Cook, Hannah Diamond. A lot of the music is really weird but i can’t get enough. If we are taking full on cheese track then it has to be Gotye – Somebody I Used To Know. I rediscovered it during lockdown and haven’t been able to stop listening…
Which came first for you, producing or DJing, Do you prefer one medium more over the other?
Producing came first for us both, we’ve both had loads of old projects that have bitten the dust over the years (EDM under the name Pixelduck… Dubstep under the name filofox… oh dear). Producing music has always been the centre of our musical world, and we’ve been making music together and separately for the last 10 years at least. There’s absolutely nothing like the buzz of performing live though – Iain’s party NMTS always makes for some wild sets.
What is the music scene like in London at the moment?
Well at the moment it’s non existent thanks to our friend Corona…. Live streams have been keeping us sane.
Which clubs do you like to play at and why?
We like small clubs with ground level DJ booths. Always makes for a more intimate and fun party. Everyone feels more part of the experience.
If you could offer one piece of advice to new DJ/Producers what would it be?
Fraser – Don’t be confined to just one sound. There is no substitute for logging time making music. Not everything you make has to be put out. Don’t get discouraged when you can’t make a track you love sound like it does in your head – save it and come back to it when you’ve got more skills.
Iain – Learn the basics of production before buying 100 analog synths and drum machines. Seen far too many young people jumping in at the deep end. Also learn how to mix down tracks as early as possible, it’s very important and is something i wish i had started younger.
Can you describe your idea of an ideal DJ set, what tracks would you include?
Hard question! Every set should be different. There is a time and a place for every record and you have to read the crowd, at the end of the day they are the one who is paid the money so you shouldn’t always be trying to feed your own ego by playing obscure tracks from youtube with 250 views imo.
What was the first single/record/album that really meant something to you and why?
Fraser – I remember secretly staying up late at night, hiding under the covers with a torch & a walkman playing The Eminem Show over and over again, trying not to wake up my parents…
Iain – Limp Bizkit – Chocolate Starfish & The Hot Dog Flavoured Water… One of the first albums I really loved even though I wasn’t allowed to listen to every track because of all the swearing ha. It had a lot of energy and opened my world up to music I had never heard before.
How did you learn how to produce?
Iain – I got FL studio about 10 years ago and just started messing around, i didn’t really know what i was doing and i still don’t! We are all constantly learning.
Fraser – I also started on FL Studio, most of my first productions sounded like Nintendo soundtracks. I learned more synthesis from Youtube tutorials & how to treat samples, mix down, effects etc over time. Then found how to create space & make my own sound from there. Must have spent thousands of hours on various DAWs since I started in my bedroom at 14… Worth it.
How did you form the DJ/Producer partnership?
We used to live on the same street when we were younger! Then one day we realised we had both been sharing tracks online and decided to meet up. We’ve been making music on and off for around 8 years but we things have started to finally take off under our ‘Kira Blush’ project.
How would you describe your production style and overall sound?
I wouldn’t say we had a set sound. The new music we’ve got in the pipeline doesn’t sound like anything we’ve done before. We recently learned to just sit down and make whatever music comes to our head first and not go chasing after a certain sound we’d heard before. The track we’ve done for you guys is a lo-fi groover.