William Keen aka Keeno is one of the most exciting young producers to grace the world of drum & bass in recent years.
A classically trained, multi-instrumentalist, Keeno’s music transcends the dance-floor and enters the realms of cinematic beauty. Having been named in Knowledge Magazine’s top 20 producers to watch out for in 2013 and with support from the likes of London Elektricity, S.P.Y, Camo & Krooked, BCee and many more, he’s never looked back since. The Bristol based producer is rapidly becoming synonymous for his ability to add orchestral and cinematic elements to Drum & Bass on a grand scale whilst retaining a strong dance-floor impact.
Along with breathtaking production qualities, Keeno’s mixing ability has also been getting him noticed; not only did he launch the new ‘’60 Minutes of Med School’ series on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra but has also been jet setting across Europe and Asia to play to his devoted and ever-growing fan base.
After delivering two sensational albums since being tipped as one of the ‘Top 20 producers’ in 2013, the young prodigy is back with another album ‘All The Shimmering Things’.
The album, like Keeno’s previous two installments is another accumulation of ridiculously breathtaking music. Bringing his ability to infuse cinematics, sumptuous melodies to the fore, Keeno has delivered one of the albums of the year and we are giving you reasons why you should dig this masterpiece.
We sat down with the ingenious producer to know more about his album, his move to Bristol, his influences and much more.
Sagar – Congratulations on another fantastic album, Keeno. For an artist so young and so early in your career, you have now delivered three sensational albums. How would you like to describe your progress from ‘Life Cycle’ to ‘All The Shimmering Things’?
Keeno – Since “Life Cycle”, I’ve been able to spend more time writing, learning and experimenting. It laid the foundations for what was to come. This latest record represents the culmination of all I’ve learned as a musician in the last 4 years – a special moment, I must admit!
Sagar – As listeners, we have come to realize that your sound and maturity in your productions is way ahead of your age. Tell us more about your inspirations while growing up as an artist.
Keeno – Thank you! I was fortunate to be surrounded by music from a very young age. My brother was always playing the piano at home and teaching me all that he’d learned. I went to a school with a fantastic music department and was always encouraged to write (provided it didn’t conflict with school work… haha). Classical music was the world that surrounded me and is was what I learned at school – much of it from memory. Honestly, I’ve come to realise that my inspirations come from my experiences and the connections between two seemingly unrelated memories/ideas. Therefore, it’s hard to pin down exactly what took me down this path.
Sagar – We’d like to pay special attention to ‘Hidden Peaks’. We have seen glimpses of this sort of diverse production in your work with ‘Futurist’ and ‘Music For Orchestra’ In various forms. How would you like to describe your production style?
Keeno – I combine classical orchestra with drum and bass for fun and sometimes, it works out great!
Sagar – Having developed an immaculate maturity when it comes to your productions, How fluent was the production process while working on the album?
Keeno – I have quite a routine now when it comes to finishing music that helps keep my sound consistent. I did most of the writing in one chunk, then got the vocals sorted and then had a break. After several months away from a lot of the music, I came back to the whole pot (which at the time was about 20 tunes) and had a very clear idea of what I wanted the album to be.
Sagar – You moved to Bristol right after delivering ‘Futurist’ . How much has the move helped you in your journey so far?
Keeno – Indeed! I love it here in Bristol. It’s the perfect balance between town and city. Bonus features include lots of woodlands to explore and mountain bike trails to ride. I feel it’s given me a place to take the time to stop and think about what’s possible. Additionally, there’s a wealth of other drum and bass talent here to bounce ideas off and to get inspiration from.
Sagar – What is your ideal DJ set up?
Keeno – Take a look at my “Bristol Mix Sessions” setup – that’s basically it. I’ve got 3 x XDJ 1000 and a DJM 850. It’s a MASSIVE upgrade from my CDJ350s which I had at Uni so I’m definitely making the most of them!!
Sagar – Of all the drum and bass artists around, whose music moved you and drove you into producing music?
Keeno – I’d say High Contrast was an early inspiration for me. His remixes especially intrigued me – I felt he really wanted to capture a different mood to the original instead of simply re-arranging. There’s also a strong focus on the melodies and harmonies in all of Lincoln’s music which I appreciate. Other than that, I listened to a lot of the Spearhead Records stuff when I was at school – it just sounded so different and new to me. Such an exciting time!
Sagar – Tunes you are digging at the moment?
Calibre – Sunrise (ft. DRS)
James Everingham – Chasing The Wind
Culprate & Au5 – Impulse
QZB – Apollo