Known for his fat, chubby basslines, Kyle Watson has been perfecting his style of house music for over fifteen years. The South African-born artist has enjoyed a successful solo career with releases on labels like Solotoko, Armada, Dirtybird, hau5trap, This Ain’t Bristol, and Heldeep. Kyle Watson is also recognized for his work with Box of Cats, a record label/collective he leads with Wongo, Jeff Doubleu, Jak Z, Tom EQ, and Marc Spence.
The My Machines tour kicked off on September 16 in Tempe, Arizona, and it continues this weekend in Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Kyle Watson’s tour then travels to San Diego for a set at Beach House before ending on October 22 at Summit Music Hall in Denver. Tickets to Kyle Watson’s tour are still available. Read below for our interview with Kyle Watson, and don’t miss the My Machines tour before it ends later this month!
Your combination of flowing basslines, chunky percussion, and soulful vocals make your tracks instantly recognizable to fans of house music. What other adjectives do you think best describe your style?
I’ve had my sound called ‘chubby’ before which I think is a great way to describe it! My basslines have been called ‘crispy’ as well, but I’m not quite sold on that one haha.
Chicagoans have seen you spin at Spybar in 2018 and Prysm Nightclub in 2021. What was the biggest difference between those shows and the My Machines tour at Concord Music Hall?
All three Chicago shows I’ve played in my career have been pretty amazing. The thing I really enjoyed about Concord though was the way the DJ booth was set up on floor level, so the crowd was right there. There’s something special about connecting with everyone when you’re all on the same level.
The tour started on September 16 in Tempe and ends on October 22 in Denver. What has surprised you the most on this tour so far?
I think the fact that some people have traveled so far just to see me play these shows…that’s always mindblowing and something I could never appreciate enough.
At Concord, you played after Weiss, a fixture of the UK house scene, and later this month you’ll be playing alongside John Summit in Austin. Is there a particular kind of artist you prefer to DJ before/after?
I like to feature around artists that play slightly different stuff to me, maybe a little deeper or more towards techno, etc. I think that’s more interesting for a crowd and gives the audience an opportunity to be introduced to different genres & artists.
Having played at festivals like CRSSD, Lightning in a Bottle, Dirtybird Campout, and So Track Boa in Brazil, is there any particular festival you would love to play at next?
For me, EDC Las Vegas would be a great one to play. I’ve always been impressed by the scale of it and the production that goes into it, so definitely something that needs to happen at least once!
You’ve performed in nearly every continent. What are your best travel tips for a DJ touring outside their country for the first time? Any tips for those visiting your native South Africa?
Buy a multiplug adapter! No seriously, try to take in some of the local culture. Walk around, go visit spaces and see things, and find some food. And if you’re visiting South Africa make sure to spend some time on safari (we call it going to the bush). It’s just something you have to do!
What’s your favorite way of finding new music? Spotify? Soundcloud? DJ Mixes? On that same note, who do you think is the most underrated producer at the moment?
When it comes to house artists, I find most through Beatport, as well as through demos that hit the Box Of Cats inbox. Spotify playlists are definitely helpful too, but I don’t find myself using Soundcloud as much as before. Producers I’ve got my eyes on at the moment are Bleu Clair, San Pacho, and Truth x Lies. All are doing great things in their lane so I’m interested to see what’s next for them.
Are you aware that your birthday, February 2nd, is celebrated as Groundhog Day in parts of North America? Any thoughts on the tradition of asking a burrowing rodent how much longer winter will last?
I feel pretty bad about this but I had no idea, and the extent of my knowledge about Groundhog Day is that there was a movie made about it! Had to hit Google for this, and can confirm if I ever happen to be in the US on my birthday I’ll definitely head out looking for some seasonal info from a furry friend. Guess you learn something new every day haha!