Interview: Kyle Watson talks S. African EDM, world influences and making waves at Splash House
Kyle Watson

South African export Kyle Watson is ready to tear things up with his eclectic sound here in the states. He'll be performing next month at Splash House, the Palm Springs poolside festival that always heats things up in the desert. 

AXS had an opportunity to connect with the much-in-demand artist before his upcoming show. He spent time sharing about his experiences and background growing up, his collaborations with some of the best house music producers around and what fans can expect next month. 

AXS: Growing up in S. Africa, who were some of the artists who helped shape and influence your own sound, both locally and globally? 

Honestly, all of my influence came from overseas during the early stages of my career. Switch/Solid Groove was a major influence in the beginning, as well as Trevor Loveys, Herve and the Dirtybird crew. I was drawn to the guys who were doing things a little differently to everyone else.

AXS: What's the scene like in S. Africa right now, and how does your own backdrop/culture impact your sound as you tour the world?

The scene in S. Africa is pretty good, although I feel we still have a long way to go. As with anywhere, some cities are better to play than others. There's a reasonably clear split between the markets, which I'd really like to see broken down. A large portion of the market in SA has been exposed to a very particular sound for a long time, but finally, some fresh ideas and techniques are starting to circulate. It's a transitional period at the moment and we've got some way to go, but the potential is great now to expose the crowds to something fresh and new. We have some great producers here, and when I tour I try to incorporate some of their music into my sets.

AXS: You've worked with This Ain't Bristol and Billy Kenny. Tell us about your experiences with them.

I was a part of TAB's first release which I think was roundabout the time Billy and I started chatting, so I've been associated with them for a long time. I love working with them, it feels like the right outlet for my music and I love their work ethic. Billy's crazy, but I love that guy!

Related: Billy Kenny — DJ, producer and collaborator like no other

AXS: Coming from such a large world backdrop to Splash House in August, what do you bring to the deck? What can fans old and new expect this August?

I'm so excited for Splash House. I've heard so many great things about it! It's cool to see something so different doing so well. Usually, I just get to play club and festival shows but this has such a unique angle. The crowd can expect to hear some of the older favourites, as well as a huge amount of new original material and remixes that I've been working on.

AXS: As you have toured and worked with some of the best in the business, from This Ain't Bristol to Dirtybird, your eyes have seen a lot and the potential that is before you. What projects and big plans do you have for the remainder of this year and into next that will get your fans not just excited, but expectant to see the next stages of your career?

I've been working on the biggest project of my career for a while now, and news about that is dropping at the end of July. I hope that it impresses people and surprises them at the same time! Other than that, I've just had the chance to remix Zhu & Tame Impala's single which is doing really well, so I'm really excited to see how the rest of the year will pan out!


Want to hear more from Kyle? Grab tickets today for Splash House and see him in Palm Springs, California this Aug. 10-12. Can't wait until then? Check out his SoundCloud channel below.