Kebu Interview on Nagamag

Kebu

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Nagamag:
Which are the genres that describe your music style better?

Kebu:
I haven't found a single genre that would describe my music style, so I normally say "melodic instrumental synthesizer music, similar to that made in the 70's and 80's".


Nagamag:
Few words about your musical background and career?

Kebu:
Music was always only passionate hobby for me. I played some piano when I was a kid, but wasn't motivated to practice enough. It was first when I picked up the synthesizer in high school that I found my instrument. Since that, I played as a keyboardist in numerous hobby bands, and had small a bedroom studio as well. I worked as a project manager at a research center in Finland and have a PhD in energy engineering and environmental protection. So I always ended up being the project manager in the bands I played with as well. I started doing Youtube videos of me performing with various synths as synthesizer demonstration videos, but I used my own compositions. I quickly got a following and stopped playing in bands, as it was much more fun to do my own music and videos alone. Soon I had my first album out, and after my second album I quit my daytime job and started doing my music as a full-time job. Since then, I've given over a hundred concerts around Europe and right now I'm finalizing my third studio album "Urban Dreams", which will be out this autumn.


Nagamag:
Do you remember your first connection of love to music that was the right impact to be a music artist now?

Kebu:
I was always amazed by the synthesizer music I grew up with in the eighties. The sounds were so otherworldly and bigger than life, but the music itself was also interesting. And at that time, it was something new, and optimistic - the future seemed full of amazing opportunities.


Nagamag:
On your concerts, you perform with a very large synthesizer setup. How do you manage it? Do you rent part of your gear and how do you manage to perform at festivals?

Kebu:
My synthesizer setup is a very integral part of my performance. We have a big van full of equipment that we set up for each concerts, and it takes us 4 hours to set everything up. People always think I look so happy and enthusiastic on stage, but that comes partly from the joy when all the equipment is working as it should! But it does impose some restrictions. For instance, we have to travel by road and sea, and performing at festivals is really difficult, since I need so much time to set everything up. I have considered a smaller, flight-friendly keyboard rig, but so far I haven't gotten around to make one, because it would take a lot of time for me to prepare a new rig. My current set has slowly evolved during a time span of ten years, and there's a lot of mixing automation going on, since I don't use backing tracks - the music you hear on stage is generated by the synths. Also, I wouldn't feel comfortable relying on rented synths. It would take too long time to transfer all my setting to the synths and ensure that everything is working as it should, so I prefer using my own synths. But there are many countries where I haven't been able to perform do these restrictions, so I will probably have to make a flight-friendly rig eventually.


Nagamag:
What can we expect from your upcoming album, "Urban Dreams"?

Kebu:
My upcoming album is about dreams - both day dreams and night-time dreams. So the songs tend to be on the slower side and I've many of them have a dreamy quality about them. For this album I generated about a hundred ideas - from single riffs to almost complete songs - and chose the ones that suited the theme of the album. But I might have generated a bit too many ideas for the album, because I really struggled with turning them into full songs. And while I was working on them I came up with sections that turned into new songs. And all of a sudden I realized I had 75 minutes of music, divided into 20 tracks. I thought about splitting it up into two albums, but I felt that these songs were related and belonged on the same album.


Nagamag:
Many artists listen to genres that they are not producing music for. Which track is your favorite that is NOT similar to yours?

Kebu:
Peter Gabriel "In Your Eyes"


Nagamag:
Of Course Nagamag would love to listen also which is the track from a similar artist you admire?

Kebu:
Madis Carrying the Fire

Discover & Listen to Kebu

Kebu on Spotify

Kebu's Signature Track

Kebu on Social Media

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Kebu's Website

www.kebu.fi/