KCDC: Kirsty, Collette, Deanna, Charli. Four Bristol-based gals currently riding high atop the wave of collectivism that’s surging through D&B at the moment. With new partnerships, exciting combinations of artists and unforeseen features becoming the norm, these four have joined forces in order to create something completely fresh.
So, what is it? It’s a mutation of all their respective skills and experiences, a blending of four into one. Deanna AKA Enada specialises in Dubstep, Kyrist is well-known for her D&B credentials and both Collette and Charli are two of the most renowned vocalists in the D&B game. A winning formula? Possibly.
It’s undeniable, however, that with four people comes lots of moving parts and added room for error. We spoke to them to find out exactly how this works out in practice, what their release plans are and more…
Enada: Sure, I’ll start. My name is Deanna and my DJ name is Enada, I started mixing dubstep about two years ago but I’ve had an interest in it for about 10 years. I met all of these girls then joined KCDC.
Collette: Hello, I’m Collette Warren and I go by the name Collette Warren [laughs]. I’ve been a D&B vocalist for about 10 years.
Kyrist: I’m Kirsty or Kyrist, and I’ve been DJing for about 11 years professionally and producing music for around 9 and a half.
Charli: I’m Charli Brix, I’ve been singing on D&B for around 8 or 9 years now, I’ve been DJing for a year, I’m part of KCDC and I run a weekly event called Shotgun Sessions in Bristol.
Ah, I still need to get down to that! So, tell me about the birth of KCDC, what’s the origin story?
Collette: So, me and Charli were at a livestream event, AR Records, and we were having a wicked time drinking loads of Prosecco [laughs]. And then we were just like, we could do this. Why don’t we do a livestream, except we’ll do an all-female livestream, and why don’t we ask Kirsty and Deanna? It was originally just going to be a one-off livestream, a one-off party. Then we had a meeting…
Enada: Yeah, we were brainstorming about what we should call ourselves for a little while and eventually we came up with KCDC. Then we decided who would be best to design a logo for us and we chose Mr Penfold to do that for us. And yeah, we got various people to help us out with stuff like the sound system and decided to do all the décor ourselves in a tropical theme, so we all dressed up. So that’s the first story of our first event and how we formed all together, and now we’re onto the stage of getting some more DJ bookings and going onto our next event.
So how does a KCDC show work with four of you?
Enada: So basically we go through from garage into dubstep, then into D&B. Charli and Collette do vocals over the top of the music and we organise it so that we play their music as well, we blend that with other D&B like instrumentals and stuff.
Kyrist: Stuff that’s easy for them to harmonize over, so that it flows nicely.
Enada: Yeah, and then we also play a mixture of Kirsty’s music as well, we make sure that that gets involved.
Charli: Also artists from Bristol that we support locally or that we’re vibing with at the time, whether it’s D&B or dubstep, just trying to support people that we think should be getting heard.
Is there ever any tension in terms of the music selection or you guys very much on the same page with it?
Enada: I think it can be difficult sometimes because it’s me, Charli and Kirsty that DJ and I think sometimes we can get a little bit stuck when it comes to mixing our styles together. I play quite minimal D&B and I play garage and dubstep as well, along with Kirsty, and then Charli plays half-time & dark liquid and Kirsty plays more techy bits, so we do have to concentrate and make sure all those styles blend together really well. I wouldn’t say tension, but it takes thinking.
Kyrist: Yeah, if we’ve got a set coming up we’ll prepare, or tell each other what tracks we’re going to play so we can figure it out.
Collette: Because when you have a vocalist on your set you do have to think about it and make sure that it’s not just full on techy stuff, you can have those as well so you’re not singing the whole way through, but you’ve got to have the balance.
So, in a sense it’s a mix between a DJ set and a live performance?
Charli: It’s definitely more of a performance, it’s not just a prepared DJ set, it’s quite immersive and the crowd get involved and we had a really good response at our Red Bull gig. There was a group of guys at the front who were going in pretty much the entire time and yeah, good energy.
Enada: A showcase, basically.
What are your plans going forward?
Kyrist: We’ve got a gig at Blue Mountain Roof Terrace on June 2 for Rotations, and then we’ve got our next KCDC event but we still need to plan that. We’re also playing at Rave On Avon in May and St Pauls Carnival & Wide Eyes in July supporting Emperor and Monty so that will be wicked!
Charli: We try to alternate between dubstep and D&B nights.
Collette: It’s also quite hard to get all four of us together on the same night, especially during the summer, because we’ve all got our own projects as well.
What about in terms of releasing music?
Kyrist: Well at the moment we’re all working on solo projects, I’m trying to finish my next Dispatch EP and then I’ve got a few other bits to do. But we’ve definitely all discussed it at great length, so we need to sit down and just think of some ideas. Collette recently sent me over some vocals and I’m going to be doing a tune with Charli at some point too, but we want to do dubstep and D&B because that’s what we’re pushing in our sets, so I’ll have Enada being the ideas person when it comes to that side. But I’ll be the main producer for it and then we’ll just take it in turns to throw ideas into the pot and see what we come up with, but we’ve got loads of labels that we could approach.
That was going to be my next question…what labels would you approach? Kirsty you’re obviously very close with Dispatch, what labels are in the running?
Kyrist: It really depends on the style of music that we write, hypothetically we could come out with anything because we’re all so different. It kind of comes down to me in a way because I’m at the controls, but I don’t know really.
Yeah, I mean hypothetically you could take this to labels that are completely removed from the D&B scene…
Charli: Yeah definitely.
Enada: Yeah probably, we’ll approach dubstep labels as well.
Collette: Maybe one day we’ll have our own label…
For sure. In terms of format, would a first release be an eclectic sort of EP? I’ve got an image in my head of a compilation type thing, except with different combinations of you four in different styles.
Charli: In my mind that’s how I see it happening, as Kirsty said, she’s the lead producer and so is at the helm of it, but in terms of ideas and such yeah, we’d all probably introduce our own flavour. Cross-genre as well, because primarily Collette and I are D&B but I still love Dubstep and it’s nice feeding off the girls as well, because they bring that new bit of knowledge and then everyone can bounce off of each other. But yeah, I don’t know about the girls but that’s how I picture it.
Enada: Yup, me too.
Collette: Definitely, yeah.
So, how does it feel to be an all-girl collective? What’s the relevance of that in your minds, in the current gendered climate?
Enada: I mean we didn’t really think about it like that, it was more we were all just friends, on the same page and wanted to do it.
Collette: It wasn’t like ‘oh you’re a girl, let’s be together’.
Enada: We aim to inspire other women, definitely, and I think we have.
Charli: Yeah, we’ve had a lot of messages from women, men as well but especially women, saying how nice it is to see so many girls behind the decks having fun and absolutely killing it.
Collette: We’re on the mics as well as behind the decks, and then promoting it and everything else as well, so it’s across the board.
Kyrist: It sort of happened by accident really and we want to inspire lots of women, but we also wouldn’t be where we are without all the amazing men either that have helped behind the scenes. We can’t thank them enough really.
Charli: We have involved guys and when we run our events we try and do like 50/50 or at least an equal balance, so it’s more about the equality rather than just supporting women.
Yeah, and I guess the collective aspect doesn’t just apply to you four but everybody in your orbit.
Charli: Yeah and it’s also just about supporting each other in general, so many people compete in the music industry and fair enough if you’re that way inclined, there can be a lot of ego, but if you’re fortunate enough to meet people you want to work together with then do it, you tend to get a much better result.
Collette: And because we all live in Bristol that was another reason we decided it would work, if we lived in different cities it’d be a nightmare to get together, so we’re representing Bristol as well. Even though none of us are from Bristol [laughs].
What’s it like when you’re brainstorming ideas? Obviously, you all have your individual projects, how do you come together as a group?
Charli: I think everyone just respects each other’s individuality.
Enada: Yeah, we all know each other’s styles pretty well I think.
Charli: Everyone is aware of that and of their own styles, so it’s about knowing when to put your put input in and when to have a bit of compromise so that it fits the set.
Kyrist: We all have different amounts of experience as well, so we have to take that into consideration because some people might need a bit more assistance than others and some people don’t.
Do you guys feel really excited about this?
Collette: Yeah, really excited! It’s just all so new, we haven’t even done a set together all four of us, so it’s just so new and exciting.
Enada: We’re still discovering things new about ourselves definitely, and trying to keep everything together, and now we’re getting more bookings in pretty frequently. We’ve also come so far, literally this time last year we’d only just come with the idea and now we have a brand and people are paying attention to it. It feels a bit surreal because it’s happened so fast. We have so many supporters which is the main thing.
Charli: Yeah, hold tight everyone that’s been helping us push it, there’s been nothing but good vibes and good responses from everybody.