KinderCrowdControl (aka KCC) is the culmination of years of music and art collaboration between the internationally celebrated fine artist Edem Elesh and lifelong friend Brett Smith.
Together they have helped several noteworthy musical projects including Landscape of Sound, Drowning Pool Music, and Mumbles. The music of KinderCrowdControl transcends musical boundaries. Besides pop creations, it has been used as soundscapes in many videos and featured as an integral part of art presentations and performances. Brett and Edem, the hub of KCC, have welcomed working with other musicians. They have celebrated the vocal talents of Thea Ulrich; featured the amazing saxophone, percussion, and drumming talents of Toby Karlin; and debuted the effortlessly inspired piano riffs of Griffen Elesh. In 2018, Edem met the celebrated Croatian artist Sandra Ban while on an international art exchange in Bangkok Thailand. After sharing their musical histories and interests, they agreed to partner. Now, featuring Sandra’s voice as “songspiel”, and mining her unique acumen to round out their sound with the human touch, KinderCrowdControl again moves forward into new sonic territories; continuing in the spirit of exploration, discovery, and celebration that has fueled their musical journey from the beginning.
What is your creative process like?
Edem: It starts with picking up my guitar, plugging in, and enjoying the instrument. After this, if there are any interesting riffs that come out of the session, I’ll make a note of them. Then it’s setting up mics and firing up Logic. Then, if what I hear is cool, and this is an important point, that it sounds GOOD AS A LISTENER, I will bounce a file to Brett for his input. If he’s inspired, we’ll schedule a recording session and lay down his parts. Then we’ll see where we are and listen to our interplay for a bit. Then we move from there. But this is rudimentary; there are many factors at play, but the crucial bit of info is: I do the work to get something going.
Brett: I like what Edem had to say, but I would add: that each of us has a unique way of finding inspiration. Some pick up an instrument and play. Some listen to other music and take notes. Some just find a quiet rock somewhere and just sit. For KinderCrowdControl, we use all these ways to find the “spark” of inspiration and then bring what we’ve found back to share with the group. We’ve operated as a collective from day one, and it’s worked very well for us. Also, we typically have 4 or 5 musical compositions working at the same time which gives us the additional latitude to let things mature naturally and never feel rushed.
What is one message you would give to your fans?
Edem: Enjoy the music, and a thousand thanks for the support we’ve received throughout our journey.
Brett: Keep supporting KinderCrowdControl. Like and Subscribe to our social media posts. Play our music to your friends.
What led you to become a music artist and what advice can you give to others aspiring to make a hit?
Edem: Ah, tricky question. I heard Baba O’Riley coming through a door in my prep school in England. I instantly wanted to belong to that world. Once in, I felt completely at home. Pure and simple. As far as making a hit; be yourself, be aware of the zeitgeist, and write stuff you love and would like to hear. Whether it’s a hit or not is out of our control. Really though, don’t TRY to make a hit, just make killer music. That’s a quote from the L.A. poet Charles Bukowski’s epitaph: DON’T TRY.
Brett: I’ve always been driven to create music. It’s in my DNA. It’s been a relief for the pressure in my brain. As for making a “hit”, there’s no perfect formula. But I do think that if you break down what you’re doing and simplify the parts, you’ll start to see your own path to crafting a “hit”. Keep it simple and don’t try to make the music fit the mold; rather let the music breathe and come to life on its own.
What about your music is rebellious, unconventional, or unusual?
Edem: We are, and forever will be ourselves. We don’t chase styles or genres but create sounds that are true to us. It’s always KinderCrowdControl music at the end of the day. It just happens. We’re honest. Being part of today’s music world is a blessing: anything goes.
Brett: I don’t see our music as being rebellious, but unconventional and unusual, yes. It’s not that we try to be this way, we just are who we are. We’ve chosen not to follow but rather to lead down a path that’s wholly our own. We can’t see it any other way.
Has your musical journey had a deliberate direction or did it simply gradually evolve in whatever direction it found?
Edem: It has definitely taken on a path of its own. KinderCrowdControl is our vehicle for creating our sound and brand. We do it because we love it. That love has brought us here.
Brett: Everyone’s musical journey will generally start off in a deliberate direction. Simply picking up an instrument and playing it can be loosely defined as a “direction”. From there we all must make choices along the way. For Edem, Sandra & I we’ve chosen to forge our own path rather than follow an existing course. Where the course will lead is a mystery and is definitely part of the fun!
When you create music, what is your personal purpose or goal?
Edem: To give voice to our musical art. To fulfill our purpose here. Creating beautiful, original, groovy music for whoever wants to listen.
Brett: To create music that listeners will enjoy.
How do you go about writing a song? Do you have a melody in your head and then write the other music for it?
Edem: Well, taking from my answer above, it’s usually letting the music take me where it wants. Sure now and then I’ll get an idea in my head I want to manifest, but usually, I’ll get ideas just from playing. It’s the doing that creates the music.
Brett: It sometimes starts with a melody and other times starts with a beat. There isn’t any one way toward the path of creation. The trick is to realize that there are many forces at work influencing our emotions. We just need to listen for them, hear what’s being presented, and then capture the moment of inspiration in any way you can. I like using the Apps on my cell phone to record those raw moments.
If you could pass on a nugget of wisdom to the next musical generation, what would it be?
Edem: Be yourself. Work hard. It pays off every time. There is no wasted positive energy.
Brett: Listen to the people you respect and don’t bite the hand that feeds. They’re only trying to help you.
What would be a good theme song for your life?
Edem: Baba O’Riley by The Who. Hearing it got me into music and still gets me every time I hear it. I love the message too. No need to spell that out. Check out the song. Fantastic.
Brett: “Time” by Pink Floyd. So many life messages in the lyrics and the music are perfect.
What makes you nostalgic?
Brett: Tomorrow looking back on today.
If you could learn any language fluently, what would it be?
Do you have any lucky items, objects, or traditions?
Edem: My Ganesh and faith.
Brett: Knock on wood.
If you were talking to a younger version of you, what advice would you give yourself?
Edem: Don’t worry so much. Chill.
Brett: Always be open to learning something new: expanding skills and knowledge will enable you to take advantage of more opportunities. Also, take the time to listen to someone else’s advice: ignorance is not bliss, it’s just ignorance.
Thanks for the great interview!
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