Insomniac’s Metronome series features mixes from some of today’s fastest-rising electronic stars, as well as championed legends. It takes listeners deep across a wide range of genres, movements, cultures, producers, artists and sounds that make up the diverse world of electronic music.
Glaswegian DJ/producer KC Lights is still a fresh name in the international dance scene, though he’s swiftly ascending on the back of recognition from the likes of UK veteran Danny Howard, who’s hosted his music on his Nothing Else Matters label, as well as releases on dance goliaths like Spinnin’ Records—not to mention his suite of excellently produced big-room records.
There’s a definite reason for the strength of his productions: KC Lights is a trained jazz musician who’s completed a degree in music and was drawn to the dancefloor later in life. This musicality returns in his latest single, “Sundown,” which is prepped for the summery months and already shaping up to be a massive anthem. We grabbed him to tell us more.
Congratulations on your new record, “Sundown.” It really does feel right as a record for the summer. What’s the story behind it?
Thanks! It’s really exciting to see all of the support it’s been getting, and also amazing to be able to see the crowd’s reaction from playing it out in my sets. To be honest, it was one of those records that only took me a few hours to write (all the good ones do). It was originally going to be a part of another EP of mine, but after sharing it with my team and playing it out a couple of times, it became clear that it was destined to be a single.
I called it “Sundown” because I wanted to write a track that had that “summery” feel—a bright, melodic vibe with lots of energy, but at the same time something that was going to be powerful in the club at night. So, it has this daytime summer feel to it but takes you into the night, like the sun going down.
Things have been moving quickly for you over the past few years.
It’s been an incredible journey so far. I put every part of me into my music, so to see things progress the way they are—perform on some the stages I’m playing and be working with all of these people—is an amazing and humbling feeling. Danny Howard in particular has been supporting my music for the past couple of years now and has really helped things get to where they are. He’s also become a good friend of mine, so I’m really excited to be working with him and his label, Nothing Else Matters.
You’re a trained jazz musician, and I think you can really hear that in your arrangements. How does your training impact the music you make?
I think in general, being exposed to many different styles can only be a good thing for a producer. My musical background covers everything from writing classical compositions, performing in jazz bands, and composing contemporary electro-acoustic pieces, and pretty much everything in between. All of these influences are naturally going to be a part of whatever I do with music, and I’m happy it comes through in my records! It’s been incredibly useful to me, because I feel like I have so much material in my head to work with going into the studio. The more knowledge you have on different types of music, the more tools you have when it comes to writing your own.
You’ve completed a degree in music. What drew you toward the dancefloor?
Dance music really only tapped into my interests as a late teen. I experienced Ibiza for the first time when I was 17 and came home with a new understanding of what it was all about. The energy, love and general good feeling in the music really appealed to me. The dance scene looked like a real spirited community, and I wanted to become a part of it. Early electronic influences for me were artists like Boys Noize, MSTRKFT, Justice, deadmau5 and Daft Punk. Later, the sounds of old New York and Chicago house started to feel comfortable to me.
What’s in store for the rest of the year?
So much! Last year was a big one for me, but this one is shaping up to be huge. I’ve already played at Ministry of Sound, We Are Festival, the Wright Venue in Ireland, and did a surprise set the Area10 Miami with Solardo, Will Clarke, MK and Camelphat—and last year’s Area10 and Insomniac parties at ADE with Hannah Wants, Camelphat, Danny Howard, Redlight, Chris Lake and Baggy.
This year, the schedule is just getting busier. I’m performing at some really cool festivals—Snowbombing, SW4 and Creamfields. I have some Ibiza dates locked in and a load of others. My current single “Sundown” just seems to be growing and growing, and I’m so excited to release my next one! I’ve also been doing a fair bit of remixing on records from SAINT WKND, DJ Licious, the Magician, Like Mike & Dimitri Vegas, Diplo, and more! I also have some cool collaborations I’m working on with some producers killing it at the moment.
Please share some words on the mix you’ve put together for Insomniac.
This mix is shaped up to what one of my sets might sound like. I have a lot of new stuff from myself in there, including a brand-new dark dub of “Sundown” that has been going down great in the clubs—also, a couple of tracks from producers I’m really into at the moment. The Icarus guys are smashing it right now; seems like they can do no wrong. Siege is another guy I’ve been rating for a while now. Everything he puts out is golden and often finds its way into my set!
- Track List:
SAINT WKND “Make You Mine” (KC Lights Remix)
TIEKS “Sunshine” (KC Lights Remix)
MK “My Love for You” (MK & KC Lights Remix)
Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike vs. Diplo & Kid Ink “Hey Baby” (KC Lights Remix)
Martin Solveig “Places” (Icarus Remix)
Matoma & Becky Hill “False Alarm” (KC Lights Remix)
DJ Licious “I Hear You Calling” (KC Lights Horns Dub)
Becky Hill “Warm” (KC Lights Remix)
KC Lights “Sundown” (Dark Dub)