Kyan is a skateboarder and musician from London England
Skateboarding is the reason I ended up making music.
My first proper job came from skating on the street and meeting a director who got me a job at a studio in Soho, this led to me making music for adverts and releasing Drum n Bass for various labels like No U Turn Records.
Skateboarding taught me about perseverance, how to hustle and think creatively around problems or challenges and also ways to conquer fear and self doubt and to believe that you can do anything if you try hard enough. I was really bad at learning and found it very hard to focus at school and what I discovered from learning tricks was how to concentrate and break something down into component parts and reassemble it to make a whole, which is exactly the mind set you use when chop beats up and the way you learn how to make music, its the same way of thinking.
Rhythm and timing are a big part of skateboarding, when I’m working, I first watch the film I’m writing for repeatedly, making lot’s of notes of cue points and the sort of reverbs etc. I need.I then play different styles of music with the picture to get a idea of what will fit. I quickly collect together all the sounds I think will work well and then its a process of repeated editing, till you are left with the very best elements which really help tell the story and enhance the mood of the visual. I try hard to use sounds that no one else has and spend time recording and hunting for what I hear in my head.
I’m really influenced by the music and sounds used in skate videos and in particular what Michael Cook created for the old Powell videos, he did all these cut up tracks with loads of samples and sound effects and those have been running on loop in my brain since the late 80s, I’m such a fan of him that I tracked him down – to ask how he made certain things.
I also love the music used in the Alien Workshop videos, New Deal’s ‘Useless Wooden Toys’, H-Street Videos, The Planet Earth video Now ‘n Later, the Blueprint Skateboards videos that Dan Magee did, Insane’s “Mouse is pulling the key” that Ged Wells made.
Everything that Hold Tight Henry makes as they are really from the heart.
I’m into what Palace Skateboards puts out, I love how British it feels and the humour behind it and the music selection is always on point.
I’m also really feeling what the On Tick crew are doing at the moment and I like how they are using Drum n Bass. I feel the tempo really fits well with skating, it’s a music created in the UK and I think grime music should be used more for soundtracks, it has the energy and rawness of skating.
I also love what Krooked Skateboards does and the art Mark Gonzales creates, his skating and creativity has been a key influence on me for decades, Video Days has one of the best soundtracks ever. I also like everything Spike Jonze, Ty Evans, Mike Manzoori and Oliver Barton make.
I must mention Ninian Doff, my TE VS MC brother who is a good friend of mine from skating, he has been killing it directing videos like the The Chemical Brothers and MF Doom and he has a really quirky style that’s totally unique.
I love the idea of The No Comply Network and I feel it’s a idea that’s long overdue.
I’m proud to be a part of it. When you look at the talent thats come from the skate scene and its influence on the worlds of music, art and film and thinking of the creative positions many of us now hold, you would be really stupid to ignore that and not try to harness the power and creative skills found in skateboarding.
I work a lot with people with skateboarding backgrounds and I find that contrary to popular stereotypes, they usually are the dedicated, creative and straightforward people you could hope to work with and I think a lot of that comes from being able to quickly adapt to challenges and make something from very little and just generally being able to view the world in a way that’s impossible if you don’t have that skate brain.