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Kirklandd: Demanding your imagination

Madeleine Wood

“It will demand your imagination and challenge you with what you’re hearing”

Explosive creativity is something to be admired. Canberra’s creativity is rapidly building momentum and is taking many forms – music, events, food, art, and fashion. Each of these have been a source of inspiration for local hip-hop artist Kirklandd (real name Dan Kirkland).

Mary Lou Cook said creativity is “inventing, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun”. We got chatting with this local artist who is doing all of the above.

“I feel like I’ve entered the local music scene at a time where [Canberra’s] identity is slowly being recognised by other cities, and the foundation of this is simply the mutual support between people from all ends of the city,” says Dan.

When asked what specifically he’s been inspired by in Canberra, Dan is eloquent.

“The sense of mutual support you find in a vast range of creative outlets. From art, to music, to event planning, to fashion; there’s a strong sense of interdependence between each of these fields.”

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“Personally, I’ve been most inspired by how increasingly receptive people are to my shows and the confidence that gives me to push our live set further… we’re certainly taking it up a notch in the coming months.”

Dan gave us some insight into his creative process, and how he begins a track through to release. He’s been working with other creative minds like Allday and Hilltop Hoods producer Cam Bluff and Canberra’s own Citizen Kay.

“Creatively, I’m more involved in every aspect of every project, from the late nights spent on production with Cam to the extensive hours of mixing with Kay. I think this provides for a more diverse, unheard style, as it’s much closer to my musical background, and it’s given me the opportunity to be more personal lyrically and less inhibited conceptually.”

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Dan credits Bluff and Kay with pushing him and sharpening his creativity, through spending hours paying attention to tiny details, and experimenting with multiple instruments to ensure the best and most versatile final product.

Citizen Kay says Kirklandd, “has a unique view on the sound he’s coming out with and I have a lot of faith in him for the future.”

Kirklandd’s new EP will be a different sound entirely, but it’ll take time to perfect. In the meantime, he’ll be releasing his single Visions which you’ll be able to listen to on his Soundcloud in the next few weeks.

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“To be honest, I hold some pretty serious expectations for it that I think will take until November to realise,” explains Dan. “Mainly so the production and release are as effective as possible. I really feel the need to have this project grab you creatively; it will demand your imagination and challenge you with what you’re hearing.”

Kirklandd says about his new EP, “We reference such a wide range of music that there will be no restriction on taste; and I love challenging expectations in genre”.

Kirklandd’s roots may be in hip-hop, but when asked what he’s listening to at the moment, it’s surprisingly different.

“Last week I came across this dude named Jon Bellion – he has an imaginative, incredibly unpredictable style. Dude writes his own hooks, produces beautifully off-tempo music and creates this cinematic wave that wraps itself around you immediately.”

As for other Canberra talent, Dan has a variety of recommendations.

“I know the Ansah Brothers are working on new music, so definitely get acquainted with their previous mixtape if you haven’t already. Slow Turismo are putting out some serious tunes recently, and I also came across some music from the homie Donut$, he’s one to keep an eye for.”

As for keeping an eye out for Dan, Kirklandd has been selected as one of the top musical acts at FASHFEST 2016. He’ll be playing live on opening night on 29 September (tickets on sale soon). He also often pops up at Transit Bar, where, who knows, you could see a sneak peek of his new material.

Kirklandd | facebook.com/Kirklanddsoundcloud.com/iamkirklandd | instagram.com/iamkirklandd

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Madeleine Wood

Madeleine is a lover of coffee, baby animals, striped tops, pasta, pop culture, skiing, water sports, the colour black, indoor plants and of course, writing. She loves spending her free time out to eat with friends or curled up on the couch with a book and her dog on her lap. Coming from a family of farmers and country-goers, she often finds herself explaining why she has holes in her jeans at family gatherings. More about the Author

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