There are very few producers out there like Northern California’s KRANE. When it comes to work ethic, high caliber output, and direct oversight and creation of visual branding, it’s hard to find even a handful of peers who match KRANE’s resolution and commitment to his craft.
Revolving within the realm of hard beats and melodic trap, KRANE’s catalog finds the very rare balance between quantity and quality, as, just in 2017 alone, the Oakland-based producer has already released two marquee collaborations with Ekali and Keys N Krates, a four-track EP as part of his ongoing SESSIONS project, and a Hype Machine-charting remix for The Weeknd. It would appear as though “writer’s block” just isn’t part of this man’s vocabulary.
So when the NHQ favorite mentioned he was putting together a 100% KRANE curation stuffed with unreleased remixes (i.e. RÜFÜS and Zeds Dead x NGHTMRE) and originals, we had to ask him to take over this week’s NEST HQ MiniMix and answer some Qs about his astounding productivity, the ethos behind his ongoing SESSIONS releases, and what we can expect from the KRANE project for the foreseeable future.
Listen in and read on below.
Thanks for taking some time with us Zach. I’d like to start out by commenting on your tenacious work ethic and output. You released four new originals this week as part of your collaborative SESSIONS project, and in the last month alone you released singles with Ekali and Keys and Krates in addition to a remix for The Weeknd. How do you do it?
The maybe disturbing thing is I have still maybe 20 or so finished songs just sitting here, and a ton of rough ones I may never finish. Honestly producing is an addiction for me – I get withdrawals of sorts when Im not doing it enough, feeling like I’m not being productive or pulling my weight. So whenever I have a free moment I’m in Ableton, sketching ideas, messing around. I had to learn to work really fast back when I had a full time job, and I guess figuring out my workflows quickly is paying off now that I have more bandwidth.. The challenge now is to slow down, and be more careful about what I’m putting out… maybe :) I really enjoy putting new tunes out there for people.
What is SESSIONS all about?
SESSIONS started as a hunch – that there are so many talented unknown producers out there, If I offered my production skills and name recognition, I could really help bring some attention to them. Also selfishly, I get to learn about how other people produce, and its just downright enjoyable to work with people – especially ones with no ego yet :) How it works: a producer sends in a rough demo and we collaborate on it. Its incredible how much good music comes in when submissions open. For SESSIONS 4 I got over 600 people submitting – of those I had flagged about 50 tracks I wanted to work on. In the end I have to narrow to about 4, and its really really hard to pass up working on the others.
Who’s on your wish list for SESSIONS_05?
The whole point is that my wishlist doesn’t exist! My wish is to work with a batch of producers I, and most people, have never heard of. So when I get some awesome track submission from some dude with 10 followers on Soundcloud, that is the most exciting moment.
What can you tell us about your upcoming collab with Brasstracks?
I sat down first with the intention of making something in the sonic family of my track “Movin”. Its got this sort of soul/sampled hip hop sound married with what I try to do with big synths n basses. I thought BT would be a natural fit, so sent it off to them, and what they sent back is just awesome. It brings a level of melody to the song that elevates it I think to something really cool, and memorable.. Im really excited about it.
Did you get a chance to watch the Grammys this weekend? What’d you think?
Completely missed it. All I know is my homies Brasstracks took home a Grammy, and that makes me very happy.
This minimix is 100% KRANE, which is pretty rare for our minimix series. Can you tell us about how you put this together?
I looked back at my most recent releases, and some random ID’s Ive finished in my library from the past couple months to curate this one. What’s fun about this mix is its different from my live sets – thats what I love about mixes, that I can make more space, do some mellower stuff, take some risks. My live sets keep the energy pretty high. I get to show off some of my mellower, vibier side on the internet.
Can you give us any insight into some of the unreleased stuff in here?
Sure! The first track, the Innerbloom remix – I was really late to the game with Rufus. It was on my “need to listen” list, and so finally I sat down a month ago and gave a real listen, and Innerbloom just blew me away. Then heard the WSN remix, and wanted one of my own in my own style mostly for live shows.
The next unreleased one is that Zeds Dead x NGHTMRE remix. NGHTMRE became a good bud on my bus tour with him and Slander, so when he hit me up for this remix I was stoked and it came together really quick a few weeks ago. I think they might release it soon.
The first ID (after On My Way with Airwav), in my library its titled “Get a Room”… no idea whats happening with this one :) Ive never even DJ’d it out- so this is the first anyone will have heard of it.
One on there with Evil Needle also with Explore, for his upcoming ep. Fun lil trap thing.
The last ID after Numb, follows a similar vibe as Numb – I have a lot of unreleased tracks in that mellow and more acoustic realm. Ive been working to actually bridge that sound with some of my livelier stuff. One track in particular does this, I’ve intentionally excluded from this mix, Im hoping to get out this year and I think people will really tilt their heads and on one hand recognize it as very much KRANE, but also hear that its something different from what they are used to from me.
Finally, where are you setting your priorities for this year? Is there any goal, project, idea you’re working toward specifically in 2017?
First, theres a couple songs that I’ve nearly finished that I am particularly proud to show the world. These are songs that I can stand back and say, here’s something new, and here’s a look at how my production and songwriting skills are evolving. Beyond that, one of my top priorities is an outgrowth of my visual branding. I do my own art, and visuals, and its an important extension of my sound – a way to continue to create a universe around the music. I have some merchandise Im working on, and really excited to grow into clothing and fashion design, and take the aesthetic Ive been developing in support of the music, to become really its own standalone thing.
Rufus Du Sol – Innerbloom (KRANE remix)
Zeds Dead x NGHTMRE – Frontlines ft. GG Magree (KRANE remix)
KRANE x Airwav – On My Way
KRANE – ID
KRANE x Evil Needle x Explore – ID
The Weeknd – Party Monster (KRANE remix)
KRANE x Ekali – Akira
KRANE x Jupe – Seventeen
KRANE x DNMO – Sakura
KRANE – Movin
KRANE x Jupe – Quartzz
KRANE x Oceans – Silencio
KRANE x WYOMI – Palace
K.Flay – FML (KRANE remix)
KRANE x SAINTS – Numb
KRANE – ID
KRANE x Laxcity – Outside ft. Sherry W