ABOUT SHIFT K3Y
It’s been a gradual growth in skills that culminated in March 2015 with Shift K3y’s first live show as the frontman of his own band – at Camden’s legendary Roundhouse with Ella Eyre, no less – and began at the age of seven when his dad, Blockhead’s keyboardist Chaz Jankel, brought home the Logic software for home producing.
In between, he was making dubstep-influenced instrumentals that came out on producer Marco Del Horno’s Bullet Train label while he was still in high school. UKs’ favorite radio stations began supporting him then and haven’t let up, paying particular attention to the glittering garage pop of “Touch,” a top three hit in spring 2014.
It was at an Annie Mac Presents night at Koko in 2012 that he began picking up a microphone to sing his own songs during his DJ sets. All part of a desire to be involved in every musical avenue available. “I wanted to make a living from music, however possible. That’s how I’m here, because I said: ‘You want a remix? I’ll give you a remix. You want a DJ? I can DJ. Need a singer? I’ll sing.’”
Once he took to the decks himself, Skrillex and Diplo were early supporters, the former taking him on tour around the US. Now he’s got the big names coming to him, with Tinie Tempah, Iggy Azalea and Tove Lo requesting remixes, and Chaka Khan, DJ Mustard and Robin Thicke working with him on his album. Khan was the big one. Of meeting the funk queen in LA to record his song “Gone Missing,” he says: “It was the most intensely amazing experience of my life.”
But there’s no time for laurel-resting just yet. There’s still much work to be done to ensure that the rest of the world realises that dance-pop, the way he does it, is the way forward. “When it comes to this, I never waste any time, ever,” he says. “I’d love to say that I never wasted a day.” Catch up with him now before he adds any more skills to his portfolio – according to this restless music obsessive, rapping may well be next.