In January, we organized with my Speakeasy Electro Swing crew the venue of Smokey Joe & the Kid for the first time in North America (Montreal).
We had a great time together, as i’ve known the kid for a long time, it was really cool to have time to chill in Montréal.
They rocked Igloofest, one of the biggest electronic festival in Montreal and we had them for your speakeasy night.
I had a nice little chat with them.
Can you describe us Who are Smokey Joe and the kid ?
Smokey Joe and the kid is duo of producers. We ‘ve been working together for the past two years now. We ‘ve known each other for a long time and we have our own record label, Banzai Lab Records in Bordeaux.
-Smokey: Basically, I’m a big smoker so Smokey came naturally ! Also it refers to a Jazz legend. Senbei got the name of The Kid in another project, so he kept it. We are huge fan of hip hop and Jazz, so we decided that the 30’s sound would be great to sample. We are working on songs for our first album that will be released this year and we had the chance to collaborate with few artists. We just had the opportunity to work in Montreal, Canada, and we met some great mc’s there. We recorded a track with Random Recipe and are going to work with Waahli from Nomadic Massive.
How did your project started ?
It was one year and half ago, we didn’t know about the electro-swing scene but we wanted to do a special 30’s night. Our music is really hype and dancefloor friendly, so we got this idea to dress as the swing era. The concept was born.
What kind of jazz fan are you ?
The Kid: I really love the classics like Ella Fitzgerald, Shirley Bassey and Louis Prima. I’m also a fan of all the cartoon’s music from that period.
Smokey Joe: Music was always around me, my mother was a pianist and my father a drummer in a speakeasy jazz bar. When I was young, I grew up with the music of Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Dinah Washington, Bill Evans, John Coltrane, Miles Davis and so many great jazz artists.
What do you think about the electro swing scene ?
We don’t belong to this movement, we are really on the Hip hop side. We like it though, it’s part of the new musical current. Now, there are two huge scenes in Europe, Dubstep and electro-swing and believe me, it’s nice cause it’s completely different ambiance.
In our style, basically people want to have fun and party. It’s so much fun to travel with this music! The sound of the 30’s is perfect to dance and to be a little crazy!
Can you explain your success? Also tell us what was the reaction of the Montreal crowd?
I think the success is not there yet, this scene is still pretty small, we are confident that for those who never heard that style, who love either Hip hop or swing, will definitely like that blend. We had a lot of fun at Igloofest, the crowd was really great.
The only festival in Canada outside in winter, imagine -20 degrees!
How do you make music ?
We exchange some tracks and add more things to it. We start sometimes with a sample, a bpm i want to use or a beat I like. Sometimes even two jazz samples work really well together and then we had a third element. We work on laptops and when we go live, we play with MPC, turntables and midi controller.
What is the next project for Smokey Joe and the kid ?
We’ve played in Montreal and New York, now, we’re going back to Europe and we will play in Berlin, and then we will go with Generals Elecktrics for their French tour.
Our first E.P will be out in April and the full album will be launched around September. We will have great collaborations on it.
Thank you Guys ! I hope to see again soon in Montréal.
This is how smokey Joe & the kid killed Igloofest this year in Montréal
Don Mescal is a dj, producer, blogger, and radio host in Montréal. I'm one of the pionner of electroswing sound in North America. I create (with Eliazar and Khalil ) Speakeasy Electro Swing, the first electro swing party to start In Canada (since 2010). I spinn records since more than 10 years, i like everything from dub to funk, jazz to electro...View all test don mescal posts.