Work Redux #012: Kees

August 1, 2022
Photographer: Nathan Legiehn
Photographer: Nathan Legiehn

"I’m very spiritually in sync with what I’m listening to all the time, it reflects greatly in my dj-ing of course. I listen to anything, usually the more off-kilter the more intriguing it is for me. Lately, the sun has been shining and I’ve been beaming: listening to house, garage, r&b and related. Brought a ton of sunny music for the mix."

First up, where did you grow up, and where do you call home now?

Well, I grew up in Niagara and ended up moving when I was nineteen to Barcelona to test out city life I guess. I ended up deep-diving into their music/nightlife scene pretty heavily. I moved around in Europe after that until four years ago when I ended up in Toronto, where I live now.

What was a formidable early musical experience for you?

I mean, I know I've always been into music, but I had a hard time finding places to dig when I was young and living in the country. I remember when I first got an iPod Nano, I filled it with deadmau5 and Destiny's Child – which is funny as I still find myself mixing that into what I’m playing now. I think the most expansive time was when I moved to Spain. Suddenly, I had an overwhelming amount of options of shows to see, and club nights, and I basically just did everything I could for the years I was there.

Who or what helped you along your path of musical discovery?

I think I was always seeking new access points and ended up finding so many new artists and songs through friends, random nights, and parties I'd go to. I remember being in all sorts of dance-music Facebook groups too, where I met some of my good friends and discovered a crazy library of more niche music.

Do you have any other creative pursuits?

I kind of like to do anything that’s hands-on. I went to school for fashion design, and culinary arts, and love to try and marry everything I'm doing into works, meals, objects, and images. I like to create atmospheres basically. I have some food and music projects coming up this summer that I'm super excited about!

What are some of your favourite sources to discover new sounds and music nowadays?

I find myself on YouTube and Discogs a ton. I like to Shazam songs out and about too. One of my favourite songs I Shazamed at a convenience store on Dundas St. a few weeks ago.

I love how your Work Redux mix gets right into it with a solid beat. So, my first mix related question is: are you dancing when you work?

I'm allllways dancing! Haha. I'm dancing while I'm cooking, and singing literally all the time.

The words that came to mind when deep into your mix were 'heavenly' and 'kinetic'. I found myself grooving at my desk while still being engaged with what I was doing. It reminded me of dancing and losing yourself in the music. Does this resonate with what you were going for with this mix?

Yeah, I find I get into a really good work flow state when I'm listening to pretty upbeat, and pretty mid-pace music. Too slow, I'm sleeping, and too fast, I'm ready to party. Haha.

It was a very refreshing experience listening to your mix. I'm curious how you assembled it. Did you have a plan, or start somewhere and see where it took you?

Usually, I have a bit of a game plan for a mix. This time, I just made a playlist with what I've had on repeat, and some stuff that never gets old for me, and then just picked a start and finish and went from there!

I appreciated hearing the remix of Donna Summer's "I Feel Love". It made me wonder if there are any favourite artists you have that you always try to fit into a mix, or do you just follow what feels right for each mix?

Hmm, I think I do often try and get a little r&b in, or soul, depending on the vibe. That's what I listen to mostly in the day, and I think it's always fun to bring it in. Usually, people know the songs too, and we can all dance and sing together.

Finally, at the end, you dropped the needle on Faith Evans's "Love Like This". It's such a great way to end the pulse-heavy mix that came before it, and it also reminded me of classic Karaoke nights. What makes for a perfect song to wrap up a mix or party?

Yes, I was really excited to finish with that one. Always been a fave of mine! Depending on the mix, I usually like to chill it out a bit with something a bit slower BPM-wise, but maybe not energy-wise, like this case. Definitely love to close out with something more people may know too. I feel like I'm sending out a little bisous!

Work Redux is a collection of mixes made to be listended to while working. We work closely with local and international DJs to assemble thoughtful music that will carry members throughout their day and introduce them to new sounds. East Room is a shared workspace company providing design-forward office solutions, authentic programming and a diverse community to established companies and enterprising freelancers. We explore art, design, music, and entrepreneurship, visit our news & stories page to read more.