Award-winning DJ, producer, and broadcaster Kill Miami has made waves internationally in the back and foreground of the music industry. Now, he’s assisting artists alike to navigate the world of syncs - where music is placed in TV, film, games, etc. Alongside producing for artists such as IAMDDB, 67, Ocean Wisdom & more, Kill Miami has also founded Wavze: a ‘speciality hip-hop/trap/rap music resource for easy access to rights-cleared content by the most relevant emerging talent of today…’
I caught him on a call just before a studio session to chat about stepping into the world of sync and crossovers between DJing and producing.
The Floor: I know it’s super recent so I have to say, congratulations on winning a Silver Telly Award!
Kill Miami: Yeah, I didn’t even know I won that, I found out about that through LinkedIn. So I was just scrolling through LinkedIn then one of my friends at EA had posted “Congrats to the team for winning this award for this AD” so I looked at it and was like I’m pretty sure I did the music for this AD then I checked and yeah I actually did. I should be receiving my trophy soon or some sort of plaque at least!
That’s great, another piece for the collection! Loads of producers start as musicians and can play the piano or some type of instrument - how did you start?
More through DJing, to be honest, I was a DJ before I was a producer. When I was like 16/17 I was into electronic music and I was going to gigs/shows seeing DJs for the first time- very inspiring. Then I started learning how to DJ then through that got into production. When I was about 18, I was about 21 when I started taking it seriously, so it's been a lengthy process.
I wouldn't say I had the standard natural way into the music industry… I kinda had to make my own way up, make my own connections, teach myself everything via youtube a lot of the time. I didn't learn any instruments when I was younger.
Do you reckon the ability to DJ and Produce cross over much?
Definitely. The early productions I was doing were kinda mash-ups/DJ edits. And you could even argue a lot of productions nowadays are sample-based and some DJs are producers at the same time. But yeah, the synergy between those definitely came through, it was kinda natural to get into production from there.
They are both different zones though, in a way, with DJing you’ve got the crowd but producing is a lot more internal. You’ve done shows in loads of places from LA to Manchester to Weston, but do you prefer that crowd element or being away in the studio zone?
A great thing about DJing and when I’m playing in set places a lot of the time I’m just playing music I like or music from the artist I work with and I always kind of gauge it by the audience. At the end of the day with a lot of DJ sets, I'm there to entertain not to educate so I'm just trying to make everyone have a good time and see how the crowd reacts. Because even though I've played in all these places I’m not like Diplo, for example, so I can't just play whatever I want.
With production, I think they're about the same in terms of enjoyment level. I don't think I enjoy one more than the other. DJing I get to do a lot less than production, cause I'm in the studio all the time every single day. Whereas with DJing, there haven't been any shows in ages. I would say the enjoyment level is the same, if I could do more DJing I definitely would.
I hear it, there really is something about performing in front of a crowd. Your productions have travelled far and wide too, via syncs from places like FIFA & Remy Martin - how did that come about?
Yeah, so I run a company called Wavze which is essentially a music sync platform amongst many other things: bespoke productions, music licensing, music talent & supervision. We work with a lot of brands and clients internally, EA Sports being one of them. It’s multiple seeds that have been planted over 3-5 years. It’s the same with the Remy Martin and Nike jobs.
So someone over in 6LACK’s camp had seen a video that I did for Bugsy Malone and JD sports which had more of an orchestral feel to it and they were doing this video for RM that they wanted this similar feel for so the director on the shoot requested me directly to do the compose the music for it. So that's kinda how that led into that. It’s like if I hadn't done the Bugsy Malone shoot 2 years ago I might not have been contacted for this job, so it's all pieces to the puzzle. Lots of different links in chains that go to creating these relationships and it’s the same with the artists that I work with like Ocean Wisdom, I'm working with him a lot and hopefully coming on tour with him, I did his last tour as well. And you know that relationship was through his management.
Awesome, I love the world of sync and it’s such a great space to tap into in the industry, what led you to start Wavze?
Syncs only recently, in the past 2/3 years, are something I've started developing. Starting up the company helped a lot and the partners. I’ve always been into movies and TVs, the end goal is to do a movie soundtrack so it’s something I’ve always been into but so difficult to get into.
I think it’s quite a closed-door thing unless you know the right people but that's something my company is trying to eliminate. Helping emerging artists and emerging talent get their foot in the door with these brands. We’ve just done the champions league campaign with UEFA and Pepsi which essentially took 9 artists from around the UK, Europe and America then they were tasked with creating custom bars about the players left in the rounds at the time. That’s been a sick campaign to work on and every artist involved has come away with placements for both companies and some cash. That kind of link just isn’t there without a middleman like myself. Between a big corporate company like Pepsi or UEFA and emerging artists, there's such a disconnect. The conversation to connect them isn't being made at the moment, that's what we’re trying to do at Wavze.