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High Life: An Interview with Kimchi

Written by Natalia Muntean by Josie McNeill

Music heals. I hope mine does too,” says Kimchii, the part that brings more clarity to Kim Söderlund, a Stockholm-based artist. Kimchii is “an outlet for everything Kim can’t express” and, as the artist puts it, they make “a good team.”

Kimchii released his debut single When You Feel The Time Is Right in 2020, on the legendary French record label Kitsuné Music. Since then, he has been refining his skills as a producer and songwriter. Embracing collaboration and exploring new genres has expanded his creative spectrum in all directions, and challenged what good music means to him. But believing in his ability to make a living out of his art made “the biggest difference” in how his music has evolved.

In early 2023, Kimchii released Energetic Fields, an intriguing blend of organic instruments, electronic accents and feelings galore. The song was followed by Own the Night, a collaboration with Marseille-based artist Anoraak. Despite never meeting or speaking, their musical styles share a common language, reinforced by their passion for disco and electro-pop music. The two artists brought the idea of “owning the night” to life, and the single put Kimchii on BE Records' radar. 

NM: What inspired the single’s sound?
Kimchii: When writing my songs, I often get a clear vision that plays out in my head and translates into lyrics and melody. With Own The Night, I wanted to capture the feeling of standing at the edge of the world in the night, dancing with strangers, being confident and in control

NM: What story is Energetic Fields telling?
Kimchii: Energetic Fields was inspired bynightlife, having too much of a good time, and how easy it is to lose yourself in it. The video embodies the dark side of partying, three creatures dancing their way deeper into the night. I won’t say more. You’ll have to see it for yourself!

NM: How has working with BE Records been?
Kimchii: Bon Entendeur is an amazing band from France, and I’ve loved their music for a while. They heard Own the Night and wanted to feature it on their new compilation. It’s easier working with labels run by musicians, as there’s a deeper understanding of how things work, and it’s an honour to release music on their label.

NM: Who is on your collaboration wishlist?
Kimchii: I’m very inspired by the Australian band Pnau by the craft of their productions, and I am confident we would create something magical together. Another Australian band I admire is Confidence Man. Amtrac is a producer I’d love to collaborate with.

NM: Do personal experiences play a significant role in your music?
Kimchii: We all have different parts of ourselves - I get inspired by these and try to exaggerate them conceptually. We’ve all stayed out too long, not wanting the party to end, like in Energetic Fields. And as in Own the Night, we have all felt insecure on the dance floor.

NM: Can you give us a sneak peek of your upcoming projects for 2023?
Kimchii: I have some singles and collaborations coming up, including with two artists I love: Tensnake and Satin Jackets. I’m also performing live at the Porsche SCOPES festival in Stockholm, at the end of May. And there’s more to come!

NM: How do you hope to develop your sound in the future?
Kimchii: You can expect more alternative dance-driven & up-tempo sounds, while keeping a dream-like texture, influenced by 70s disco and 80s post-disco music. I don’t like to restrain myself. The sky’s the limit!

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                      photography and art direction Adam Kaiser
                      text Natalia Muntean
                      fashion Paloma Gonzalez Axeheim
                      groomingAlicia Hurst