INTERVIEW: Sound of Kalima

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Peter: We are fantastic. Right, Sal?

Sal: Yeah really good actually, thank you!!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Alien”?

S: Yes of course. Alien is a kind of an old school RnB song inspired by the space age in the 60s and the lyrics are about yearning for an escape from this planet to find belonging in some other place. However, the question is asked in the song is what happens after the escape? We think the escape is in the mind, it’s a mental state. It’s also about a certain kind of loneliness and there are so many ways to deal with loneliness. I just want to be abducted by aliens. 

P: Sal said it all. We definitely gravitate (pun intended?) towards the idea of ALIENS out there, maybe even on Earth. Maybe even in this very room (side eyes).

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

P: Sal brought the initial idea to me, the chords, the melody, some of the lyrics and a bit of the structure and then challenged me to write an instrumental section as catchy as the sax in “Careless Whisper”… bit of a facking tall order but I tried some stuff out with the synth and it became the hook! 

S: Not really just one event. I think an overall feeling just brought the song about and I don’t know, that’s a tough question haha I haven’t really thought about the evolution of the song from the beginning. Maybe if I was psychoanalyzed, something from my childhood potentially? Now you’ve got me thinking.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

^ We haven’t answered this question, as we don’t actually have a video for ALIEN (yet!)

How was the recording and writing process?

S: It was quite fun actually, I remember coming up with the drum beat and the chords, thinking wow this sounds like a song. Then I laid down some mellotron and a bunch more guitars – kind of my MO when I feel a song needs lots of layering. Once we had that going for us, we had a session starting with an artist very soon after that was laid down and I started quickly coming up with a vocal melody and began writing to it. The artist we started working with that day also helped us come up with a couple of ideas. So really smooth and fun. The recording process was kind of the same, we laid things down as they came up but the vocals were really tough. We’re not singers really but it’s fun to sing and emote only in a way that you can – it’s 100% our sound and no one else’s. 

P: Yeah I remember it in the same way. Like I said, Sal gave me the little challenge to write something catchy and for awhile he was standing over my shoulder stressing me out. Eventually I told him to leave me alone for a sec and came up with the synth in like 10-15 minutes or so.  The whole process felt pretty seamless from there. Not a lot of rethinking or editing was needed, which sometimes we legit spend years doing with certain songs, so I’m thankful for that haha.

What role does Vancouver play in your music?

P: Vancouver plays a big role, mostly because nearly all of the artists we work with were brought together by the city we call home. The vibe of the city definitely bleeds into the music as well. Sometimes you can hear the rainy / gloomy feelings in our music, and other times our music can feel nice and modern, like Van.

S: Yeah, I agree with Pete over here. I think the weather of the city really comes out in our music – I love the rain and I like the sunshine too but the rain is where it’s at, it’s very cleansing. So that really does play into the vibes of the music. I think I also really love putting on some music and walking in the high class downtown area of the City which kind of inspires me to write U2 or Coldplay-esque stuff, just super big melodies, I like it. 

I understand you guys have this documentary going on – how did you guys come up with this idea and how would you say it has helped you guys with your writing process and as a band?

P: The idea for the documentary came from the frustration in explaining who / what SOK is.  People seem to want to put us in a box as producers, or as writers, or vocalists, or as guitars, or as a label, or whatever it is, but the truth is that SOK is all of those things and none of them.  We figured we’d start by interviewing some of the artists we work with and let them explain what SOK means to them, and then go from there. Our homie Christian Noel who’s bloody brilliant helped bring it to life, shooting footy of us in the studio, rehearsing, talking, etc. Hopefully if you watch our video (“SOKTV: Who The F*ck is SOK?”), you’ll have a better sense for who we are.

S: Yeah it’s kind of a “get to know you” video. I don’t know if it’s really impacted our writing process or as a band – maybe we hate each other more now because each of us wants to be the most loved by the artists. That’s a joke but not really but yeah it is a joke. 

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

P: You can always expect new music from SOK. In 2020 we put out a single every 6-8 weeks, on top of all the music our artists dropped, and our plan was to carry that forward into 2021, but so far we’re spending some time re-discovering what we want our sound to be. Mostly we just need to finish a song or two and get going. We have so so many ideas, it’s just a matter of sifting through and making it happen.

S: Oh yeah, it’s also like a way to keep us accountable – to drop something every few weeks. Right now, we have a pretty big backlog of songs but the next song is kind of getting away from us however I think we can wrestle it and find a way to get along with it where us and the song can see a good way forward in this relationship. 

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

P: If you don’t have a new single from us by June I’ll shave my head and dye the little stubs blue.

S: i think the song we are dropping is called Frantic and the release date should have been yesterday lol but it’s okay to take time with some of the songs and not everything should be a rush release. 

What else is happening next in Sound of Kalima’s world?

P: Every week we work with 6-7 different artists. Each one gets a day, so they get one session per week.  Each one of these artists has, pardon my language, fucking amazing music coming out, so we’ll be very busy putting the finishing touches on some songs before moving on to the next ones.  We are also always chasing opportunities to have our music in film / tv as well as our DREAM to have our music in FIFA 22.  EA if you’re reading this don’t be afraid to reply to my email ;P 

S: Lots of music. I mean, it’s more of the same really. The adventure is the exploration of sound – we have so much to learn and we’re chasing that elusive perfect song or melody that defines us as people but we’re never gonna get there so that’s always a huge motivator. Otherwise, next I just hope we get abducted so we can come up with material to write ALIEN 2.

SOKTV EP.5... Who The F*ck is Sound of Kalima?

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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