with King Philty

Who are you? What drives you and what do you do in a week of being King Philty?
Hello, my name is Phil Piessens, 20 years old and I'm from Leuven. I'm in gemak! myself! This is where I put a lot of my time in. I also make music with a friend under the name Dubious Depot, this has been going on for 4 years now. In the beginning, we mainly made dub music but now we have expanded to other styles. On the side, I also dj with another friend, Otto, which is more for fun, under the name BROOD$PELEN. Outside of that, I'm invested in my scouts and occasionally school... I mainly like to do as many things as possible in my daily life. I enjoy a bizzy and diverse day. I like to take initiative and develop it into something I feel good about.                       

Is music something you got from home? When did your passion for music start?
Hmm, my parents always listened to a lot of music, that definitely played a role, but they are not necessarily musically inclined, or didn't play any instruments at all. They did force me to go to the conservatory, which I did against my will, I really hated it. Now I am very happy with it though, it gives an incredible advantage to understand basic music theory, I really should have known then. 

I think 'my passion for music' really started when I started looking within genres to see what existed. This mainly started out with dub in my second year of high school, this was the first genre for me to have really discovered that way. Since then I've really tried to listen to everything, I also started going through music chronologically, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s... while in the meantime keeping up with new music.

Is this variation also something you include in your sets? 
Yes, I think so. For a set, I mainly focus on music that I personally really like, regardless of the genre. I actually try to imagine whether I would go well with it myself, as a visitor. Also by going to different kinds of parties myself and getting to know genres, I did notice that I don't like to limit myself to one specific genre in a set. It's something I respect very much in other DJs, though.

You produce, you play music, are you creative with other things? 
I find it a bit hard to say that I'm creative, but I do indeed really enjoy trying everything out. I always really enjoy working out my ideas graphically, even if it's for an album cover or for stickers of our dub group, a flyer of the scouts, or for a certain poster of an event. Over the past few years, I've also been doing a lot of filming and editing for fun, immersing myself into making analogue and digital photos. I do most things to a level I'm happy with myself, and often move on to the next thing. Music is really the only thing that has remained constant.

Where did King Philty come from? How did that come about? 
King Philty actually just came into existence this year. With our dub music, I rely a lot on Jan, which is okay, but this year I made the resolution to be able to make music all by myself. So I started making some songs from scratch, really for fun. Not serious music, but music that I seriously try my best for and I'm happy with. And so, I looked for an alter ego name that suited this vibe, if I should ever put this music online. And that's how King Philty came about, because yeah... I'm just not really a perfectionist, I quickly make peace with something as long as I know it would only harm me. And yes, it's just a somewhat silly name that embraces the “wrong”, it keeps it a bit light-heartedness in the mix and keeps it not as serious.

What would you say is currently your favorite track? Or maybe an artist/album that you keep really liking? 
Whew, I really find that a very difficult question... I listen to a lot in phases, so find it a bit difficult to pin myself down to 1 track... I think if there has to be one artist I've listened to most consistently it's David Bowie; a super interesting figure who has been relevant for decades, could come forward as very controversial, could take on different personas. I really like his album 'Hunky Dory'. My parents are also partly responsible for this, though.

Which note on the scale is your favourite? Do, re mi, ...?

Eeeuhm, hahaha the “mi” is a really nice note I think. It sounds very clear, as a middle note in a C chord, very nice. The E chord also sounds really nice and clean. I also think the “do” is really nice, a good start in music. The “fa”, on the other hand, I’m less fond of.

Suppose you're allowed to play at a venue and put anything on your rider, what's on it anyway? 
I am not really such a ‘rider’ person, I always noticed in the past, as long as there is enough food and drinks I am happy already. A couple of special nice snacks backstage are always welcome of course, but I'm not going to specifically ask for them. Certainly decadent things I find a bit excessive. If there are food stands at the event, I'd really like to try them too, so just really experiencing the vibe of the event a bit without having to think about it really is what I find pleasant.

Suppose you have to give advice to young Phil, before you started in music, what would you give? 
I think I would put more emphasis on how important it can be to understand as much as possible about music. All the different instruments and genres, the history and origins behind all of it contributes exactly to a whole, and makes you appreciate everything more. The skill of listening to a song and being able to distinguish all the instruments from each other is so nice, it's like distinguishing all the flavors in a meal, that's something I realized too late. I also think I used to write off some music genres a bit too quickly as 'not my thing', but this can change perfectly. So keep being open to all genres.

Interview by Tim Borlez

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