February 16, 2016

Kay the Aquanaut

Our guest writer Vladimir Shcheblykin, from Russia’s ahhmusic.ru caught up with Kay The Aquanaut to chat about his new Maki produced LP Station Wagon, his future plans and more.

Since the release of the album Waterloo 5 years ago. What has changed in your life since then?

To be honest I released an album in 2013 titled Letters from Laika. It was produced by Factor Chandelier and released on Circle Into Square / Fake Four Inc. Both labels were going through some transition and turbulence, and I honestly think there were quite a few releases In that time-span that got overlooked due to complexities behind the scenes. Also, we decided to go completely digital with the release in North America…which likely wasn’t the smartest choice considering the results. Either way, I love Letters From Laika, I’m sad it got forgotten by most but I also feel it will be relevant until it’s message is achieved. You should check it out, Vlad.

My life has changed a lot since Waterloo. Back then I was also fronting/playing in a band called Reform Party. That proved to be an epic waste of my creative time. The band basically broke up due to a lack of inspiration/life motivation from a couple members. Collective efforts only go as far as the cancers they bring with them allow that entity to live. We made some decent noise for the scene to take heed of, but the cancerous elements killed any momentum we gained. I also realized from the band that it’s easy for some people to front like they’re down for a life of activism, but in order to be true to the music/message every member of the group has to fully believe. Some people just like the attention that comes with being engaged in an energy like that. I also went from sleeping on floors, rugs, couches of friends to having my own spot, lady, dog, etc. Much more able now to re-focus on making the best art I possibly can.

Have you thought to stop writing music?

You know, I’ve never once thought about stopping writing.  I’ve been writing poetry/raps since as long as I can remember.  But, I’ve definitely considered stopping doing music publicly or ‘full time’.  There’s only so much self-loathing one can take before they will inevitably reconsider a course of action. Hip hop is one of my greatest loves/passions so I take it very seriously.  I get offended often by how much sucker shit I see out there, especially in my own community.  Ultimately, I wanna leave behind an imprint that reflects how much I care about this shit… and how it is the greatest music in the history of music, and I just wanna do my part to not fuck up the game anymore than most of these cats already have.

What has changed the most during this time in your life?

The biggest change is that my safety and privacy have been less fucked with since 2013.  When you’re a loud independent voice in a giant conservative corporate ocean you tend to draw attention from the big guys.  My life actions outside of music were also under fire, so it has actually been a crazy last 5 years when put into perspective.  ‘Whose that peeking through your window?’ Likely the cops working for a corporation.

How long ago did you start work on the new album? What was the main source of inspiration?

I wrote Station Wagon with Maki in 2014, recorded it in 2015, released it on Valentine’s Day 2016.  The main source of inspiration was likely just what was happening in my day to day life at that time.  It was a really intense social/political climate at home and abroad, it was nearing the end of 9 years of intellectual/social/environmental abuse by the most Conservative Canadian government in the history of the modern world, and me reflecting on my life. The theme of the album is based around a camping trip I went on when I was 17….it was in the middle of winter in the mountains, we were under-prepared, under-dressed, under-fed… the only things we had in abundance were mushrooms and political literature.  So the album is loosely conceptual as the soundtrack to that crazy mushroom-filled camping trip.  Changed my whole perspective on this humanity shit.

For me, this new album is just getting back into the groove of self-promotion & touring.  Both things I’m not really a big fan of doing.  But I also feel that I’m just rounding into the form that I wanna fully present to the art world.  I’m more inspired and alive than I’ll ever be, and I’ve been working my fucking ass off to be able to put my best foot forward. I don’t care about the internet’s shelf life, I’m making music that I hope is still relevant until the end goal of social/environmental justice is achieved.

What do you do besides music? Where do you work?

I am involved in a small independent bakery, the best in Canada. I love to make art, spend time with my lover, and treat my dog like a little human with fur.  And honestly, spending time with my old rap homies like Factor Chandelier, Rewind, Chaps, etc… hose are my favourite things.  Oh yeah, and social activism… the most important element of all.

What are your plans for the future?

My future plans are looking crazy!  I’ll be promoting Station Wagon for the next couple years, first off. But, Factor Chandelier is releasing his giant new album titled Factoria in April 2016.  I’m gonna be very involved in the promotion and touring of that. That album is fucking amazing, FYI!

And, just so you know… Maki and I have another album nearly finished, as well as Factor Chandelier and I have roughly 7 completed songs for an upcoming joint album. So there are big things coming from our camp this year.  We’ve been game planning on 2016 for many moons.  Ultimately I really hope to drop 3 full length albums in 2016, with Station Wagon being the first. There will be vinyl & cassettes coming this summer, and a new video for “Outta Body” coming in the next few weeks.