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KJ Sawka: 5 Reasons He’s The God Of Drum And Bass (Exclusive Interview)

KJ Sawka Foundation Seattle

How It All Began

Growing up listening to Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and mostly indie rock, KJ actually didn’t even hear about dance music until he was 18. It all started when his friend’s cousin came over from London and gifted him with a DJ Shadow, Chemical Brothers, and DJ Crush CD. He was suddenly immersed in the music and couldn’t stop listening. Classic drum and bass: It’s how it all began. All it took was those beats.

“It was that drumming! I was just like oh my god, I gotta figure out how to play I got some beat machines and started making music and that’s how I got into it. I started off as DJ Sawka.”

Being a solo artist and producing can be a daunting task all in itself, but imagine juggling that while working with some of the biggest names in the business, Pendulum and Destroid. It’s only obvious that KJ is called the god of bass thanks to his uncanny ability to manage the chaos that comes with these responsibilities. Before joining forces with Pendulum and Destroid, KJ was at it on his own, occasionally (and surprisingly) working with trance legend BT, all of which started some 7-8 years ago. His first big gig (lo and behold!) was at Ultra Music Festival alongside BT.

At the time he only had an online relationship with Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen (also known later on as the duo Knife Party), but knew they were in attendance at the festival as well. KJ went back to trailers, hopeful that he could find Pendulum and get the chance to meet face-to-face. Apparently, they had been talking about him as well. To his surprise, he was invited back into the artists’ area, and the rest was history. He was asked to join the band over the phone not soon after his meeting with the group, and so began one of the most powerful partnerships in dance music. Immediately saying yes prior to confiding with his manager, it was a done deal. KJ would move to London and start a new journey with Pendulum.

“It was a really big thing. They were this HUGE band. They were world touring. So I just went straight up to arenas.”

Going from local and smaller gigs on his own to world touring is an accomplishment for any artist. It was noted his first gig was a “warm up” show with at least 2500 people. KJ was a bit out of his element, but as Rob handled the computers, all KJ had to was play drums. And that he did.

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Written By

Lover of all things electronic. As a previous lead singer her music roots run deep and appreciation for all genres and artists runs high. She can be found dancing and singing along to the likes of Alesso, Hardwell, and Dash Berlin. Most awkward EDM moment? Watching Borgore sing karaoke.

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