Interview with PSiMiTAR

Duo PSiMiTAR return with hip-hop infused contender ‘Better Believe It’. Composed of producer / rapper Steesh aka Baron Von Alias, and vocalist & DJ, LKP, they’ve been putting out their unique take on UK hip-hop soul under this alias since 2020. Receiving praise from BBC Radio 1, Grammy award-winning Brasstracks, BBC Introducing and Narc Magazine to name a few, the duo have had tens of thousands of streams and support from DJs across the globe. Back with the astonishing new single, ‘Better Believe It’ sounds somewhere between the grooves of Tom Misch and style of Anderson .Paak

Introduce yourself (yourselves) and your hidden talent!

Hi, Im Steesh AKA Baron Von Alias.. I am the producer/writer behind the tunes that we create as PSiMiTAR and also the voice that you hear delivering those sultry geordie rap vocals haha. I have been producing for a long time now, taking to the mic a little later on in the process. I like to play multiple instruments, guitar bass, keys, drums, on my tracks as I like to dabble in a bit of everything really. I have collaborated with some of my favourite artists, producing for the like of J Dilla protégé Guilty Simpson, Slum Village, Frank n Dank, Phat Kat and many, many more. One of my many hidden talents would probably be that I am an award winning animator and video creator, having won multiple awards all over the world at film festivals for one of my own animated music videos ‘Repeat’. I also work in movie VFX on blockbuster movies.

I’m Kriss, aka LKP, the soulful voice on all the PSiMiTAR records. I’ve been involved in bands and the music scene in the North East for a long time too, DJing and putting out tunes with various producers from all over the place. I’ve done vocals on everything from techno and DnB, and had songs I’ve co-written appear on some advertising campaigns!

My not so hidden talent is my job, DJing. I’ve warmed up for Jazzy Jeff and Grandmaster Flash and loads more, and had mixes on BBC 1Xtra, Capital and lots of other stations

What made you decide that music is the right path for you?

LKP: I feel like I fell into it in a way! I’ve always been involved in it from learning to DJ as a teenager, and singing in the back of my parents car as a kid. I guess it got more serious when I got asked to go work with a producer (T-Mak) in Sheffield when I lived there off the back of singing in a record shop, which sounds like the plot of a cheesy X Factor style film, but that was the time I first thought “ok, I can do something with this voice”… We had some great gigs all over the UK and ended up on 1Xtra and Kiss, and that gave me the buzz, it’s hard to let that feeling go. Music’s been such a huge chunk of my whole adult life I’d struggle to walk away from it now. I love it.

What’s the music scene like where you are from?

LKP: The North East is absolutely flying at the minute. We have some of the biggest names in indie and dance music in the UK with Sam Fender and Cristoph, and hearing people who are from down the road from us on national radio on a daily basis is pretty inspirational. I love the new L.Devine and Luke Royalty stuff too, they are both looking like they are going to be around for a while, and obviously we have other excellent live soulful acts like Smoove and Turrell. In terms of live, it can be a bit frustrating though. It seems that lots of major artists just skip the N.E as a whole area when they do tours, so getting experience on support slots is tough. We still have a great DIY ethic up here though, there’s always something going on, and there are some class venues who do support indie acts.

How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?

LKP: I’d say the positives far outweigh the negatives. Having put out music when to get it to DJs, we had to get it cut to vinyl, which is NOT cheap, and having to drive around record shops doing sale or return, I think the Internet has, in a round about way, levelled the playing field a bit. The fact that you can write a tune, upload it to a streaming service and have someone on the other side of the world hear that tune, love it and leave a comment on your social media still blows my tiny mind. It’s shortened the process so much and meant it’s hugely more accessible to anyone wanting to put out a tune. The biggest negative difference now is the sheer amount of competition is insane, 10s of thousands of tunes dropping per day all vying for people’s ears, but I suppose there’s much more chance of finding a fan base somewhere in the world today, than there was 15-20 years ago.

You can follow the duo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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