KJ Sawka embarks on a national tour this year accompanied by ill.gates. It’s appropriatelyThe Unsung Heroes Bass Invaders Tour, highlighting two of the industry’s most talented artists. He’s a drummer, yes. But he’s so much more than just that. Sawka is a DJ, producer, constructor of sample packs, and owner of Impossible Records. With the local legend’s upcoming tour making a stop right here in Seattle, it got me thinking about the first time I ever encountered KJ’s on-stage pragmatism.
Flash back to about five years ago: I was fortunate enough to catch my first (and consequently my last) Pendulum show. At the time, I was relatively new to bass music (I started in the trance world), but even I knew who Pendulum was. I remember being so incredibly captivated by the unique sound Pendulum created. KJ really brought something truly magical to their performance with his intoxicating energy and intensity behind the drums.
Fast-forward to a year ago when I was able to catch one of KJ’s live shows, and that magical energy was still prevalent. He’s still just as excited up there on-stage, and his powerful combination of bass-centric sounds is infectious on the dance floor. So when I recently received the opportunity to interview this local hero, I jumped at it like Indy when he sees a snake. Suffice it to say, he entertained me, saved me, and helped me escape the maelstrom of everyday life. If you keep reading below, I’ll share the best of what turned out to be a very humbling opportunity of mine.
You’re joining ill.gates this year for the Unsung Heroes Bass Invaders Tour, Who else is going on tour with you guys?
What are you looking forward to the most on this tour?
KJ: Sushi with Dylan [Ill.Gates] every night.
You previously mentioned to me that you’re working on a new EP. What can we expect from this new album, sound wise?
KJ: My new EP, Unity of Purpose, is all about dirty bass, haunting vocals and syncopated crazy drum beats. It’s coming right up, March 3rd!
Impossible Records has established itself as a central hub for unique genre busting bass music. What do you appreciate the most about what Impossible Records is producing?
KJ: We are getting more and more diverse and that is the most exciting part. Plus I’m releasing tons of KJ tunes this year.
Are there any new and exciting tracks or artists we should keep our ears open for?
KJ: For sure. Super Square, We Drop, We Bang x Mister Black and some secret brand new artists.