Kuhrye-oo, the project by Montreal-based musician Calvin McElroy, unveiled his acclaimed self-titled EP via UNO NYC earlier this year. That was followed last month by his “Give In (For The Fame)” remix release, featuring reworks from the likes of Boody & Le1f, d’Eon and Ryan Hemsworth. Kuhrye-oo‘s oevre fall somewhere in between trad UK Garage, Future Garage and avant R&B. If you’re the type to go out and see your favorite bands play live, chances are you’ve seen Kuhrye-oo working the stage with Grimes or Born Gold and, perhaps, you’ve wanted to find out more. Well, now’s the time to knock yourself out… Photo: Tonje Thilesen
1. Your most memorable show?
Playing Boiler Room in London was crazy. It was my first day ever in the UK. I was traveling with another band and at the airport we realized the car we rented was a standard and not an automatic. So my poor friend had to drive a stick with his left hand on the left side of the road through the heart of London at rush hour. On top of this, we were late so he was doing American speeds on these narrow little roads. It took us three hours to get there and the whole way I just closed my eyes and prayed we wouldn’t die—but we made it. I had seen BR many times online but I never knew just how small that room is, it holds 40 people maybe. So I played my set facing a wall with two little webcams and a dozen people standing behind me. It was surreal but ended up being a real party.
2. Better show: Buffy or X-Files?
No doubt, X-Files. It’s worth watching for the soundtrack alone. Mark Snow is brilliant and the sound design is just perfect. I watched the entire series recently (at least the seasons that matter). The sexual tension kills me though. Mulder and Scully need to stop the mind-f@*king and just give in.
3. Do you believe in the paranormal?
Absolutely. We are not alone.
4. If you were still in high school, which clique would you belong to?
First time around I was one of the punks but if I was still in high school now, I don’t know. I’m not a jock, I’m not an academic, and I don’t like bands very much. I’d be a total loner if I went back to high school.
5. What does underground and mainstream mean to you?
I really don’t see a difference anymore. The internet brought the spotlight on the underground and nothing is inaccessible. It takes the same amount of time to search a Rihanna song on YouTube as it does Drexciya. I mean, some music is made to reach a smaller demographic but I don’t think that’s the same thing as ‘underground’. No, I don’t think that exists anymore.
6. What defines your music-making process?
I drink a lot of tea. That’s about the only consistent thing. My process changes with every song. I’ll even use different programs for different songs to keep things fresh. A routine or formula scares me. Inconsistency is key, although I always drink Earl Grey. With milk and Splenda is best.
7. A film or book that greatly influenced your music?
Pretty much every Wong Kar Wai movie but especially 2046. It’s about a novelist who is writing a sci-fi novel set in the future, but it’s really about his past. I like to think of music that way, the past told through the future. I’m also obsessed with Faye Wong.
8. Raging or chilling out?
I’m definitely a rager trapped in chill dude’s body. I’m down for anything, in the most reserved way.
9. Name three essential artists.
Aphex Twin. Obviously. David Borden—his compositions for electronic keyboard were well ahead of their time. Artful Dodger—these guys perfected the balance of pop/club.
10. Together, or alone?