Kate from production duo TC4 spoke to us about beats, bands and Kate Bush

RnB/Hip Hop | Thursday 25th June 2015 | Christina

Exciting new production duo TC4, hailing from the West Midlands, are earmarked for great things in the future. The pair, multi-instrumentalists Tom Calder and Kate Turley, are signed to DJ Target & Danny Weed’s Pitched Up imprint, and have a string of EPs planned for 2015. Having played in a string of live bands that toured the US, and worked with the likes of Frenship, Nim Miller and Voyageur, TC4 are producing some the most exciting and forward thinking music being released at the moment. We caught up with Kate to hear what they’ve got planned for the future.

How’s it going? What have you been up to recently?
Just been working on a lot of new music and that. We’ve got an EP coming out and we’re currently working on the next one.

Give us some background on how you two got together and started making music.
We’ve been playing music for like years and years, we were in bands before and we ended up in the same band. We quit that to start making beats basically, and we just practised loads and done it for a few years, and that’s where we’re at now.

Were you like childhood friends or did you go to the same school? How did you guys get together in the first place?
Just from playing in different bands in the local area, that’s how we met, playing gigs with each other and stuff.

What kind of band was it? Was it a rock band?
Just all different kinds of bands, I was in quite a few, a rock band, a pop band. I’ve been in loads of different things.

What kind of instruments did you play?
I play guitar, drums, saxophone, bass, percussion, loads of stuff.

Wow! What about Tom, what does he play?
He plays all the same stuff as me pretty much. We both play lots of different instruments.

Would we ever hear either of you on vocals? Are you singers or not really?
Yeah we both do a bit of singing every now and then, we’ve been demoing our own songs too. But we’re not really focusing on the singing, that’s just something we do for demos and stuff.

Do you both write as well?
Yeah, yeah, yeah we’ve been writing.

Who would you say your influences are?
I don’t know, we influenced by everything that goes on around us. We’re into so much kind of music from seventies, eighties, nineties, 2000s, we’re inspired by all kinds of music and bringing it all together.

And how would you describe your sound? You’ve got house elements, garage, R&B, hip-hop all going on in your tracks, but what would you call it?
I have no idea! Just all of that combined I guess. We go through different phases, we’ll be making house tracks for a bit and then we’ll think let’s try something else and come up with some garage tunes but I haven’t really got a name for it.

No worries! What’s your process for making a track – do you start with the beat first or do you do the lyrics?
Every single track is different. We’re working on one right now, we started on the intro and chord patterns, but sometimes we’ll start with the beat or the drop. We try and keep it fresh by changing it up all the time.

Who are you working with now? Can you say?
Erm, well, I’m not even allowed to say because it’s not all finished and stuff.

You guys are signed to Pitched Up, how did that come about?
Our manager has known Danny Weed for a long time and he sent him some beats and that and he really liked them, so we got talking to him and after a while he offered us a deal, and obviously we we’re delighted with that.

Your track ‘Something About You’ with Arlissa has recently dropped, you must be pleased with the reaction on that one? It’s going crazy!
Yeah it’s so exciting at the moment, like you never know what to expect with these things and yeah it’s going pretty good.

How did you guys hook up with her?
The beat was called ‘Tokyo’ before, and it was kind of getting played on a few things about and Arlissa heard it, she hollered us and was like “what’s going on, I think this would be great on the tune” and she just vocalled it and sent it back, and we were like “yeah that’s wicked”, we went and met up with her and finished the track. Yeah we’re all really happy with it.

So she wrote the lyrics for that one?
Yeah, yeah.

And the video, how involved were you guys with that? You’ve got some disco vibes going on there, did you get involved with the concept or did someone come to you with the idea?
We had eight or ten ideas brought to us for videos and we just had to pick one. We weren’t really sure, so us, our management and label decided on one together.

Do you think that’s something you want to get involved with more, videos and filming?
Yeah I think so in the future, we definitely want to get more involved with it. I think this time we weren’t sure what kind of visuals were meant to go with that song, so we kind of stepped back a little and let people come to us with ideas but for future songs we wanna come up with our own ideas.

What else can we expect from the EP? I assume ‘Something About You’ is going to be on there, how many other tracks have you got?
There’s three other tracks on there. One of them ‘Tears’ has been out there for a bit on blogs and that, and the other tracks have house sort of vibes.

And the ‘Tears’ track, I saw that there was a live session with SBTV, she did an acoustic version, is that something that you’d be interested in doing, more stripped back sessions as well?
I think so yeah. Obviously Onyda when she done that, she done it really, really well, she sounds brilliant on that. There’s lots of different ways you can do it but yeah we wanna do some more acoustic stuff in the future.

Yeah it was really, really cool. You’ve done quite a few remixes as well, recently Oliver Heldens and Iggy Azalea, how do you go about deciding on what to remix? Do you pick tracks you like? Do you pick one each? How do you choose?
Them few have been people asking us if we want to do them, so we don’t really go out looking for songs to remix but if we get offered one and we like the track, we’ll do it.

What other upcoming projects have you got that you can tell us about? Obviously the EP we’ve spoken about but anything else?
Yeah we’re practising our live set. When we do stuff live, Tom is on decks and I’m on drums, so we’re just practising our live show.

When will we be able to catch you live? When do you think you’re gonna start touring and stuff?
We’re not even sure yet because we’re just so focused on making new music all the time, so once we get into the studio enough to practise and we’ve got enough songs we think we’re happy with then we’ll start doing shows.

And do you think you’ll have a load of guest people come on for the live shows or would you do some of the vocals?
Nah we’d get people to come and guest on the shows.

What are you listening to right now?
Jessie Ware, she’s sick, Jamie xx’s new ones are awesome. I listen to loads of old stuff as well. I love 90s house, and sixties and seventies music too, I listen to a bit everything.

And if you could collaborate with anyone, past or present, obviously you just mentioned Jessie Ware and Jamie xx, but what about people from back in the day?
That’s a really hard question. Kate Bush, she’s amazing. That’d be amazing.

Did you get to see her when she did her shows in Hammersmith recently?
Nah I didn’t get to go because we were so busy in the studio up here in the Midlands. I was gutted that I couldn’t.

What’s the first record you bought? Can you remember?
Nah I can’t even remember you know!

Have you got any really embarrassing ones, like guilty pleasures in your record collection?
There’s loads in there but I don’t want to tell you about them!

Which song in the history of music do you wish you’d written or produced?
That’s another really hard question. I don’t even know to be honest.

You can say Kate Bush if you want!
Yeah I do like ‘Wuthering Heights’ actually, but I don’t wish I wrote it because I just like listening to it and appreciating it.

Do you guys have any guilty pleasures in the studio? Are there any weird things that you guys do?
Yeah we argue over tracks [laughs]. When we both get really involved in the track and we disagree, we’ll argue it out. Eventually those tracks become the best ones. We probably shouldn’t be doing that but we do end up arguing.

What’s the worst thing you’ve gotten in trouble for?
Erm, I’ve never really got into that much trouble. Just being drunk and stuff. Nothing major.

If you could fill a swimming pool with anything, what would it be and why?
Puppies, just because that would be amazing.

Which three people would you choose to be stranded on a desert island with?
I have no idea, these are the weirdest questions ever! I wasn’t expecting these questions [laughs]. You’re putting me on the spot a bit here. Probably Tom because then we could still make music, who else? I don’t even know. You’ve completely thrown me off here.

Alright, alright! Are you going to any festivals this year? Are you playing at anything or going as punters?
I think we’re just staying in the studio all summer working on loads of music.

Where do you see yourself in five years time? Do you think you’d have albums, big tours?
Yeah I’d like to think we’d have a couple of albums out by then and yeah be touring. Just doing what we’re doing now but on a bigger scale would be great.

Anything else we should know?
I don’t know. I think we’re quite secretive and private. I don’t really talk about my life much. I’m the worst person ever to interview!

It’s alright, you don’t want to give the game away. Thanks for talking to me!

Follow TC4 on Facebook, Twitter and SoundCloud.