Everything purple

Interview with Kornél Kovács

Everything purple

24-10-2013 | 19.25

This Friday Kornél Kovács is playing at Down Below - De Verdieping only. We took some time to do a little one on one with him to talk about his relationship to Carlos Valdes, Studio Barnhus, his view on the underground scene and his favourite color.

So you're playing in Trouw this Friday, back to back with Carlos. The last time you guys shared the booth was almost two years ago. How did your friendship start out and why is there such a chemistry between you guys?
I think I met Carlos in Stockholm for the first time when he played at Ficks, a mixed gay night that I did together with Makode Linde and Ulrich Bermsjö. I must have immediately fallen for his boyish charms, nipple-twisting antics and ridiculous dj skills. Since then we've stumbled upon each other in Berlin, Amsterdam and Stockholm again - sometimes sharing the dj booth, sometimes the dancefloor, sometimes just a cold beer or a hot bowl of snert. Good times have been and will continue to be had. I love him!

You're also highly involved in Studio Barnhus, the threesome that you are part of. How did you guys start out and describe, if you want, that chemistry as well.
We started out just as three guys sharing a studio. We didn't know each other very well at that time. I was looking for a new place and word on the street was Petter and Axel were looking too, so when I found this basement space on Barnhusgatan ('Orphanage Street') in Stockholm and I hooked up with them. I think we became best friends in a few weeks. Then we started djing together, just for fun in the beginning. Well, that's still true I guess. Then people started booking us as a unit and it kind of just grew from there. Same thing with the label - we just wanted to put out one record with our own music, then we had to put out another one by some friends from Gothenburg, then it just kept rolling. It's a very personal and, dare I say, 'organic' affair. We have a very special chemistry that's hard to describe, like family. We know each other's strengths and weaknesses and give each other lots of love, but we also challenge each other to do new things and become better at stuff."

Boiler Room, Fabric, Panorama Bar and Trouw are some of the venues and gigs you are playing in the upcoming weeks. I tend to claim venues like these are becoming more and more mainstream, as underground music is getting more and more popular. What is your opinion on this and why do you agree or disagree, based on your ongoing clubbing experience in the last decade? 
I'm not sure that's true. Maybe. I always had a hard time understanding or caring about the difference between 'mainstream' and 'underground' as it is. When I grew up, I listened to commercial music next to more difficult stuff and I still need both in my life to keep me happy. I think people who worry about the commercialisation of our scene are really exaggerating. I mean, even looking at Boiler Room, which is perhaps the most visible outlet in our little world... Their most viewed video on YouTube (Richie Hawtin in Amsterdam) has 3 million views and that's nothing if you compare it to the reach of really commercial music, like Rihanna or something. As far as these venues you mention go, they're all amazing. Trouw especially! And they deserve all their success. If they can become super popular without compromising music programming or door policies - which seems to be the case - then I really see no issue.

What's your favourite color?
Why it's purple, of course! Because... 'Purple Drank', 'Purple Rain", 'Purple Pills'... Plus I look really good in it! I'm wearing a purple kimono right now, feeling super fly!

Text: Dennis de Vogt