Samson Valentine aka BlacKarma recently took home the trophy for Point Blank's production contest a couple months back. His knack for crafting delicate yet powerful melodic and sparse techno is on point (pun intended). Magnetic caught up with this Londoner to find out a little more about his creative process, faves and sci-fi choices. Check out his insanely good mix below and dig into his Soundcloud page when you get the chance.
Your work both visually (art) and musically have a very cinematic feel to them. Why is this? Are you also a graphic designer or visual artist?
SV: Neither of them, I just try to visualise myself taking a journey when making music.
If you were to describe the BlacKarma brand in an elevator pitch to a record label, how would you break it down?
SV: Strong believer in karma. Collecting good karma by giving the listeners a break from the real world to be in present while listening to my music. Black because techno is my medium.
What keeps you driven to keep making music in such a competitive and crowded landscape?
SV: My drive comes from my love for music. Don't see it as a competition, I just give in my best. In that process I always learn something new production wise.
You seem to have a sound (some of it anyway) that is reminiscent of the days of classic progressive like Sasha&Digweed, Nick Warren, Jimmy Van M, etc. Did this era influence you in any way?
SV: After dark - as a track, wanted it to be a progressive tune. More to the side of techno as I got influenced it around me. Yes did grown up listening to these legends playing their progressive sets, so I'm pretty sure it has influenced me in many ways.
What do like the most about today’s electronic music scene and what do you like least?
SV: Been getting into some heavyweight techno artists lately (Ben kl, dettman, Ihatemodels, etc) really interested in their sound. Currently exploring that world of music. Least would be hip hop in a club. Nothing against it - just not my taste.
What do you do to pay the bills right now?
SV: Have taken a year off from work and dedicated my time to pointblank in London. As I don't get any work hours on my visa over here, my family has been supporting me with their never ending love. Also looking for a job in London currently, so that I can continue to grow as this city has to offer.
If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be?
SV: Woo York.
How to you get inspired to make music? Is there a process or does it just come to you at random?
SV: Random and partly a process which involves exploring untapped locations where I draw out inspiration from the sights I see and the people I meet.
If you were commissioned by a brand to make music for a commercial and you could choose the brand, what product would it be?
SV: Tesla - modular sounds with their futuristic car ads.
Star Wars or Star Trek? Why?
SV: Star Wars - believer of the force.
In the studio - Wine, Beer, Spirits, Smoke or sober?
SV: Anything and everything, as long as the space is clean.
I’m going to give you a bottle of whiskey, any whiskey ever? What would you choose and what does that whiskey sound like?
SV: Blue label - "Be yourself" by Audioslave
What prompted you to enter this Point Blank contest?
SV: Never have been in a competition before which was based in electronic music production. Also, Just to know how it feels to put myself through the feeling of having a deadline.
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/blkrma/
Soundcloud : https://soundcloud.com/blkarma