Kidnap has released his debut album Grow. The album title stems from what he calls a period of change and growth over the past few years after changing names Kidnap Kid to Kidnap and shifting his sound a little along the way. The Sheffield native merges organic sounds with electronic elements for an album that shows a more expansive musical mindset outside of club music and a more complete thought of what he wants with his music. Instead of us waxing poetic about the record, we asked Kidnap to do a Director’s Cut to take us into his thinking for each song.
Keep on reading to see how each song came together, what they mean individually or together and their context in his life. Listen to the album as you do so and pick up a copy here.
Grow ft Leo Stannard
Some songs come together in a day, some in a week. “Grow” took three years from start to finish. I loved the central melody but couldn’t find the right way to expand it into a full-length song. Eventually through collaboration with my friend Leo, the final version was achieved. This song now stands as a reminder of the rewards of patience.
Ursa is the outcome of a recommitment to the process of evolution, one which for a time was laid down. It proved to be my greatest production challenge to date and for that reason, one of which I’m most proud. It is an ode to distant orbits and a call for adulation. A nudging reminder to revere our lives lived as they are, hanging amongst the stars.
Often when writing club music, I find what emerges to be all too serious and that my musical identity has been lost. In this song, I strove to counterbalance the surly baseline with the dancing strings of pioneering Irish fiddler Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh. The result, I hope, is a club-focused track with a playful edge.
Moments ft Leo Stannard
“Moments” was written on my first occasion working with Leo and it set the tone of our collaborative relationship. I find I don’t have much I can say about this song. I hope you hear what I hear.
This Unfriendly World
This is the most low-key moment on the album. It features a looped vocal sample that mumbles, “just keep rolling,” which became a mantra of mine at a time when the path ahead wasn’t clear. For this reason, it will always hold a special place with me.
Named after the evening prayer, “Isha” is a brooding track centered around a repeated chant. The same chant is featured in another song of mine called “First Light.” Inspired by the Indian Raga tradition, these two tracks were made to stand side by side as contrasting interpretations of the same theme, one representing the morning and the other the evening.
Until working with Tom, I’d intended to release this as an instrumental track. Tom’s voice merged so well with the music that we quickly changed the plan. The lyrics, concerned with self-acceptance and community, are themes I view as central to the ethos of electronic music. It may not be a huge surprise that I’d been listening to deadmau5 before working on “Start Again” and it was written as homage to his music - hopefully with a sufficient twist.
“Myo” is a carefree song. It carries an earnestness, which I often strive for and rarely achieve. Of all its components, the musical progression is the one of which I’m most proud. I hope the story holds you to its conclusion. NB, the vocal says whatever you want it to say.
Birds That Fly
When setting out to write an LP, there were a few existing tracks that I felt I had to include. In the past two years, “Birds That Fly” has become an unlikely anthem of mine. I still don’t know why, but that makes me like it all the more.
Willow Tree ft. Leo Stannard
“Willow Tree” is the only heartache piece on the album. To accompany Leo’s story of regret, I sought to make music that sounded as though it were ripping itself apart. Depending on my mindset, the pulling and bending of the melody can make for uncomfortable listening. At times I felt I should dampen this device to make a smoother piece. With it finished I’m glad I resisted.
“Tempest” is the first piece of concept driven music I’ve ever written. As may be understood by the name, the music follows the path of the storm. The strings play the part of the wind and the piano plays the rain. If you lend me your imagination you may be able to picture the leaves shaking on the trees and the rains falling down.