How did your love for music originate? If you had not gotten into music, what would you be doing today?
Growing up, my mom’s passion for music influenced my own love of music from a young age. When I was younger, I played both the piano and tableh (middle eastern drum). As I grew into my teenage years, I started listening to DJs on the local Chicago radio and started becoming curious. I began to purchase turntables and trade old equipment for new gear. Both the American hip-hop/rap and middle-eastern genres have had a great influence in my life. By balancing both of these cultures, I have been able to cultivate and experiment with different genres and styles.
But if I hadn’t gotten into music, I would probably be working a 9-5 or best case gotten into acting.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how do your other passions influence your creativity?
Pretty much my company Treblemonsters is my other full time role. It’s really interlinked with what I would do in music daily. So between both, I am constantly surrounded and working on music or music related tasks.
How long has your group, Treble Squad, been active?
In 2016 I started booking Violin Girl (Violin) and MGabriel (Sax) separately on gigs through Treblemonsters. Over the years and one gig at a time, we found a great chemistry between us all and decided that our energy & sound is all unmatched and mutual. That’s when we decided to dedicate our talents to each other under Treble Squad formally in 2018.
How did you come up with your DJ name and what does it mean to you?
Kice is my real name. I wanted to keep it simple, real, and authentic.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Burning Man 2019 — I did 13 sets with Treble Squad. Also, Spring Awakening 2021, when we played a day set and saw almost every attendee run across the fields from the other stages to our stage to watch our show.
What has been your favorite venue to play at? What venues do you hope to play at?
Bodega Nightclub in Chicago. It’s a 200 person cap venue that is all house with special FX. Very intimate but big room sounds. Space is on my bucket list.
If you could play any show at any venue with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Kice, MK, Benny Benassi, and Deorro.
What advice would you give your younger self?
If I were to give advice to my younger self, I would tell him: prioritize health over wealth, review and say “yes” to every opportunity that you get, support the artists that inspire you, and try to show up in person because that is much more productive than cold-calls.
What advice would you give someone who just started DJing?
Make sure you are learning from someone that has proven real success and remember practice makes perfect
Which one of your songs means the most to you and why?
“How Do You Feel” because everything on the track was live. The vocals are just a power house and there’s a great blend of piano, house lines, and middle eastern subtle elements that are all in one. My sound is reflective almost perfectly in the track.
What’s your creative process?
I get inspired by hearing new music that’s close to my sound. I use that as a lead in my DAW and then pick and choose what I love from that song. From there, I remove it and start doing my own thing in regards to adding elements, restructure, and sound design. I found this to be the most efficient way to finish a track that I won’t walk away from.
Do you have plans for the future that you would like to spotlight?
You can see some of my shows that are coming up on my site! The goal is to push as much of my original sound as possible while playing out as much as possible. I also have a middle eastern deep house EP ready to go — I am fine-turning it and considering adding it under my current Kice project as a nice variance to the house I have released.
KICE [SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS]
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/kice/1510169355