The Way It Is: Kove on New Single, Festivals, & Ibiza

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It’s been a whirlwind year for UK DJ/producer Kove. After getting his start on Andy C’s RAM Records imprint Program Recordings, Kove—real name James Rockhill—found his tracks in the hands of artists like Chase & Status before scoring big with his 2013 single “Love For You.” Now, he’s gearing up for the release of his house-pop fusion “Way We Are,” which has already managed to garner a significant amount of mainstream radio support in the UK.

We connected with Kove in the midst of a busy summer—which includes his debut at New York City’s Electric Zoo in August— to talk about the new release, his recent festival performances, and his upcoming plans.

DJ Times: There’s a 90s house vibe present throughout “Way We Are.” What influenced the creation of the track?
Kove: The track is definitely a throwback to piano house from the 90s but we didn’t really set out to make it that way, it just so happened that the chord progression we wrote to fitted that vibe.

DJ Times: Melissa Steel features on the single. How did the collaboration come to be?
Kove: Melissa had done some sample recreation for me on my last EP and I clocked that she had a great voice. So when A&R asked if I wanted to go back in with her, I jumped at the chance. Her tone and style are fantastic.

DJ Times: The single is more pop influenced than your other work. Is this a direction you’re planning on exploring further?
Kove: It’s not necessarily something I’m aiming for, it’s more about where I am at the moment in terms of writing. I’m enjoying writing more song-based music as opposed to making crazy bass modulations. Also, I love pop music so it’s fun to be able to create something a bit more along those lines. Although—saying that—sometimes sitting in my studio bashing out some heavy bass lines can’t be beaten!

DJ Times: “Liberator,” the other original on the EP, is much heavier than “Way We Are.” What was behind the decision to include it on the release?
Kove: I’m a drum and bass producer at heart, so I’m always hoping to reference that in what I do. I’d been listening to a lot of mid-90s drum and bass and jungle at the time, so I wanted to do something along those lines. I knocked it up in an afternoon, just totally ignored melody and harmony and distorted everything! I think with the more radio friendly aspect of “Way We Are” that it’s good to go back to my roots a bit.

DJ Times: You’re playing at Amnesia throughout the summer as part of the Together residency. What makes these Ibiza shows and crowds different from others?
Kove: I love the Ibiza shows; it’s always a good time out there. Despite not being in the same country at Together, you’re playing to a predominantly UK crowd so your set doesn’t necessarily alter as much as it would if you play in Eastern Europe, for instance. Generally though, it’s best to reach for the bangers at Amnesia: that system loves big drops!

DJ Times: You recently played both Electric Daisy Carnival and Glastonbury. What were those experiences like?
Kove: They were both great. EDC was a totally new experience for me. You hear so much about US dance culture, so it was interesting to experience it firsthand. The production at EDC is like nothing I’ve ever seen; the Basspod had more pyro than most main stages over here in the UK. Glastonbury was a great gig despite the mud. I’m not really into the ‘festival experience’—what with the toilets, camping and mud—but at least I can say, “I’ve done Glasto,” now.

DJ Times: What else do you have planned for the rest of the year?
Kove: Summer is really getting into swing now, so it’s nonstop in and out of the studio and festivals. I’m really looking forward to Reading & Leeds, as Reading was my first-ever festival. I’m also hoping to get a new release out soon; there’s a lot of stuff in the vaults, so watch out!

“The Way We Are” is due out on July 14 via MTA Records. Stream the EP below.

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