Artist of the month of February: Kali G
Khalil Belamallem, widely known as Kali.G, is flourishing as one of Morocco’s fastest rising star DJs. Born in Rabat, Morocco; Kali G started his career two decades ago as the Resident DJ in the mythical Cathedral Club Sevilla where he played alongside some of the world’s finest DJs. Their influence helped him build his own style that can’t be easily defined: spiritual waves incorporating hypnotizing deep bass lines and grooves to Moroccan folklore samples and ethnic sounds.
Tell us a bit about your background and experience as a dj and producer?
I can split that process in different periods in my personal and professional life. Everything started at a very early age playing different instruments solo and with a band in hi school. Then I left Morocco to study in Sevilla back in the end of 90’s and that’s where I discovered the night life and the underground music vibe. After 7 years as resident dj in an institution of house music in Andalucia (Cathedral Club) I started seeking to learn music production the reason that pushed me to take the decision to move to Barcelona and study audio engineering.
Barcelona was my techno school that’s where I had the chance to discover techno music from top artists as Jeff miles, Richie, Laurent garnier to mention a few. After 4 years in Barcelona I started thinking about somewhere where I can keep developing my career and myself as a person and as an artist. So I decided to move to ibiza where I lived for 3 beautiful years. Ibiza was exactly what I needed I call it my university. During all this time I had the chance to play all around and build my own style of entertaining the crowd.
Your Moroccan roots have a big impact on your sounds, tell us about your style and how you shaped it into what it is today?
Definitely. After several years deejaying i started thinking about how I can make my sets more creative and how can I put my signature. It was quite easy actually. Since very early age I have been playing and listening to a plenty of genres. From classic to folklore from electronic to jazz so I decided to start preparing tools in my studio and use them in my mixes. This way I don’t get bored playing only a track after another specially when I started to play digital. So I was and still do sometimes depending of the crowd and event, mixing ethnic and spiritual tools with deep tech minimal a very inspiring genre to create since there is space in this genre that allows you to be creative and imaginative.
Has your sound changed throughout the years?
Music is pure process where you start somewhere and you never know where you will end. I have been playing for 22 years now so I had the time to collect plenty of music and enjoy many genres and vibes. But now I think I am at a moment where creating a special sound experience or trip is what gives me satisfaction as a dj and as a producer.
What is/are your favorite releases and how did it/they come together?
To be honest I am very critical with my works and my closest friends always tell me that. Today, I have more than 50 unreleased tracks that I have never sent to labels because I always think that there is something I can add 🙂 but if I have to chose two I would chose: Kali G – Flute In G original mix from (lost in India EP ) released on WIndhorse records. a track that reflects what I consider a magic spiral and vibe that lives in me and all party people love specially after a top party.
I tried to put that magic groove and baseline that makes us trip for hours. I had the chance to make the instruments recording in India at the WIndhorse studios in Hyderabad. My WIndhorse family got me amazing musicians and I could explain them exactly what I want and they where amazing putting all my ideas magically. (There are videos of the recording session on Kali G’s Instagram)
The second is my remix of breath by Zakaria, Zakaria – Breathe (Kali G Remix). That was released on celo records. What I like about this remix is that when celo recs wanted me to make a remix of one track of the Ep they sent me 4 tracks. The original version of breath is a break beat track but I had something on my mind that was telling me this is the track to remix. So I just followed my instinct and I think it’s the remix where I had the most of fun. After the release it was shared on Verzila a channel that I personally respect as the thousands of people who follow it. So that made it even more special.
Can you tell us one of your best DJ moments?
Every gig for me is a new opportunity to enjoy and experience new things. But my best moments are when I played at the treehouse stage at The Zoo Project Ibiza for the first time in prime time and also playing a Sunday morning 4hours set at Cesarhof festival in front of an amazing crowd and especially in front of top artists that I respect massively and seeing all of them dancing happy and also the feedback i got from them afterwards was an unforgettable experience.
Can you tell us what is next for you?
I have been working a lot in studio specially during the COVID times. First, I totally changed my process in production. I moved from expressing my own ideas with a musician view of music to a total analog setup and process. So my next move is to start a new project and alias where my productions are pure electronic and my ideas are inspired from the beauty of randomness possibilities that machines offer.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to a new DJ?
The advice I can give to the new generations is to learn to hear an feel music not watching the waveform in the screen. The other advice is to enjoy the process and enjoy music not the hype.
Famous last words?
Thank you for having me!