• Gabby Bortolot

Top Five with Dan, Khau Rule

Dan Khau Rule is a second generation immigrant, which he explains is a "big part of [his] identity both day-to-day and in music". Having released his first project less than twelve months ago, he shares "I think it might be because growing up, I didn’t see many Asian people doing music and so that did me no favours as far as confidence goes. When I did finally get that light bulb moment to just say 'screw it!!!' and release my music, I found it so empowering. I really do hope that others might see me putting myself out there and be encouraged to do the same with whatever creative works they have that they are too scared to share; especially kids from the same background as me."

Photo by @thao.design

"As far as the music goes, I do all my own vocals, production and mixing. I am absolutely inspired the most by the artists that do their own production and vocals; Tyler the Creator, Tame Impala and Blood Orange just to name a few. Seeing smaller artists do their thing is also so inspiring to me, especially if they’re from Melbourne/Naarm and especially from an Asian background!!! Sound wise, I just hope that everything I make is as genuine to me as it can be. I never want to make something for others' validation, although I do fall into this trap all the time. Ultimately, that is what I hope I can achieve for myself. Next up for me will hopefully be a single although I love putting together an EP. Working out the tracklisting and putting together a cover in Photoshop and making videos in After Effects is so fun!!! I love the nitty gritty of it all."

Today Forever West gets to know Dan, Khau Rule, as he shares his top five favourite artists. Dan shares why they make the cut and what draws him to their sound.


Tyler, the Creator


This list is in no particular order but my number one spot definitely goes to Tyler. I think the reason that I am so attracted to his art is because it is undeniably him. I don’t think there’s ever been a point in his career where he had to compromise on his sound or vision in return for mass appeal. Everything from the production to the album covers to the music videos is all done by him and I think it really shows.


I am also a huge huge fan of the artists that do all their own production and Tyler is no exception. Every project sounds so different from the last but it’s always still him. From his use of chord progressions to the various drum samples he finds, it’s always so cool to listen to for me. The bridge part on ‘I DON’T LOVE YOU ANYMORE’ with Solange and Charlie Wilson harmonising together is probably my favourite musical passage ever. I imagine that’s what heaven sounds like.



King Krule


Very few can really convey emotion sonically for me like Archy does. It’s just so raw. His music is like if your dog died, you lost your job and your girlfriend broke up with you all in the same day, and you decided to hit the studio straight after. His lyrics at times are literally poems, and the instrumentals just evoke something for me, I don’t know how else to describe it. I’m also pretty sure he made a lot of the cuts off ‘6 Feet Beneath the Moon’ when he was just 15… 15!!!!!!!!! Bruv……. I also learned a lot of my guitar skills from learning his songs so I think naturally, a lot of the guitar chords I use are influenced by the chord progressions he uses.



Blood Orange

I think Dev Hynes’ sound is so unique to him. His intricate use of so many different instruments blends together in the most harmonious way and it is just euphoric to listen to. You kind of never know what sounds he will use and I think that is the best bit. Like in ‘Gold Teeth’ where he has this beautiful piano progression but then has this hard as, early 2000’s Project Pat sample for the hook. I don’t know what to feel when I listen to that song but I freakin’ love it!



Tame Impala


How could I not mention Tame Impala. The things Kevin Parker does soundwise is literally mind boggling. I think he has been able to keep it 100% genuine to him, achieve such a unique sound and really push it forward to the masses. I’m a complete nerd for all the nitty gritty bits of being a producer and listening to some of the stuff he does soundwise and trying to figure it out for myself is always so fun. On top of that, he’s Aussie too which is always nice to see on the big stage.



Nujabes


A literal genius. I hope I die to his music or they play it at my funeral or something, ‘Aruarian Dance’ in particular. I love biking around with that song playing. His music just makes you feel things and they don’t even have any lyrics. Not to mention the sheer talent that he had finding and chopping up samples. I think some of his songs literally have samples from 3 or 4 different songs. Not just percussive samples either but full, melodic progression samples. It’s just mind boggling to think about. Being an Asian artist too and seeing how he has really influenced music (especially the lo-fi era) is so inspiring and encouraging to see.




Photo by @thao.design



Dan, Khau Rule

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