Producer and performer Eric Michot, formally known as Mr. Kito, loves the Foo Fighters, Spoon and Death Cab for Cutie. Yet, the French chef now residing in Cape Town, South Africa has a sound to his own credit and seven albums to his honour.
You are originally from France. How did you end up in South Africa?
I used to be a pastry chef and came to South Africa to set up a French patisserie for a restaurateur in Johannesburg. I fell immediately in love with the country. I am presently settled in Cape Town, enjoying the beautifully scenic environment, as well as the friendly people. South Africa is a truly remarkable country!
Have you noticed any different tastes in music in South Africa than Europe?
Yes, I have noticed differences. Cape Town and other large urban centres in South Africa, are very cosmopolitan African cities with elements of European and African culture coming together creating a distinct “Afro” culture. Many musical genres are represented and shared amongst the diverse communities. South Africa is indeed multicultural and South Africans exploring all opportunities for self-expression through the arts. I find that people integrate global trends and add their unique flavour into the mix, as well as providing the global community with original ideas and material too. The influence goes both ways!
What is the origin of your stage name, Mr. Kito?
Luc, my son, 6 years old at the time, said that he had been bitten by a “Mister Kito” during the night, meaning to say “Mosquito.” I loved it and labelled my solo project accordingly.
How can an artist promote themselves from anywhere in the world with success? Do you need to leave your house anymore? Obviously, you’re sitting at home in South Africa for this interview.
I am indeed working from home, from producing music in my own studio, to marketing and so forth. Life is good! Even so the internet presents artists like me with increased levels of access to the global community while simultaneously increasing the level of competition. Potential “clients” are being submerged or even bombarded by an abundance of products. They are learning to be discerning and are choosing more and more often “organic” forms of entertainment. However this does not need to be seen as an obstacle. I believe having a clear vision and strategizing around one’s career goes a long way for turning any business venture into a success. The same theory applies to the music business. In addition to this, studying marketing can provide important insight into opportunities and being multi-skilled helps keep your overheads to a minimum since outsourcing is reduced and capitalisation is increased.
If you could select one of your songs for anyone to dance to at a party, which would it be?
“Count Down” by Super Sumo is the track I would recommend. Alongside MR KITO I run another project called “Super Sumo” which fits the dance category well, since it is an EDM project (Electronic Dance Music). We’ve recently released the single “Count Down” featuring the talented “Bunny Love” on vocals, also under “Presence Records” my record label. We are doing pretty well in Europe as the single peeked at n3 in Charts; this track also features in an international Mixtape hosted by Iggy Azalea, Here is a link: http://supersumo.bandcamp.com
What mood should people be in when they normally listen to your albums: sad, confused, happy or all of those things?
Any mood will do! MR KITO falls into the Indie/Rock category, Remixed – Electronic versions are available online too. Even so, out of the 7 albums released, there is something for everyone and every mood. On this note, I am currently busy recording a new album due for release early next year, in which I dare to explore a wider range of emotions and music styles. I am very excited about this forthcoming new release!
When you produce music for other people, do you like to work with similar material as you make for yourself, or do you change completely?
Professionally, I focus on the following genres: rock, folk, indie rock and electronic. That being said, who knows what the future holds? I am open to all sorts of opportunities and challenges.
Like Mr. Kito? Visit his website at MrKitoMusic.com!