When 4KORNERS takes the stage, expect a high-energy performance like no other. A veteran DJ of the international club scene, he has now turned his attention to creating the music he uses to move crowds. Born and raised in a cultural mosaic that is Toronto, Canada, his sound is bass heavy electronic music deeply rooted in hip hop, with the caribbean, rock, funk and pop music influences of his upbringing. Couple that with the sounds he continues to discover along his travels as a DJ and what you get is a truly unique perspective on music. After 4Korners recently returned from a European tour, EDM TOR writer Ashlyn had the pleasure of interviewing the local talent before the NBA season started and he returned to his Toronto Raptors residency. Check out her interview with him below!
As a DJ, 4KORNERS’ resume speaks for itself. He does regular club shows in his hometown and across Canada, including his post as Official DJ of the NBA’s Toronto Raptors, playing to 20,000 people at every home game for the past 10 seasons. Add to that his rigorous tour schedule which takes him across North America, Europe & Asia and it’s no wonder why he is regarded as one of Canada’s top DJs, and has won numerous awards along the way. 4KORNERS music has caught the ear of some of the biggest names in electronic music as he as received support from Skrillex, DJ Snake, Vice, Just Blaze, Dillon Francis, and Flosstradamus to name a few. His single WORK, a collaboration with Mad Decent‘s TWRK was a staple from clubs to festivals for an entire year. His remix of Joe Ghost‘s LIBG released on Dim Mak Records helped solidify him as one to watch, and his upcoming releases will prove that 4K is here to stay.
AD: You’ve been the official DJ for the Toronto Raptors for 10 seasons now! What’s been the most memorable moment during your residency at the ACC?
4KORNERS: Honestly, there have been so many memorable moments. But if I had to pick, I’d probably say spinning the halftime show on centre court with Drake. That was a lot of fun.
AD: Do you meet a lot of basketball players throughout the season? Is there a specific player you’d like to meet?
4K: For sure! I’ve met tons of players from pretty much every team. What really excites me though is when I get to meet legends that are either part of the coaching staff or broadcast crews for the teams. Like I’ve met Patrick Ewing, Dominique Wilkins etc. Hall of Famers. I’ve yet to meet Magic Johnson. I’ve always wanted to meet him. He’s one of the greatest of all time!
AD: What inspired you to become a DJ? Can you pinpoint the moment when you realized, “hey, this is what I want to do for a living”? Who would you say has influenced your career the most?
4K: It kind of happened by accident, to be honest. My dad was a musician in his younger years, so I grew up with instruments in the house and he encouraged me to play. I took piano lessons for years and he taught me a bit of guitar. But he also had turntables and a sick record collection. I used to fool around and pretend I was Jazzy Jeff as a kid. When all my friends were buying CDs, I was buying records. And when I was old enough and started going to parties, I always hung out by the DJ booth, just watching. Eventually I stopped fooling around when I started to get really good. My friend and I started playing at little house parties, and it just grew and grew to the point where we decided to take it seriously. He’s not in the biz anymore, and I’ve had a few different partners since then, but here I am now. Still doing it, but on a much bigger level.
AD: Electronic music has greatly increased in popularity over the past few years. How has that affected the scene?
4K: The explosion of EDM and festival culture, especially in North America, has changed everything! DJs are now the new rock stars and popular music is now more electronic that ever. Almost every major pop star has collaborated with electronic producers. The scene is way different than it was even 10 years ago.
AD: Who is someone you wish to collaborate with one day?
4K: I hope to collaborate with a wide range of artists. I like people who push the envelope and aren’t afraid to take chances and try new things. I can’t say just one, so I’ll give you my top three: Kanye West, Skrillex and Prince.
AD: You just came back from a European tour. How does a European crowd differ from a North American one?
4K: I do a lot of shows in Europe. Almost as much as North America actually. The vibes definitely differ from country to country over there, but I think the main difference I see and feel is the appreciation for DJs. Superstar DJs are not a new thing on that side. To be a DJ is a respected, well understood profession. It’s not like North America, where a lot of people still don’t get that it can be a real career. Europe gets it.
AD: How do you take cultural differences into consideration when touring abroad?
4K: I always do my homework. I find out what songs are hot, what local artists are popular, etc. That way when I roll up, I’m prepared. There’s nothing sweeter than being the foreign DJ that comes in and drops a local heater. Like for example, playing in France and pulling out music from artists like Stromae, Booba, Soprano etc. People go nuts because they don’t expect me to know they’re local hits. I love doing that!
AD: Besides the nightlife, what was the most fun thing about travelling around Europe?
4K: Outside of my shows, there are three things I love about touring Europe. The food, the people, and the history. I’m a total foodie (peep my Instagram for the #EatWithKirk posts). I’ve made some really great friends over there years in various countries. Some really tight homies and, of course, some incredible women. And I’m a total history buff so I always love exploring and taking in the culture. Europe has such a deep and interesting past, and every country is so distinct. This really is the perfect profession for me.
AD: Which city partied the hardest?
4K: Haha! That’s such a hard question to answer. I’ve been touring for years and have played a lot of amazing parties all over. In recent memory though… This past summer I played about 30 cities over North America, Europe & Asia. I’d have to say Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was the craziest crowd. Like absolutely bananas. I can’t wait to play there again!
AD: Where have you never toured, but always wanted to go?
4K: I’ve check most places off my bucket list. Japan was my #1 and I did that this summer. My #2 & #3 right now are Australia & Brazil. Both are in the works.
AD: What’s a fun fact about yourself that not a lot of people would know?
4K: Before I took up music full time, I wanted to be a journalist. I was in university for two years studying before I found my true calling. So, unlike a lot of artists, I really enjoy doing interviews! Who knows, maybe someday I’ll end up interviewing other artists as a side job.
Special thanks to 4KORNERS for taking the time to chat with me! I have the very best wishes for his success, and we all have high hopes for a successful Toronto Raptors season.
Date – City – Location
Nov 6 – Cornerbrook, NL – Nightsounds
Nov 7 – St. John’s, NL – Allure
Nov 10 – Toronto, ON – Raptors vs Knicks
Nov 13 – Toronto, ON – Raptors vs Pelicans
Nov 14 – Calgary, AB – Ten Nightclub
Nov 19 – Toronto, ON – Maison Mercer
Nov 20 – Toronto, ON – Sound Academy
Nov 21 – Montreal, QC – Jet Nightclub
Nov 25 – Toronto, ON – Raptors vs Cavs
Nov 28 – Guelph, ON – Royal Electric
Nov 29 – Toronto, ON – Raptors vs Suns
Ashlyn Doughty – EDM TOR