23-year-old, multi-instrumentalist and electronic music producer, Kimon Rayne has made his way onto our radar like a hurricane. The talented muso from Johannesburg might not be listed on everyone’s playlist right now but we’re certain he will be in no time at all!
Rayne‘s story is as interesting and captivating as his art. Although surrounded by music while growing up and encouraged to explore his talent, it wasn’t until Rayne discovered that his biological father, whom he’d never met before, was a musician and had performed in bands such as Mango Groove and Johnny Clegg, that he felt a connection to music on a deeper level. Rayne went on to learn the piano, guitar, ukulele, didgeridoo, electronic production and most recently began dabbling with vocals.
His production style is the perfect ratio between mood and groove – a chill-inducing downtempo experience that you could keep on replay all day. His instrumental talent is heard throughout his music but more captivating is how Kimon draws on elements such as the time of day, the weather, the atmosphere and most importantly colours to influence his work.
To date, the upcoming artist has amassed a discog of some impressive singles and three solid EP’s with the latest, tilted ‘Flowers Don’t Speak‘ being released just last week. The edgy offering explores personal growth from seed to blossom and the vital elements needed in life and nature for that to happen. We were lucky enough to catch up with Kimon last week and get to know more about this young and upcoming artist. Without further ado…
MCBN | For those of our readers who are discovering your work for the first time, tell us more about yourself. You have such a unique name, is it your birth name?
KIMON | My full name is Kimon Rayne Candiotes, so in a way, Kimon Rayne is my real name. I was given up for adoption at birth and my parents that had adopted me named me Kimon. My biological mother intended on naming me Rayne and so my parents decided to keep it as my second name in her honour. I’m a 23-year-old, multi-instrumentalist and electronic music producer from Johannesburg, born, raised and still based here although my girlfriend and I have plans to move to Cape Town in the near future.
MCBN | Tell me more about your journey with music, do you play any instruments and when did you first begin electronic production?
KIMON | I started my journey at a very young age, probably before I even truly realised and acknowledged it. After learning that my biological father, whom I’ve never met was a musician and had performed in bands such as Mango Groove and alongside Johnny Clegg, I felt a connection to music on a deeper level than most and becoming entangled with music felt like a key part of the journey we all undertake towards understanding ourselves. My parents always surrounded me with music and pushed me to explore every crack and crevice. I started piano in primary school but soon dropped it in pursuit of my first love, guitar. I’ve been playing the guitar for around 8 years and producing for the better part of 5 years. I still play piano, self-taught, and love it as well as ukulele, didgeridoo and most recently singing.
MCBN | Your SoundCloud says you’re “bound not by genre, BPM or style, but bound by sound and by emotions…” I can see how you relate to that, you’re musical concepts are very playful but just as palpable and moody at the same time. Do you have a specific creative process or pre-design a song in your mind? Or like your bio states, do you produce based on what you feel at any given moment?
KIMON | I often tend to imagine a setting in my mind first, usually in nature but not always. I think about the time of day, the weather, the atmosphere and most importantly the colours. Sometimes trees are red, sometimes the grass is shades of blue. The feeling I have at that moment sparks the inspiration for the start of a song, after that I just let the music show me where it wants what.
My best songs have always flowed out easily. Once I start struggling to get the pieces to fit together I back off and go somewhere else. I’m also a very laid back person most of the time so I like making slower music more. This approach has resulted in me having created high energy bass house music on one day, and an acoustic sultry ballad the next. These may not sound like they would ever mix, but every song I make has so much of me in it that there are always connections to be made between them.
MCBN | To date, you have released two EP’s – Unconscious (2017) and Solid Structures (2019) as well as a handful of impressive singles ( I love ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ and ‘Magic’!) Unconscious has done considerably well across, SoundCloud and Youtube. Your latest EP’s Solid Structures and Flowers Don’t Speak are released two months apart – is there a reason you decided to keep the EP’s as two separate projects?
KIMON | The EP’s are based on different concepts and so I kept them separate. The reason they are only 2 months apart has less to do with my creative decisions and more to do with my career growth. I spent a long quiet time gaining as much knowledge and skill as I could and now I feel I’m ready to put as much of my work out there and stop hiding behind the most feared of traps for an artist, the pursuit of perfection. This means more music, more often from now on.
MCBN | Your brand new EP ‘Flowers Don’t Speak’ is a level up from everything I’ve heard so far. Especially in terms of progression on the EP – from one song to the next, it’s a dank and groovy journey that’s skilfully conceptualized. Tell me more about the project from the ground up – from the title of the EP to the artwork and of course, the inspiration behind the EP’s songs and it’s progression.
KIMON | We grow as people just like a flower grows and without proper care, we will never bloom. That’s where the concept for this EP came about, it’s all about a flowers journey from a seed and it all doubles as a metaphor for the growth and the care we get from the people around us. The artwork concept just seemed beautiful and unique in my mind. The flowers came from my personal garden that I grow outside my studio.
‘Droplets‘ is a song about rain, the life-giving act of nature that I so dearly love. Water & Light are the elements needed for a flower to grow, I compare them to music for humans. Undergrowth is a painting of a forest floor and all the movements that pass the resting flower through the night. Strong Roots is a metaphor for a strong foundation in your life, without someone to love and support you, things can get tough.
MCBN | Are there any past projects you’ve worked on or any future projects on the cards?
KIMON | I have something interesting that I’m developing and preparing to execute throughout next year, I don’t want to give too much away but I will say that there are many new Kimon Rayne songs on the horizon.
MCBN | Other than music, what else do you do?
KIMON | I love to learn new things so I spend a lot of my spare time watching TED Talks, documentaries or reading non-fiction books. I also skateboard from time to time and I love gaming too, just don’t ask me to play Fortnite or CS: GO, I prefer indie/platformer games. Hollow Knight and Bastion are some of my favourites.
MCBN | Who are your top two local music influences and top 2 international music influences?
KIMON | Locally, I have huge respect for FKA Mash, his music has influenced me significantly. I’m also really into Honeymoan at the moment. Internationally I’d say my biggest influences would be Baynk and Crooked Colours if I had to just pick two.
MCBN | Describe your latest EP Flowers Don’t Speak in just three words.
KIMON | Organic electronic freedom.