COLUMN: River City Sound Kyle Stallings

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COLUMN: River City Sound Kyle Stallings

Ariana Beedie

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Kyle Stallings, 24, creates a different kind of sound inspired by classic beats and choice samples.

“The kind of music I make, I would just define as left field, jazz-influenced music,” Stallings said. “It was really inspired by early 90s hip hop.”

The computer information systems major became acquainted with other local artists, such as Brett Siler and Jesse Gallamore, who inspired him to make music.

“I grew up around Evansville, so my musical beginnings started with playing odd shades of rock and roll,” Stallings said. “When I started making music at home and recording it, it led me to artists like J. Dilla (and) Madlib and things just got weirder.”

Stallings acquired a lot of music equipment, causing him to want to learn more about how they function. He was also curious about artists and which instruments they use.

“I got my first sampler and I got it with the intention of loading up weird sounds on it, but I started seeing what you could actually do on it,” Stallings said. “That led me to find that there was a whole other world of people making beats.”

Stallings started expanding his method of creating music by searching record stores for potential samples to give his songs a lot of variety.

“I started discovering I could go to the record store and dig up things and make these guys be in my band,” he said.

That’s how sampling records developed, and playing with synthesizers just fell into sequence and helped create his method, Stallings said.

Performing under the name “Ewokie Talkie” for the past two years, Stallings alone gained a large following by playing shows around Evansville.

“I really started playing out in other areas like Indianapolis and Bloomington,” Stallings said. “Two years ago, me and some friends had a residency at a bar on the West Side.”

Playing at those shows was never exactly what Stallings wanted to do because of the difference in his personal sound.

“Essentially, I play live with a mini controller, and I have all of my tracks and I basically cut everything into bits to where I can arrange it on the spot,” Stallings said. “It’s different every time, and I don’t get bored that way.”

It’s kind of monotonous sometimes, he said.

Another concept behind Stallings’s music is improvisation, which is a key tool when performing live.

“I like the idea of improving things,” Stallings said. “That’s where the jazz thing comes back.”

Stallings received his first guitar at the age of 13 and began writing songs. He even joined a band to learn how to play.

“There was a three to four year period of me just experimenting with guitar pedals before I started listening to hip hop in high school,” Stallings said. “There was a gradual move towards it which is cool because with my sound, I don’t discriminate on anything.”

Sometimes the sounds come out great, while other times they don’t come out well at all, he said.

Stallings was featured on tracks with two artists on a compilation from Brainfeeder Records.

“I got to be on a compilation out of Chicago with Jeremiah J, Act Right and a bunch of other producers,” Stallings said.

Stallings also opened for Lapalux on his first North American tour in St. Louis.

“This past year has been the best year for me,” he said.


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