Koriko Treehouse: Good Vibes, camaraderie and J-Dilla
Updated: Mar 17, 2019
Koriko Treehouse is a producer, guitar player and video director from Adelaide, SA. He makes that good vibe music that mixes the genres of Hip Hop, jazz and soul. Koriko Treehouse has been steadily releasing singles for a few years now while studying, travelling, and enjoying the good things in life, and it shows in his tunes. As a relatively young artist, Koriko Treehouse is only just beginning, and the future is bright. So where does he channel the good vibes from, and what keeps him on his grind? Koriko Treehouse chats with BEAT CONTEXT.
(Photo credit: Julian Roper)
The way he chopped the samples and created this seamless song is unbelievable
My Dilla phase started with Donuts. The track ‘Airworks’ blows my mind every time I listen to it, and I’ve listened hundreds of times. The way he chopped the samples and created this seamless song is unbelievable. That’s one of the records that really opened me up to sampling and how tools like the MPC are instruments themselves.
I think during all the Hendrix, Zeppelin and disco eras, all these musicians were masters of their instruments. It got to a point where popular music needed to be refreshed again that’s what sampling did. Taking an existing piece of music or sound and transforming it into a new piece of art. This is an element of production I bring into how I make music. I like to blend these different methods - playing live instruments along with sampling or using styles of production that are more typical in hip hop or electronic production.
'...he knew exactly what he was going to put together
before he’d even started...'
(Dilla’s) world of music is literally a universe in itself. I get lost in it all the time. In terms of producing on the MPC, he has to be the best to ever do it. The musical catalogue he had in his brain is definitely something I strive toward…I’ve heard stories about how when he was a kid he would sit in front of his speakers for days, listening to record after record. This must’ve been the start of it all for him. To work as fast as he did and make the millions of beats he did, he knew exactly what he was going to put together before he’d even started. So having that enormous catalogue of all kinds of music in his mind let him do what he did. Questlove summed it up the best... he said it was like solving a ten-thousand piece puzzle in record time.
'...he was making beats until the day he died,
with his mum passing him the records.
That’s true love....'
I see (Dilla’s) influence pop up in places all the time too – especially with other artists I love. That belly dancing sample Tyler used in ‘I Ain’t Got Time’ - Dilla used it first on ‘Have Some Fun’. It’s everywhere – people just don’t realise. But the biggest thing I admire about Dilla is how much he loved making music and how he just did what he loved. He was making beats until the day he died, with his mum passing him the records. That’s true love.
'...I want my songs to sound like how it feels to cruise to the beach in golden hour...'
All my tunes are definitely vibe based. I try not to force things when writing. Whether I’m alone or working with other artists, we just keep it casual and let things flow…the tunes will come naturally. I learnt this with time. Generally my tunes come out as good vibes because that’s where I’m at with my life right now. The sound of my music reflects how I feel, and I feel great. I want my songs to sound like how it feels to cruise to the beach in golden hour.
'...it's an extension of us hanging out...'
When I'm making tunes with my mates it's an extension of us hanging out. You can hear it on 'Saddle Up Baby'. That song started with me playing around with some drums. Morpheus showed up at my place while I was messing around with the beat. He came into the room and we instantly started jamming over the drums without even speaking to each other. After half an hour we would've had the core of the song down. It's a lot easier writing and recording when the process is like this. When it's forced it just won't work, but when we hang and let ideas flow, it's like the songs form out of nowhere.
Adelaide is becoming more vibrant and the more I travel the world the more I appreciate this city. It's full of so many talented visual artists, musicians, photographers and everything in between. One thing I've noticed and have consciously tried to contribute to is the camaraderie within collaboration across art forms and different bands. At the moment I'm working on producing a tune for a local band of talented youngsters, and I see more and more Adelaide artists working together to build something bigger than an individual. It's definitely a good time to be a creative in Adelaide.
The gift that keeps giving
'...music has connected me with a lot of creatives who I get on with more than I could anyone else...'
Most of my closest mates I've met through music. From high school bands to Koriko jams, music has connected me with a lot of creatives who I get on with more than I could anyone else. It’s also connected me to people beyond the beyond scene, whether it’s graphic design, film or business… One of the biggest rewards is definitely applying all my skills from music to the other things I have going on. My business, networking and management skills that I’ll be using professionally definitely all come heavily from my music world.
'...it can also be daunting releasing art into the world as it's so personal...'
Not being afraid to put myself out there and engage with others has definitely helped me progress as much as anything. After finishing high school I took a deep breath and contacted some local musicians I looked up to. That lead to me working with these talented artists I'd been looking up to for years, who were older and a lot more experienced than I was. Continuing this approach of being open and networking throughout all areas of my life has helped me get to where I want to be. It can also be daunting releasing art into the world as it's so personal, but I've overcome that nervousness nowadays and I'm proud of the art I get to create and share with my family, friends and the world.
'...music has taught me so much about the world, people, how to act. It's opened my eyes to worlds I never would've been exposed to...'
Whenever I'm happy, sad, bored or anything in between I can always come to my guitar. I can always go make a beat. It's like Amy Winehouse on Cherry. My guitar knows me better than anyone. Sometimes feelings can't be described with words and music can be a much easier outlet to express myself through. I also don't read enough but I think music fills some of that void. Music has taught me so much about the world, people, how to act. It's opened my eyes to worlds I never would've been exposed to - I couldn't survive without it.
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