What do you get when you combine old school video games, DMC scratching and hard dance? Yes, something really unique and interesting. The mind behind – called Kutski turns out to be a restless and creative mastermind. HardstyleMag took a close look at where Kutski is actually involved. You will be surprised 😉
Amy Melissa Farina
Kutski- aka John Walker- originally from Chester (UK) started DJing at the young age of 15 and basically has not taken a breath since then. Despite a pandemic, a newborn baby, and whatever life throws at him, Kutski has continued to not only remain relevant in the international hard dance scene but is a household name.
Since 2004, Kutski has been a presenter on BBC Radio 1 for various shows such as, ‘The Residency’ and the ‘Kutski Show.’ That same year he was named the DJ of the Month three times by Energy UK. But it didn’t stop there. In 2010, Kutski was voted the UK’s number one Hard Dance DJ in the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs poll, the ‘Best UK Hard DJ’, and ‘Outstanding Achievement’ in the Hard Dance Awards.
In 2012, Kutski launched the Keeping the Rave Alive (KTRA) brand, best known for celebrating 360 degrees of the harder styles. What does that mean exactly? It means not just focusing one specific subgenre of hard dance but rather perfectly amalgamating the best of many genres. For example, happy hardcore, rawstyle, terrorcore, all in one hour? Oh my! Kutski is the perfect example of an artist who understands the undeniable intersectionality between electronic music and video games.
KTRA is one of the leading electronic music podcasts in the world with over 500 episodes. Published weekly, each episode features a different DJ in the hard dance scene ranging from hard trance, subground, hardstyle, hardcore, rawstyle, happy hardcore, pretty much every subgenre you could think of in between. Although each episode spotlights a different DJ, the episode follows a format including fun features such as ‘Sample Mania’ (Every wonder where that sample in a hard dance came from? Look no further!) or ‘Does it Sound Good at 170?’ (Ever wonder if that one song sounds better at 170 beats per minute, well now you can find out!). Some episodes are Kutski solo mixes or live sets from events all over the world. He has collaborated with world renowned hard dance artists such as Headhunterz, Wildstylez, Thera, The Prophet, Rob GEE, Scott Brown, Miss K8, and many many more.
KTRA is also a record label and merchandise line. Pre-pandemic, KTRA also hosted club and festival events all over the world in the United States, to Australia, Japan, South Africa, Chile, and of course the UK, let’s hope more events in years to come!
Aside from his own events, Kutski has performed at some of the biggest electronic music festivals including but not limited to: Tomorrowland, Creamfields, Mysteryland, Electric Daisy Carnival, Ultra, Defqon 1, Dominator, Colourfest, and Hard Island.
DEDICATION TO EDUCATION
One of the main aspects that distinguishes Kutski apart from other artists is his dedication to education. In the KTRA podcast for example there are various episodes dedicated to the history of various genres of dance music or on his YouTube tutorials for up-and-coming producers and DJs. There is always something to learn from Kutski.
During the pandemic while most of the population was playing Animal Crossing and making banana bread, Kutski not only continued his podcast, put out new music, but also hosted various live-streams. Some of which were not only fun but for a good cause, for instance, proceeds from the charity livestreams went to C.A.L.M (Campaign Against Living Miserably, a UK based mental health charity).
On a personal note, Kutski is an avid video game lover with reviews and streams of many new and older games. If all this wasn’t enough, Kutksi is the proud father of a baby boy and is recently married. Keep an eye out of for podcast episodes, wild live-streams, and adorable baby photos!