Kyle Walker Says the Underground has a Ceiling

Nov 16, 2022

Sierra Vandervort

2 min read

Kyle Walker has been relentlessly making a name for himself over the past seven years. These days, the Los Angeles DJ and producer plays the biggest dance music stages in North America and releases to some of the most celebrated labels.

Fans may recognize his hit track “Strut,” a snappy tech house remix of “Pon de Replay” by Rihanna. Walker loves merging the underground and pop culture in this way, a mindset he sees reflected in his modern success.

Walker certainly appreciates how well he has been received in the underground circuit of dance music. He doesn’t necessarily want to limit himself to the relatively narrow definition of “underground artist," however.

“The underground has a ceiling that's so much lower than if you open up your musical palette,” Walker said in his Spotlight interview with Gray Area. “There's so much more to see than just the underground.”

Dance music fans carry on a longstanding trend of dismissing anything that achieves mainstream success. While gatekeeping within subcultures isn’t uncommon, Walker sees it as limiting to a thriving community. He foresees a wave of house music producers working on high-profile albums à la Drake and Beyoncé in 2022. His logic is that more house fans means more house music, which he argues is great for everybody.

“It's definitely headed to the Top 40 charts, like Billboard and such,” he said. “It's definitely a good thing for everyone, even the underground. It's a good thing that more ears are going to be on the scene, more eyes, more everything.”

Walker also says he’d love to produce more hip-hop music. He cites Kenny Beats as an inspiration, but says he’s open to anything that feels fun and natural to him. “Even if it was like a house beat or something, like the new Drake album, for instance, it'd be cool to put some hip-hop lyrics or add more influence like that into a house song,” he says.

Wherever he chooses to take his music next, it looks as though Kyle Walker won’t let a glass ceiling stop him anytime soon.

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