They’re a match made in collab heaven: Kito’s smart, creative beats take rhythmic influence from dubstep, with a slight nod to D & B; but without being too tightly wound to either genre, while Reija Lee’s warm, transformative vocals traverse the spectrum, from pop-catchy to dark and brooding. The girls’ sophomore release, EP II, is out now, with all the tracks produced and mixed by Kito and all vocals written and sung by Reija.
To get EP II started right, these go-gettin’ girls are locking up the London studio they share and packing their bags for a prodigal homecoming, as they head our way this weekend!
Come to the club and crush out!
While today they’re both based in South London, the girls grew up in Perth, Western Australia, and have been mates since they were teenagers. They grew up with different musical histories – Reija Lee spent her teens “a huge metalhead”, while Kito was always into drum ‘n’ bass, hip hop and R & B. Reija moved from rock to electronic when her brother, well known producer ShockOne, got Reija Lee her first feature, on Shazam’s remix of Muscles’ track ‘Sweaty’, while Kito’s big break was Skream finding one of her beats on Myspace and messaging her asking if he could cut them to dubplates!
These ladies first bumped heads music wise in 2008, working together on a track - ‘LFO’ – for Kito’s debut EP, out on Skream’s label Disfigured Dubz. They had such a good time on the track they made a whole EP together, Sweet Talk – Diplo took a fancy to it and released it on Mad Decent, and the Kito and Reija have gone from there, both relocating from Perth to London in 2010/2011 respectively, a move that prompted their total immersion into the UK club scene; with Sweet Talk getting airplay from national UK tastemaking stations BBC Radio One and Rinse FM.
In mad favour with radio and the Internets of late has been the girls’ low-end take of Cassie’s ‘Me & U’ that they originally performed as a cover at a Mad Decent Block Party The Block Party itself was also a winner, says Kito: “We had people singing along to our tracks which was just crazy. It made it all feel real.”
On that note, it doesn’t get much realer than Outkast’s Big Boi using your track – Big Boi’s ‘King Shit’ features Kito and Reija Lee’s ‘Run For Cover’ under rap verses from Ludacris, T.I. and Big Boi. Huge!
The girls most recent single, 'WORD$’, sees the rap vibes continue: they brought in Zebra Katz for the track, after meeting him in Brooklyn at the Mad Decent Block Party. “He originally asked if I wanted to write some beats for his mixtape but I roped him into the studio with Reija, and we smashed out WORD$ in a day!” says Kito of the track, which has made its way onto full rotation on the triple j airwaves, as well as into Nina Las Vegas’ mixes for Mix Up Exclusives.