Creative Spotlight | Kase Avila
Published on 10 June 2022
Tell us a bit about who you are and what kind of creative work you make
I am a 36-year-old music producer, beat maker, DJ and photographer who loves to take part in anything creative. I currently use music as my little escape and treat it like therapy. I have had a couple of health issues in the past and have recently received my second kidney transplant. I have found music serves as the best medicine for me.
When I’m not making music, I love taking photos of my friends and family and sometimes help friends who run small businesses. I particularly enjoy taking portraits and fashion editorials.
Whereabouts do you look for creative ideas? Who or what inspires you?I find inspiration from other musicians, particularly those who make the same boom bap, jazz infused hip hop beats that I like to make. Producers like J Dilla, 9th Wonder, Madlib.
I also find inspiration from the local scene - especially the talent from Western Sydney. There’s so much talent in Sydney, it’s hard not to get inspired by the music scene. I feel very blessed to be part of it all.
How does your personal history, culture or experience inform your creative work?
Like I mentioned before, I’ve had a couple of health issues in the past. When I was 18, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called IgA nephropathy which essentially attacked my kidneys. I was on dialysis for a couple of years before my brother donated his kidney to me. During these times was when I really started getting into music. My brother’s kidney lasted for 16 years and unfortunately the disease came back.
Fortunately my sister donated her kidney recently and I feel like I’m back to normal. To help manage all the emotions during these times - the music was always there. I treated music and creativity as my therapy.
Are there any special processes, techniques or tools you use to make your creative work?
My current setup is a sampler called the Native Instruments Maschine Studio. I usually sample old soul, jazz, R’n’B vinyl records and chop them up on the sampler to create something totally different. It’s almost like alchemy, transforming one thing to another.
I also have another sampler with a lot of effects called the SP404SX. I usually use this machine to add effects and create a nice warm tone for the tracks that I make.
What is a creative project that you’ve worked on that you’re really proud of? Why?
Last year I created a record with fellow Ryde creative Jade Kenji. The name of the project is called Maroyaka and you can find it on all digital streaming platforms.
I’m super proud of this project because we created it during the time when I got really sick and when my first kidney transplant started to fail again. I was literally in hospital when we got it mixed and mastered and thinking about the project actually gave me the courage and strength to get out of hospital to finish it!
What creative project are you working on at the moment?
I am working on a couple of things. I probably have enough beats at the moment to release a new beat project - it’s just a matter of finding a particular theme or story to coincide with it.
I’m also working on a new project with Jade Kenji and have a couple of singles with other artists such as Inquisitve Minds that’s going to be out soon.
What has been the highlight of your creative career so far?
I played at the Opera House last year while I was playing in a band (playing drums on a drum machine) for Western Sydney artist Sparrow.
We were playing on a stage just right outside of the steps. The view was incredible - we had the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge and the weather was immaculate. An experience I will never forget!
What’s your favourite part of working as an artist / creative?
My favourite part is probably giving advice, encouragement and inspiration for the future generation of artists and creatives. I guess going through all the issues that I’ve had but still managing to stay creative is a great lesson I’d like to pass on to other creatives.
Life can get a bit rough but the creativity never stops!
What’s the most challenging part of working as an artist / creative?
Finding the balance of domestic life and creative life. I currently work as an Online Merchandiser and Content Specialist for IKEA Australia and I’m fortunate that I’ve found a balance that I can still take part in my creative endeavours and work full time. The bills still need to be paid somehow.
I learnt a lesson before when I tried to make my creative life full-time work by trying out freelance. I found it hard to find joy in my creative endeavours when there was a lot of pressure involved. Pressure of finding jobs, pressure of getting bills paid. It took a lot of fun out of it and it was really hard for me. I realised that when I found a balance with a full-time job, it lifted a lot of pressure from the creativity and I started enjoying a lot more.
Do you have any rituals or routines that help you to be more creative?
I try to make music every day. Whether it be for 30 minutes or an hour - I always try to find time in my day where I take part in a music session. It’s like going to the gym. If you go everyday your muscles get stronger, you become fitter. The same applies to your creative craft!
Do you have any top tips for emerging artists and creatives just starting out?
Be passionate about it. Keep learning! All the resources are there. YouTube is a great tool. It’s got tutorials for almost anything. Also don’t use the lack of gear as an excuse. You can get creative with almost anything nowadays. You can even make music on your phones. Technology is crazy!
We always love recommendations! Who are some other local artists we should check out?
You should check out Jade Kenji - she lives in Meadowbank too! If you’re into old school hip hop and R’n’B then she’s definitely for you!
Where can we find out more about your work and get in touch?