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artist information

Kirby Ian Andersen

K.I.A. is a cross-genre pop electronica producer from Toronto, Canada. Like much of the Toronto and Montreal music scenes, Kirby Ian Andersen, the writer and producer of the songs, involves many people in his recordings--six or seven different vocalists (from rappers to opera singers) on each release. However, unlike the usual post-rock sound (with artists such as Broken Social Scene and Arcade Fire) for which those cities are known, his music is a mix of downtempo (chillout) and uptempo (dance), and has a hybrid style similar to artists like the Chemical Brothers, Massive Attack, Thievery Corporation, and the Buddha Bar series'. The contributors are from mixed and intermixed cultures, a reflection on the international population of Toronto.

K.I.A. also records under the name Shinjuku zulu. (Shinjuku is one of the downtowns of Tokyo--the visual inspiration for the sci-fi movie Blade Runner); the Zulu are an African tribe...and so that moniker reflects the producer's interest in mixing not only genres, but in combining elements from the past and from the future. This stems from the experiences of living in Tokyo, L.A. and Toronto--and traveling throughout the world--into music that he describes as "Somewhere between Grandmaster Flash, Philip Glass and Johnny Cash".

K.I.A. comes from a visual-arts background, creating large remixable paintings that, like the music, have technological and tribal themes, and his art shows have been reviewed in such publications as the Toronto Star and Lola. This 'fine art' background leads to having many idea-based songs, ala Boards of Canada and Aphex Twin. Some examples of this are "Mrs. Major Tom", in which the story from David Bowie's tracks "Space Oddity" and "Ashes to Ashes" is continued, but now told from the perspective of the wife left at home; "Box the Gnat", a country music/collage which can only be described as Timbaland meets Loretta Lynn; "Large Slow River" which samples Venice Bienalle award-winning artist Janet Cardiff; "Rise Up" which pairs a choirboy with dub reggae, and "Shanghai Masai" which is probably the first song to ever include the phrase "xenophile wildstyle". Some tracks have strong pop influences, and some songs have appeared in American television programmes "America's Next Top Model", "Felicity", "Queer as Folk" and "The Real World".

The music is released on Neuphoria Recordings. All songs can be heard on iTunes. The music has received four-star reviews in the Globe & Mail, Montreal Gazette, The Herald, and the Toronto Star.



  • Sonorous Susurrus (2004) (includes single "Nevermine")
  • Adieu Shinjuku Zulu (2003) (includes single "Mrs. Major Tom")

Shinjuku Zulu

  • Various Chimeras (2006) (includes singles "Shanghai Masai", "Dirty Liar")
  • Shinjuku Zulu (2000) (includes single "That Groove")