Interview: Shift K3y at South West Four Festival

Shift K3y, Lewis Jankel
Written by Rebecca Parker

Lewis Jankel, or Shift K3y as he’s known on the music circuit, is the next bright young thing to be taking on the dance scene and he’s certainly one that should be on your radar.

I managed to grab five minutes with the 22-year-old to have a chat about his fans, his summer and why he’s not in any rush to release an album.

Hey Lewis, it’s great to meet you.  How did your set go?

I was really pleased. I’ve had a lot of sets this summer where either the line up has been wrong, they’ve all been amazing gigs but they haven’t in my eyes, not on the crowd’s behalf, but it hasn’t been at its maximum potential. We’ve still delivered a high level of shows but in my eyes as what I see as being the maximum now we’ve figured that out we are able to achieve that every time. This summer has been a massive learning experience of how to deal with my different fans. It’s been great.

Have you managed to catch anyone else today?

Not yet, I literally got here about fifteen minutes before my set, luckily I was able to make it in time.

Ah, that’s good because you missed Fusion!

Yes. I missed Fusion.


Yes. I was ready. I was in the car well ahead of schedule. I had five hours to spare and was just sat in traffic for about maybe three and a half hours. Then I spent an hour trying to find the artist’s parking. We found the main entrance and the main parking after about half an hour but they told us we couldn’t park there because all the places were taken. Then we spent another half an hour trying to find, ugh! By the time that happened if was fifteen minutes into my set and my set was half an hour long so it was really disappointing.

You got here though!

Yeah, I know! And I’m really sorry to anyone that tried to come. I feel really bad about it.

Have you had a favourite gig this summer?

I think this and the second V festival I did in Staffordshire. That was a prime example of what I’m talking about in the sense of I have loads of different fans because my music is so broad and my sets are quite broad. I have the hard-core mosh pit, I have the soulful house crew, and then I have the UK garage guys, and somehow they kind of all co-exist. In places like that you’ve got all those people in the same space and it was really great. A lot of places it’s quite one or the other.

So, what are you working on at the moment? Is there going to be an album?

Yeah there is an album. There are probably about three albums! It’s not the fact that I’m lazy, because I’ve finished the tracks, but I’m going to be very straight up with you in the sense of to have an album that is at its maximum potential you have to have one or two really big songs coming up to it. I’m not going to rush it and put out an album straight away without having at least one or two tracks out from that album first. The series that I’m doing at the moment ‘off the record’ is a warm up to that because I have so much material. I probably have three hundred songs that I would consider are better than anything I’ve ever put out and that’s all in the past year. I’m just trying to get through it slowly but still give people really good quality stuff. I see a lot of people on Spotify doing these series before a release but the tracks aren’t good. They’re throwaway tracks. I was like I’m putting out good music, I don’t care, it has to be tracks that should be on the first album.

You’re quite young, so you can afford to take your time, but you say you have three hundred songs that you’ve come up with in the past year, how do you have time to have a social life?

When I do sessions on my own I can do three or songs in a day. To have friends and a girlfriend, and tour and all that, it is difficult to fit in but you do find time.

You have to make time. Is there anyone you want to work with? Who would be the ultimate goal?

I’ve got a session with Chris on Monday. Lorenzo. I’m really excited for that. Who do I want to work with? Terrace Martin. He’s a jazz pianist. He’s really hood. He played on Kendrick’s album and he’s amazing. I feel like he would get my music. I l love hip-hop and it’s a big root in my music. Actually what’s your favourite song?

What’s MY favourite song? Oh my god. I don’t know!

Dance music.

Oh no don’t know. I won’t lie I’m not a massive dance music fan. I’m more of a rock and indie girl.

So what’s your favourite rock/indie song?

Well Muse are my favourite band. So my favourite song would be Handler, which is on their new album. It’s a concept album, which I really like, but yeah, that’s my thing. If you had to pick a favourite song?

The melody still lingers on by Chaka Khan. Check that out. And I’ll check out Handler by Muse.

Check out Shift K3y’s latest track Beep Beep and let us know what you think in the comments below!