Kiinjo is a new chapter in the career of Canadian superproducer Grandtheft, who cut his teeth during the halcyon days of Bloghaus zigzagging between LA and Montreal, DJing alongside the likes of DJ AM, Justice, MSTRKRFT and Boys Noize. Grandtheft topped the Hypemachine charts with disco-house bangers and then, as American Apparel deep Vs got discontinued and Four Loko got banned, he went on to release trap and bass music on a slew of seminal labels.
By 2021, it was time for Grandtheft to get his groove on again. Under the name Kiinjo, he blends all his musical experiences, past and present: the fun, the funky, the silly and the soulful. Kiinjo is a sultan of sampling and a luminary of loops, sometimes flipping snippets from his own previous rap beats. They’re sped up, chopped around and then layered onto house drums – an ode to the sounds of Armand Van Helden, Masters at Work and the French Touch movement, as well as an expression of unadulterated artistic freedom and pure ebullience.
Kiinjo’s first single, “Interplanetary”, came in the summer of 2022 on Never Worry Records. Fittingly, it’s the first time he used his own vocals on a track, and he enlisted long-time friend Hotel Garuda to bring this funky house vision to life. Kiinjo’s second release is the two-sided single “Right Here” b/w “Lundi”, in collaboration with production legend and czar of sample packs Oliver. Chromeo took one listen and snagged it up immediately for their Juliet Records imprint. Australian visionary dance label Club Sweat signed Kiinjo’s most recent release with Pat Lok, “Ain’t 2 Proud” b/w “Set Me Free”. These two disco smashers have already seen support from the likes of Calvin Harris, Paco Osuna, Martin Garrix, and many more.
“This is all new to me,” Kiinjo says, speaking via video-link from Amami, a small village just outside Osaka. “I had all this fun, fresh music bubbling up inside me, and now there’s an outlet for it. All I want to do is make people dance, move, have fun, and one day play in Ibiza”