As soon as we detect the first glimpse of spring, we wait in anticipation for a new ultimate summer smash that will be played on repeat until the point of repulsiveness. A fresh-faced producer from South of France, Valentin Brunel, aka Kungs, managed to nail this in the summer of 2016. The decision of the 21-year-old DJ to put his spin on a Cookin’ on 3 Burners ‘This Girl’ sure did pay off. ‘This Girl’ accumulated into an infectiously successful track with a #1 spot across 45 countries.
The initial step to Kungs’ producing career was a gifted djembe from his parents. The rest of the unplanned journey was a bit of a coincidence: “It started by accident, really. I’ve always been drawn to music, and we always played a lot of rock n roll in my house, bands like The Who and then younger “indie” bands I enjoyed like The Kooks. How I came about producing really was experimentation though, I started playing around remixing tracks I knew and loved”.
The first song Kungs put out was a remix of Bob Marley’s ‘Jammin’. To this day, his edit is collecting millions of views. The remix was not meant to mark the beginning of his journey: “When I uploaded that online it was only for my friends and me, I never thought it would take me to where I am today,” he reveals. Kungs’ love for all different genres such as pop, rock, and electro and favorite artists Daft Punk and Epephemerals are very obvious in his music.
However, what officially spurred his success was the Kungs vs. Cookin’ on 3 Burners ‘This Girl’ track. Kungs shares the story behind how the song came together: “I loved the original, the production is a lot more slowed down with an irresistible groove that really lets the vocals shine through – that was one of the elements I really wanted to make sure stood out when I made my edit. I wanted to put my own spin on it, plain and simple, and the way the track was and is still received just feels amazing”.
“It sounds cliché to say it as an artist, but that one track really did change my life. My career took off so fast from there with touring and interviews and my album following not long after. It’s all pretty crazy, when I look back, I was so young!”, Kungs looks back at his life before and after ‘This Girl.’
Following the success of ‘This Girl,’ Kungs released his debut album later in 2016 called ‘Layers,’ including hits ‘Don’t You Know’ and ‘I Feel So Bad.’ He says the record represents “a spectrum of his tastes as both as an artist and a fan of music”.
Landing two global hits that took the world by a storm also took Kungs on a trip around the world. “I got to visit so many amazing places this year for the first time, like Dubai for example, and playing on the ULTRA and Tomorrowland mainstages were both career highlights for me – but life on the road can be lonely and tiring, being away from family and traveling through different time zones can take its toll. It’s what comes with the territory of taking this path as a career, you just have to take the rough with the smooth and being able to play my music all over the world is an indescribable feeling”, Kungs spills some tea on the-not-so-glamorous tour life.
Concerts, shows, and festivals, in Kungs’ eyes Tomorrowland scores the first prize. “It is like nothing I’ve ever seen, it has the best line-up and really feels like a big party being able to play there.”
On top of his music career, Kungs has also involvements in the fashion industry in collaboration with Paul Smith: “I love Paul Smith, they have this really classic and chic design but still with personality! I guested on the show’s soundtrack and have been working with them, and the team’s designs on shoots, some exciting projects and to be involved in that fashion scene was great fun, it’s something I’m really interested in, and I think music can complement fashion and vice versa”.
Recently, Kungs played his Disco Nights Party in London with friends including Throttle, Watermat, and Zonderling. After two successful years of non-stop touring, Kungs is currently working on his next album with yet undetermined release date, but do look out for it, it will be full of summer jams.
Karolina Kramplova | WRITER