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The Super-Sonic Family: Misto Kay

Updated: Sep 21, 2023

After the successful 'Super-Sonic Jazz Family Vol. 1', compilation in 2019 by the Amsterdam-based festival and platform Super-Sonic Jazz - the label is back with a follow-up. More than 150 artists responded to the open call, which resulted in a compilation album with 31 songs. In the coming weeks, small digital batches will be released, building up to the official vinyl release in Rush Hour during the festival in November. In this series of articles, we will highlight multiple tracks and tell you all you need to know about some of the members of the Super-Sonic Family. First up: Misto Kay.

Picture by Jurriaan Bruinier

The Origin of Misto Kay

When the six-year-old Stijn started taking piano lessons, he began learning classical music. He quickly realised that jazz was more exciting to him and started learning more and more. At fourteen, he discovered production software Fruity Loops and started learning the skills of producing. In the later half of his teenage years, Stijn and a close friend started spending more time together to make music. Although his time spent on music had ups and downs, it resulted in his first release. The song "No Portasound" by Lennard Ypma and Alternative Tone Adjustment (Stijn's previous alter-ego) was released on Patron Records by Sluwe Vos. Lennard and Stijn combined acid, techno and drum breaks with jazz chords and melodies. Then, two years after that, Stijn got to work with Makèz on Levitation. Since that project, Stijn has been focussing on his own music instead of procrastinating and telling himself he would finish it later, which has now resulted in the first solo release of Misto Kay.

The Inspiration of Misto Kay

Jazz has always been around for Stijn. Although it is not the only genre he listens to, it is a consistent factor in his style and music preference. Ten years ago, he learned about 80's house and dived deeper into electronic music. He discovered acid while simultaneously learning more about soul, funk and jazz. With these different influences, Stijn noticed the need for a sound that combined his passion for jazz with his interest in electronic music. The exact moment Stijn heard this sound was in 2016 at the Dimensions Festival in Croatia. The festival organised a listening session to showcase an unreleased album for the first time. With roughly 100 others, Stijn sat down without any expectations. A song played that changed his whole perspective on the possibilities of music. This song was "Strings of Light" by Yussef Kamaal. This sound and the introduction to UK Jazz was a turning point, not just for Stijn, but for many people related to this Super-Sonic Jazz project.

The Style of Misto Kay

As a pianist, Stijn strives for something unexpected in his chords and melodies. It should not be too complicated, because that can nullify the beauty of the chord. Next to the sound, Stijn also experiments with the timing and rhythms of the chords, which gives a whole new range of opportunities. He is challenging himself to keep his music playful so that it will remain interesting after multiple listens. Those unexpected details keep him engaged and inspired in his favorite songs as well.

The First Single of Misto Kay

For the past two years, Stijn told his friends that an EP release was coming soon. However, he was never satisfied and postponed the project for a year. When he heard he could release his project on Wicked Wax, he found the focus to finish the songs. Now, he is working on the artwork and preparing everything to get it mastered. Then, this Super-Sonic Family project came along. Stijn, already a fan of the previous release, wanted to get involved. He finished the song with guitar player Mathias Perdeck and applied for the project. Now, with the name Misto Kay being out in the open, he feels even more ready for this release.

Besides that, Stijn is working with our one and only Mo Wrights, the co-founder of Steppin' Into Tomorrow. That song, together with a remix, is featured on Mo's upcoming debut EP.

When Stijn looks beyond those releases, he dreams of making something he likes to call 'Jazz Rave', which he also discussed with Mo. He feels that kind of sound is an unexplored territory of music with a lot of potential. Stijn has multiple songs ready for this but is looking for the right moment and label to release this with.

The Scene of Misto Kay

Taking care of the Mixed Feelings corner of Steppin' Into Tomorrow has introduced Stijn to several creatives with similar interests. Some of the Steppin' events have also expanded Stijn's awareness of other musicians - for instance, the Super-Sonic Jazz Family x Steppin' Into Tomorrow Night at Tolhuistuin last year, where he saw RADIOHOP, Y.O.P.E. and Helena Casella. He has faith that this quality and talent can grow to become known all over Europe.

This Super-Sonic Family compilation, with almost three times more songs than the previous edition, perfectly reflects this movement and shows that it is not just something happening in Amsterdam. Bringing artists from Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, The Hague & other cities together, for instance, was also part of the vision for this project.

Stijn, who moved to Amsterdam thirteen years ago, notices a change in the opportunities certain artists get, with Paradiso as one of the driving forces. This style of jazz that Super-Sonic Jazz represents with their festival is now getting more and more attention, which also results in more musicians and better quality music. For instance, when Stijn went to an AmsterJam Session, he was amazed by the queue of drummers that wanted to play, with every one of them being absolutely excellent. Allowing those talented musicians to present themselves is exactly why Stijn feels like Super-Sonic Jazz is at the core of this development in the Netherlands.

Next to Stijn's official Misto Kay debut track 'Intergalactic Consciousness', in the first batch there are also tracks by JELISA ft .multibeat & Noflik, Siegfried Hart, Shamis ft King Hassan, and Lennaert. Go discover all 5 of them now and stay tuned for the next batch!

In November, at the Super-Sonic Jazz Festival, all the contributing artists will celebrate their work together, meaning lots of creative cross-pollination will occur. Only time will tell what ideas, concepts and projects will arise there!

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