Taking a Departure with Kind Fiction

Check the premiere of Hollow with Collette Warren and Harry Shotta

Founded in Leeds, galvanised in Manchester: Kind Fiction has really found its place on the broad sonic spectrum of Melinki’s Four Corners Music.

Previously flexing on the label as solo artists – Colossus (Toby) and Imprint (Jon) – they first properly showcased their timeless, deep and musical style together last year with their Elmswood EP. Almost exactly a year later they return with Departure, another extensive exploration into the bruised under belly of soulful drum & bass. Once again it’s another benchmark in their journey together.

“It took us the better part of a year to get all the tracks over the line, which lead us to evaluate the way we we’re working and how to avoid getting bogged down, so it’s definitely been a formative process for us a duo,” they explain.

“The name of the EP refers to the time of change we’ve both experienced over the last year, with moving houses, careers etc, it’s all felt like a departure from a long-established normality, scary and exciting.”

The EP also pushes their collaborators in a similar way. Luke Truth brings some outstanding soul vibes to a track titled Trying while Hollow brings renowned and respected vocalists Collette Warren and Harry Shotta together for the first time. Conjuring up a double sided emotional storm, it’s something very different from all concerned. We caught up with Kind Fiction and Collette and Harry for more insight.



Kind Fiction! Give us some non-fiction. Tell us everything about your journey so far. You go back quite a bit, correct?

So our friendship has been going strong for around 11 years now. We met back in Leeds through Audio Active, a D&B-heavy DJ society run out of an unassuming pub in Headingley, through our friends there we became fellow residents at Leeds night Overflow. We both ended up as part of the management team at Leeds warehouse club Canal Mills, and when one moved over to manage DIY drum & bass hub, The Old Red Bus Station, the other soon followed. We both hit a point at a similar time where we felt frustrated and disillusioned with our production individually, and decided to start things a fresh with the benefit of our combined experience under a new name.

Where does the name Kind Fiction come from?

To tell someone a kind fiction, is to lie to them to make them feel better. This project together came about as a way to overcome our individual self-doubt, and is in a way, a cynical nod to the principal of mutual validation that underpins our work. For us as people who struggle with self-belief and self-promotion, this dynamic is key to keeping us motivated.


That’s wicked and respectfully honest too. Love that. You first made a mark on Four Corners with the Elmswood EP. Firstly how did you link up with Melinki?

Both of us had worked with Melinki in the past with releases under our solo aliases, but it was our good friend Alex from Overflow (big up Wilson) who suggested sending our first Kind Fiction demos over to 4 Corners. Sonny’s enthusiasm over the new tunes was contagious and his belief in us really got us excited about the new project. We love working with 4 Corners, the quality of music the label is putting out is just sick, and only getting better.

Also, the success of the Elmswood EP validated our mission to push this as far as we can. Needless to say the main drive has always been a pure love for drum & bass music. We used to have a great deal of involvement in events back in Leeds, but moving to Manchester away from the scene we knew so well left a bit of a void with fewer opportunities to play in local clubs. To fill this void, upping our production output felt like the answer, so it’s extremely important for us to feel like we’re maintaining this connection with the scene we love.

That connection is integral to everything and perhaps that’s why there’s a really nice timelessness to your music? That bruised-but-soulful sound that was a big piece of the puzzle back in the late 2000 when the likes of Perez and SpectraSoul were making their first marks on the game. Tell us more about the Kind Fiction sound and influences please!

That’s really good to hear as that’s exactly what we’re going for haha. We’re both very much of that era of liquid, old Celsius recordings, Shogun & Hospital etc. We always aim for some soulful depth in our tracks, but pace is the most important. As predominantly liquid artists you need to keep the energy high in both production and performance, especially when playing out alongside DJs pushing more aggressive tracks, at the end of the day we just want to make people dance.


YES! Tell us about the Departures EP.

This EP was pretty slow going at first. Having produced all of the tracks on the previous release in quite a short space of time there was a bit of burnout and it took a push to get going again. We often find there’s a tipping point where things just fall into place with a track, and all of a sudden, you’re just back at that level of excitement, which for this project was definitely Trying with Luke Truth and Melinki.

Actually shouts to Luke Truth on Trying. What a tune! I can already envision someone like Marky playing this during the summer at somewhere sick like Sun And Bass or somewhere. Tell us about it…

So this one was brought to us by Melinki. It was one of those that had hit the wall and needed some fresh perspective. Luke’s vocals and keys are absolutely on point as always, and it didn’t take much to find the right groove to get it over the line. The track has been receiving some great support already, and it’s been a great experience working with Luke, with whom we’ve now got a couple of projects on the go. I feel we need to shout Luke Truth’s relentless work ethic too, that guy is absolutely on it, with a recent tune it took just two hours from him receiving a demo to having the vocal tracks back to us, that’s nuts.

What a pro! Of course we must shout our Collette Warren and Harry Shotta on Hollow! Vibes tune. Tell us everything.

We had the instrumental finished really early on but the originally intended vocalist dropped out, so we sent it to Melinki and asked if he could recommend someone who would suit it. For anyone who doesn’t know, Sonny loves a voice note haha, and this one was particularly memorable. He explained his vision for getting both artists involved and showed us some impressive liquid he’d made with Harry Shotta. Needless to say it didn’t really need selling, we were just skeptical as to whether such respected artists would be up for jumping on the second ever release from largely unknown producers. But what can we say, Melinki made it happen, and both Collette and Harry absolutely killed it, still feels surreal to have us all mentioned in the same sentence.

A fun little fact for you, too… The final touches of the instrumentals mixdown were done way back in the summer of 2022 in an old apartment in Venice, Italy. This apartment used to be occupied by Mussolini, believe it or not! So when I listen to it, it takes me back to that summer. Definitely a special tune.

Amazing. Let’s wrap up with some thoughts from Collette and Harry….

Collette: I’ve worked with Melinki on a couple of tracks which was a collab with me & other MCs, and he thought the combination of my vocals with an MC works really well, and be had this track from Kind Fiction for his label Four Corners, and he said Harry Shotta was looking for some more liquid to work on, so he suggested we do it together!

Harry: Yeah I’ve always loved the liquid style but don’t get the chance as much as I’d like to because I’m often considered a jump-up artist, which I love as well. So it was nice to jump on this, when Melinki sent it over it already had Collette’s vocals and I was like ‘right this is a bit of me, give me time to get some lyrics together.’ We recorded it and it came together. It’s a good song!

Collette: We didn’t even discuss the track, but it came out great and it sounds like we were in the studio together. I laid down my vocals first and set the tone for the track, I kept getting this line in my head ‘The one that got away’ so I based it on that. Harry then did his part and absolutely smashed it.

Harry: To work with Collette was amazing. I loved getting sent the music with her vocals on already. She’d come up with the concept, it’s her vision. For me sonically to hear that and get the vibe and bounce off her was really inspiring. I’d love to work with Collette again in the future. Working with other singers gives me extra energy.

That’s mad because your sections complement each other so well like a proper Q&A / two sides to the story vibe….

Collette: Yeah exactly, which there always is, so I think it’s important that it wasn’t just a one sided track, and most of the time in relationships there is always two sides. Well, three sides actually, one person’s, the other persons, and then the truth somewhere in the middle.

Harry: I was bouncing off Collette you know? She gave me the full story and I was able to put myself in the position of the person she was singing to and draw on past experiences and experiences of friends. Doing that and bouncing off Collette gave it a realness which I think you can feel. That really helped to create that balance.

Create balance with Kind Fiction. Hollow is out now.

Support Kind Fiction: Facebook > Soundcloud > Instagram

Power your creative ideas with pixel-perfect design and cutting-edge technology. Create your beautiful website with Zeen now.