Where you at? The rah-rah, hoorays, praises, and approval of the group is long standing to their strategic marketing and promotion of the group by none other than Johnny Plastik. Johnny Plastik is one of the core originator of the group, as well as being the main public relations liaison member that communicates with the public, either through graphic arts in flyers or his salesman mentality skill-sets in setting up gigs with night clubs in the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul area—if you know him you’ll understand where I’m coming from.
This group called KindBeats is the core foundation of the night club scenes, and the heir of the dying old-school breeds of bands that came before them that held the stages, including names such as Sounders, Voltage, and Paradise.
KindBeats made their breakthrough during the era of the raving scenes, unbeknownst to the average Joe that this EDM (Electronic Dance Music) would influence popular musicians today, which would include the names of a few mega-artists that you may have heard of from Justin Timberlake, Kanye West, Usher, Madonna, and the list just goes on. Now in their sixth year of operation they’re still going strong and with a plethora of new apprentices that they have taken under their wings, there’s no stopping them!
Although behind the scenes nowadays I was able to catch up with the other originator of KindBeats, my older brother, Ville Thao—yes, my real brother—who’s disclosing all he can to me about the future of the group.
Hmoodle: Kindbeats has been synonymous over the past 5-6 years as the heart and soul of the Hmong nightclub scenes in the Twin Cities, why do you think that is?
Ville: Well the Hmong club scene really took off back in the “Club 2000” days. When me and John were still playing in basement and birthday parties and small back alleys; where it was just you and a bunch of friends getting together to have a good time and parties that goes all night until morning. So saying, me and John started all this from small gigs and we really meet a lot of people, gigs after gigs and I wasn’t just saying in the Twin Cities either, Wisconsin was also another place that we visited a lot. I guess people always saw us different and why the hell do we play these type of music called Trance aka ” Electronic Dance Music” and I guess that’s where we earned our respect from fans. We began from small gigs to what we play here today and that’s where the Heart and Soul of Kindbeats is.
Hmoodle: Johnny Plastik as well as yourself has contributed and established the name Kindbeats, could you briefly describe your relationship with Johnny?
Ville: John a great friend, good partner, but like every group leaders out there we still have our differences, even when we bump heads sometime because of our differences—like maybe he like it like this or I wanted like that—but at the end we learn how to respect each others opinion from right or wrong and as we age our relationship will always be bonded by what we’ve started here.
Hmoodle: Why the name Kindbeats and who was the mastermind in naming the group?
Ville: I believe it was John, my cousin Dave and Safe that really came up with the name on a wondering day (laughs).
Hmoodle: We don’t see you being a feature deejay anymore like old times when all it was just you and Johnny Plastik, why is that?
Ville: Over the last year there’s been many young talent, as far as Sota, Legend, The Fourth Coming, Creashin, Minor, Fusion, Leng, and many more and these guys were just as good as us. Me and John feel that featuring every headline spot was not just about Ville Thao and Johnny Plastik, but also these young talent that came behind and after us that’s been supporting us.
Hmoodle: So, what’s up with Kindbeats now and where do you see you guys in the near future?
Ville: Well, we just got this new gig @ Karma starting Friday December 12th called “Flirt” and this is our first host on Fridays of the Month by Kindbeats, plus our every year events during July 4 , Thanksgiving’s New Year, December’s Hmong New Year events. So, Kindbeats will be here for many years to come.
Hmoodle: Music-wise, what genres of music do you like outside of the music you normally play at the clubs?
Ville: I can’t really say because just in Electronic Dance Music alone there are so many types of genres that are hard for me to leave out of the box (laughs).
Hmoodle: Americans are still progressing really slowly, whereas in the European Nations this is seen as the Post-Euromusic Era where trance, breakbeats, house, jungle, etc. are now being incorporated into pop, rock, and rap remixes in the United States; why do you think that is?
Ville: Well it is stuff like that, that made “me” to this day, real poor production that the average American eats up. But the Electronic Sounds is the Future Sounds and I believe it is going to put a big impact in the United States in addition Electronic will be here for another 5 years or more. It has just begun like you said!
Hmoodle: ; If you can play with 1 deejay, only 1, who would that be and why?
Ville: I can’t say that I haven’t play with only 1, because over the last years I’ve played with some of my favorite Deejay – like Dave Seaman, John00Fleming, Tiesto, Danald, Christopher Lawrence, and so on and so on.
Hmoodle: What inspired you to start playing around with a deejay set back when few Hmong kids didn’t even know what a deejay set is?
Ville: I just always had an ear for music and dancing was my knack in life, but the “deejaying” came along and that was that; the beginning and the end.
Hmoodle: So, when’s your next gig because I know you have a lot of followers out there interested in knowing this since being behind the scenes for so long?
Ville: I don’t know yet when, but it will be somewhere next year so, so just prepare and get ready.
Hmoodle: Do you think deejaying is a dying art nowadays with seeing the Hmong market flourish with the manifestation of the now more popular Hmong rap artist taking the stage?
Ville: No I don’t think so; I think Deejaying is here to stay even the Rap artist is going to need that beat (laughs).
Hmoodle: Do you have any words to give us at Hmoodle, shout-outs to players in the game, or maybe just words of wisdom to anyone out there since you guys have been over the past 5-6 years as the entertainment kings since the dying Hmong bands scenes?
Ville: There is one thing and it is playing “Electronic Dance Music”, it has always been a love and art and passion for me and my taste of music is here to stay in Fame or Not . I guess what I was really trying to say is, play that music you love and not just the hype!
Thanks to Hmoodle
Thank you bro, much appreciated for the quick and prompt response. I’ve been trying to get a feature with these guys for quite some time now, but because of conflicting work schedules, as well as being members in the working community working the late hours at night club scenes throughout the Minneapolis-St. Paul greater area, they’ve been busy. I also want to thank all the members of Kindbeats. Keep doing your thang to keep the night scenes alive in the Twin Cities!
Go check out KindBeats at www.kindbeats.com! Support these artists anyway you can, like the old saying goes, “If a Hmong person doesn’t love another Hmong person, who would love a Hmong person?”
If you’d like to be a future feature on our site, please hit me up anytime at [email protected], thanks. Also, in addition to this, if you’d like to get more information on any group that we’ve featured or would like to make comments on my articles, please don’t hesitate to contact me back!