Unicorn Kid performing at Le Bataclan, Paris.
|Birth name||Oliver Sabin|
|Born||5 November 1991|
|Genres||Chiptune, seapunk, bouncy techno, rave|
|Labels||Ultra, Ministry of Sound|
Oliver Sabin, also known as Unicorn Kid is a Scottish electronic music/chip music composer and musician from Edinburgh, educated at Leith Academy. When asked about the name of the act, Sabin states "There’s no real story behind the name, it just kind of came about and fitted in with the fun, magical nature of the music." Sabin has had a number of BBC Radio 1 appearances including an early live session on the Vic Galloway BBC Radio 1 show and a BBC Maida Vale Studios session for Rob da Bank.
Sabin first started writing electronic music when he was 15. By the time he was 16, Sabin started recording under the name “Unicorn Kid”. Emerging in 2007, Unicorn Kid helped spark the brief revival of chiptune, a genre which involves making dance music using the sound chips from old game consoles. This was alongside such performers as Anamanaguchi, RushJet1 and Dubmood.
Early years (2009-2010)
After two self-released EPs, 'Lion Hat' was released in early 2009 on Euphonios, a Scottish-based independent label, followed up by 'Wee Monsters'/'Animal City' (Euphonios 2009).
In mid-2009, Sabin remixed the Pet Shop Boys single "Did You See Me Coming?". The Unicorn Kid mix was released on the 12" vinyl version and as part of the digital bundle. In April 2010, Sabin provided the first remix of the Gorillaz track "Superfast Jellyfish".
Dream Catcher/Wild Life (2010-2011)
Signed by EMI Music Publishing in 2009, Sabin initially released his material through the Euphonios label, but signed to Ministry of Sound in February 2010 and Ultra Records in the USA. His first release on Ministry of Sound was the track "Dream Catcher", followed by Wild Life in October 2010.
In 2009, following an appearance at T in the Park and support slots for Calvin Harris, played two official shows at In the City and Sŵn Festival. Unicorn Kid has also supported Pet Shop Boys in Scotland, and in early 2010 supported Hadouken! on their UK tour before performing several shows at SXSW as one of the official Scottish Arts Council representatives. He returned to SXSW in 2011, and featured in a BBC Scotland documentary.
Tidal Rave (2011–present)
In August 2011, Unicorn Kid released the three track 'Tidal Rave' EP, with the final track "True Love Fantasy" featuring as 'Hottest Record in the World' on the 25/08/11 Zane Lowe show on BBC Radio 1. It was then featured on the BBC's 'In New Music We Trust' playlist and as 'Record of the Week' by both Nick Grimshaw and Huw Stephens. The track includes vocals from Talk to Animals, with whom Sabin had collaborated on his first release.
Unicorn Kid was the support act for synth-pop musician Owl City on his rescheduled UK and European tour in September/October 2011. In December 2011, Unicorn Kid featured as part of BBC Radio 1's Festive Festival showcasing 2011's rising stars hotly tipped for big things in the New Year.
Despite no advertisement or announcement from either Sabin or 3Beat, he released his debut album 'Brain Wash' on iTunes via 3Beat Records on January 27th. It contained 11 tracks, many of which were previously released.
- We Had Eaten All The Animals, And Bartered All The Jewels (with Talk to Animals) (December 2007)
- Sugarfest! - Five tracks (April 2008)
- Lion Hat - 3 Track Double B Side (January 2009) (Euphonios)
- Wee Monsters - with B side 'Animal City'(July 2009) (Euphonios)
- Pet Shop Boys - "Did You See Me Coming?" (Unicorn Kid mix) 12” Vinyl (July 2009) (Parlophone)
- Dream Catcher - Free Download (19 April 2010)(Ministry of Sound)
- "Wild Life" - Single (17 October 2010) (Ministry of Sound)
- Tidal Rave - EP (30 August 2011) (self-released)
- I'm On One (Feat. Drake & DJ Khaled) - Remix (December 2011) (Self Released)
- Pure Space - (April 2012) (3 Beat Records)
- Need U - (7 October 2012) (3 Beat Records)
- Feel So Real - EP - (6 January 2013)
- I Remember (Feat. Nicholas Petricca) - Single (November 2013)
- Brain Wash - LP (27th January 2014)
- "Myspace Trawl â€“ Unicorn Kid". Hecklerspray.com. 1 August 2008. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- Pigeon (14 February 2010). "Unicorn Kid Interview: "The contract stated that I would be given a real taxidermied owl"". Robotpigeon.com. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- "Radio 1 - Vic Galloway - Tracklisting". BBC. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- Cragg, Michael (22 August 2011). "New music: Unicorn Kid – Chrome Lion | Music | guardian.co.uk". Guardian. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- Mike Atkinson (10 July 2009). "Mike Atkinson on Unicorn Kid's remix of Pet Shop Boys single, Did You See Me Coming? | Music". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- "Leith 17-year-old to remix Pet Shop Boys single - Top stories - Scotsman.com". News.scotsman.com. 25 April 2009. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- "Listen: Gorillaz Remixed by Unicorn Kid | News". Pitchfork. 13 April 2010. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- "Music Week". Music Week. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- "/ Ultra Music / Ultra Records / Ultra". Ultrarecords.com. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- "T in the Park 2009 - Unicorn Kid". BBC. 1 January 1970. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- [dead link]
- 11:29. "Introducing blog: Bethan's SXSW Photo Diary - Day Zero". BBC. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- "Scottish Arts Council - SxSW 2010". Sac.org.uk. 1 July 2010. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- "BBC Two - ArtWorks Scotland, Scotland Rocks at South by Southwest". Bbc.co.uk. 5 July 2011. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- Zane Lowe. "Zane Lowe's Hottest Records blog: Hottest Record - Unicorn Kid - True Love Fantasy". BBC. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- "Radio 1 - Playlist". BBC. 3 April 2013. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- "BBC Radio 1 - Zane Lowe, Radio 1's Festive Festival, Festive Festival - Unicorn Kid perfom". Bbc.co.uk. 12 December 2011. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- Rob says: (15 April 2012). "Unicorn Kid, “Pure Space” MP3 « The FADER". Thefader.com. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- K., Aaron. "Unicorn Kid: Cartoon Boners and Cyber Crushes". Teen Witch Magazine. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
- "Exclusive Unicorn Kid Interview | V-Rag Magazine". Blog.v-rag.com. 17 December 2010. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- "Unicorn Kid Interview: SXSW 2010". Spinner. 16 March 2010. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- "The month of November 2012, with Unicorn Kid". Retrieved 1 January 2013.