Kid Koala

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Kid Koala
Kid Koala performing in 2010
Background information
Birth nameEric San
Born (1974-12-05) December 5, 1974 (age 44)
OriginVancouver, British Columbia, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
LabelsNinja Tune Arts & Crafts
Associated actsDeltron 3030
The Slew

Eric San (born December 5, 1974), aka Kid Koala, is a scratch DJ, music producer, film composer, video game composer, multimedia-performer and award winning graphic novelist. He has released six solo albums (on Arts & Crafts and Ninja Tune), the most recent being Music To Draw To: IO featuring Trixie Whitley. He has also released two graphic novels: Nufonia Must Fall and Space Cadet. He has also been involved in collaborations such as Gorillaz, Deltron 3030, and The Slew.

Kid Koala has toured with the likes of Radiohead, the Beastie Boys, Arcade Fire, Money Mark, A Tribe Called Quest, Mike Patton, DJ Shadow, and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band. He has contributed to scores for the films Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Looper, The Great Gatsby, and Baby Driver. He has composed music for The National Film Board of Canada, The Winter Olympics, the Cartoon Network, Sesame Street, and Adult Swim. He has also been commissioned to create music for runway shows for Belgian fashion designer Dries Van Noten. Kid Koala’s unforgettable live shows range from silly touring turntable carnivals like Vinyl Vaudeville (including dancers and giant puppets) to quiet-time events like Satellite Turntable Orchestra, and Nufonia Must Fall, a live animated graphic novel performed, filmed, projected, and scored in real time by a team of 15 using multiple cameras, miniature sets, puppets, a string quartet, and Kid Koala on piano, turntable and percussion.

He lives in Montreal with his wife and two daughters.

Early life and education[edit]

San attended Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, but graduated from Thomas Sprigg Wootton High School, in Rockville, Maryland, U.S., and went on to study elementary education at McGill University, in Montreal, Quebec.[1]


San began by distributing copies of his demo tape Scratchcratchratchatch to students living in residence at McGill. He is well known for his enigmatic style of turntablism, which uses an unusual collection of samples. He has used samples of music from Charlie Brown television specials, old comedy sketch routines (including those that mock turntablism), people sneezing, and people reading a menu in Cantonese.

In 2000, San released his album, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. He designed and illustrated the cover for this and his later albums. A comic book he drew is included as the liner notes. Following the release of the album, Kid Koala embarked on an extensive tour, during which he opened for a number of musicians, including Radiohead and Björk.[2][3] The cabaret-style tour throughout North America, Europe and Australia, known as The Short Attention Span Theatre, featured an unpredictable opening act—three Djs (Kid Koala, P-Love, and DJ Jester the Filipino Fist) on eight turntables set up like a band, and a bingo game at intermission among other quirky surprises. Following this tour Kid Koala has performed DJ sets in Asia, as well as in Iceland, Eastern Europe, Russia, and South America whilst working on a new book and a puppet show.

San released a full length graphic novel, Nufonia Must Fall, which includes a soundtrack CD he composed. Some of my Best Friends are DJs includes a chess set as part of the packaging. In June 2014, the Kid Koala's Nufonia Must Fall Live made its world premiere at Toronto's Luminato Festival.[4] Directed by K.K. Barrett, recently Oscar-nominated for Her, this live adaptation of the graphic novel unfolds via a real-time filming of more than a dozen miniature stages and a cast of puppets. San and the Afiara Quartet provide live scoring on piano, strings and turntables.[4] San also has another project debuting at Luminato Festival entitled The Lost Train, a collaboration between San and Joe Beef's Chef Frédéric Morin. The two joined together to create a series of "imaginary journeys with real food and music", inspired by their respective passion for trains. Taking place at a secret location, the experience will remain a mystery with the guests being taken to an undisclosed location, and will feature a specially created course by Morin and a live set of entirely new material by Kid Koala.[5]

San popularized a method of playing the turntable like a melodic instrument, where a long, single note is dragged under the needle at different speeds, creating different pitches. Since this method of adjusting pitch is imprecise, the resulting notes waver and bend. Thus, in the song "Drunk Trumpet," San uses this method with a trumpet note to simulate a drunken trumpet player, interspersing drunken vocals to complete the effect.

When playing live, San often uses records cut with custom sounds from which he creates his own songs.[6]

San released the Kid Koala album, entitled Your Mom's Favorite DJ (ZENCD127), on 25 September 2006.

As of October 2006 San was married and had recently embarked on a 90-city tour.

In 2008 he toured as the opening performer for DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist's "The Hard Sell" tour where he ended his set with a now legendary mix of "Moon River" where he essentially creates and edits in an extended violin solo by playing various long violin notes from the song's instrumental section at different pitches on four turntables, all live.

During San Diego Comic-Con 2010, Kid Koala performed before a special free showing of the movie Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. The next year at Comic-Con, he performed before a special premiere of the television series NTSF:SD:SUV::.

In June 2013, his studio album 12 bit Blues was longlisted for the 2013 Polaris Music Prize.

In early 2017, San released an album, Music to Draw To: Satellite, in collaboration with Icelandic singer Emilíana Torrini. He released a follow-up in early 2019, Music to Draw To: Io, in collaboration with Belgian singer Trixie Whitley.[7][8]


Solo projects[edit]


EPs and singles[edit]

  • 1996: Scratchappyland (selections from Scratchcratchratchatch)
  • 2000: Emperor's Main Course in Cantonese
  • 2003: Basin Street Blues
  • 2012: 2 bit Blues x 6 bit Blues
  • 2017: "Collapser" (featuring Emilíana Torrini)[9]
  • 2018: "All For You" (featuring Trixie Whitley)
  • 2018: "Allotropic"




  • 2010: Solid Steel: Music To Draw To...



Group projects[edit]

  • 1998: Bullfrog - Bullfrog Theme (Independent)
  • 2000: Bullfrog - EP1 (Independent)
  • 2000: Bullfrog - EP2 (Independent)
  • 2000: Deltron 3030 - Deltron 3030 (75 Ark)
  • 2000: Deltron 3030 - Virus (75 Ark)
  • 2001: Deltron 3030 - Deltron 3030: The Instrumentals (75 Ark)
  • 2001: Deltron 3030 - Positive Contact (75 Ark)
  • 2001: Lovage - Music to Make Love to Your Old Lady By (75 Ark)
  • 2001: Lovage - Music To Make Love To Your Old Lady By: The Instrumentals (75 Ark)
  • 2001: Bullfrog - s/t (Ropeadope Records)
  • 2004: Bullfrog / Robertson - Deeper Shade of Green (Independent)
  • 2007: Martin Tétreault & Kid Koala - s/t (Phon-O-Victo)
  • 2009: The Slew - 100% (Puget Sounds)
  • 2013: Deltron 3030 - Event 2 (Bulk Recordings)

Video games[edit]



  • 2005: Strum (short) - Original music
  • 2005: A Girl's Guide to Modern Dating (short) - Original music
  • 2006: Jaime Lo, Small and Shy (short) - Original music
  • 2017: 3 Amigonauts (TV series) - Theme music composer


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bryant, Luke. "The new faces of music: Kid Koala's got all the technical moves but more important, he's making new music" The Vancouver Sun (British Columbia), March 20, 2004, Pg. D3
  2. ^ "Ninja / Ninja Tune". Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  3. ^ "BBC - collective - kid koala interview - A1317575". 6 October 2003. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Kid Koala's Nufonia Must Fall Live - Luminato Festival 2014". 12 April 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  5. ^ "The Lost Train - Luminato Festival 2014". 19 April 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  6. ^ "Interview with Kid Koala : "I consider myself one of the worst DJs in the world!"". Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  7. ^ T'Cha Dunlevy (2017-01-25). "Kid Koala puts all hands on deck for Satellite Concert". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  8. ^ Janine Coppola (2018-12-16). "Kid Koala Releases "Allotropic" Off New Album Music To Draw Out January 2019". Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  9. ^ a b "Kid Koala draws upon the winter for new album". Toronto Star, January 27, 2017. page E6. by Nick Krewen
  10. ^ Young, Alex (2010-07-22). "Nigel Godrich-produced Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World detailed". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  11. ^ Khanna, Vish (2013-05-02). "Kid Koala Explains His 'Great Gatsby' Connection". Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  12. ^ San, Eric (2017-06-03). "KID KOALA music to be featured in BABY DRIVER movie by director EDGAR WRIGHT! IN THEATERS JUNE 28!". Retrieved 2017-06-28.

External links[edit]