Kid Koala

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Kid Koala
Kid Koala 2008 Vancouver.jpg
Background information
Birth nameEric San
Born (1974-12-05) December 5, 1974 (age 47)
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 Canadian scratch DJ, music producer, theatre producer, film composer, multimedia-performer and visual artist. His career began as a scratch DJ in 1994. Kid Koala works with genres as eclectic as hip hop, ambient, alternative, contemporary classical, blues, classic rock and traditional jazz. He has released 5 solo albums on Ninja Tune, and 3 albums on Arts & Crafts Records, the most recent being Music To Draw To: IO featuring Trixie Whitley. He has also released two award-winning graphic novels: Nufonia Must Fall and Space Cadet. He has collaborated with artists such as Gorillaz, Deltron 3030, The Slew, Lovage, and The Afiara String Quartet.

Kid Koala has toured with 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 The Great Gatsby, Baby Driver, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Men Women and Children, Shaun of the Dead and Looper amongst others. He has composed music for The National Film Board of Canada, 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 live shows range from touring turntable carnivals like Vinyl Vaudeville, to immersive multimedia shows like Nufonia Must Fall, The Storyville Mosquito, Satellite Turntable Orchestra and his Space Cadet Headphone Concert; each of which express his unique form of storytelling with music, animation, film and interactive entertainment.

Kid Koala has toured 6 continents and lives with his wife and two daughters in Montreal, Canada.

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 multimedia 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.

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.[4]

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 June 2014, the Kid Koala's Nufonia Must Fall Live made its world premiere at Toronto's Luminato Festival.[5] Directed by K.K. Barrett, (Oscar-nominee for Her), this live adaptation of the graphic novel unfolds via a real-time filming of more than a dozen miniature stages, a full crew and cast of puppets. San and the Afiara Quartet provide live scoring on piano, strings and turntables.[5] 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.[6]

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)
  • 1998: Ninja Tune - Ninja Cuts: Funkungfusion (Ninja Tune)
  • 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. Archived from the original on 6 October 2003. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  4. ^ "Interview with Kid Koala : "I consider myself one of the worst DJs in the world!"". Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  5. ^ a b "Kid Koala's Nufonia Must Fall Live - Luminato Festival 2014". 12 April 2014. Archived from the original on 12 April 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  6. ^ "The Lost Train - Luminato Festival 2014". 19 April 2014. Archived from the original on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  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. ^ "IMDb Page - BattleBlock Theater". IMDb.
  11. ^ Young, Alex (2010-07-22). "Nigel Godrich-produced Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World detailed". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  12. ^ Khanna, Vish (2013-05-02). "Kid Koala Explains His 'Great Gatsby' Connection". Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  13. ^ 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]