Published Nov 01, 2011Kid Koala (aka Eric San) has never let himself be limited by one artistic medium. Earlier this fall, Ninja Tune released his graphic novel Space Cadet, which comes with an accompanying 14-song album. As we dig into this awesome crossover project -- which isn't his first graphic novel to come with a soundtrack -- we also take a look back on Kid Koala's innovative and boundary-pushing career in our new Timeline feature.
To get you started, here are five noteworthy facts from the piece.
Five Noteworthy Facts You May Not Know About Kid Koala:
5. Kid Koala discovered turntablism at the tender age of 12.
At the age of 12, San discovers scratch DJing at a Vancouver record store. "I heard scratching for the first time, and it was an instant fascination. It was mix by Mr. Mix, from Miami, that was playing in the shop. It was literally by accident. Had I showed an hour later, I might be doing something else right now. It was one of those moments. I could tell by the feel that someone had practised to do this."
4. After university, Kid Koala almost became a teacher.
"It got to the point where we had a family meeting, where my parents sat me down and said you've gotta be smart about this. We had this deal. After graduation, they said, 'We won't harass you about getting a teaching job for one year. But if nothing happens in one year, you promise me you're going to look for a teaching job.' Luckily, all the Ninja Tune stuff happened within eight months."
3. Kid Koala prefers the music that accompanies his graphic novel Nufonia Must Fall to its drawings.
The book comes with a 17-minute soundtrack CD, a hybrid format that Kid Koala will reprise again later. "I look at it now and I'm embarrassed by how hack the drawing is. But the soundtrack part was an ear-opener for me, because it was the first time I returned to the piano as a source of inspiration for the characters."
2. Kid Koala got his nickname because of his childhood fondness for Koala Springs fruit sodas.
He inherits the name Kid Koala from his friends, who name him the Koala Kid based on the Koala Springs beverages his mom would always have at their house.
1. Kid Koala grabbed the attention of Ninja Tune when label reps accidentally heard an unfinished version of his demo.
"And at one point the tape flipped over, and there was this really early version of my demo that wasn't for Ninja, but one of these things I had on tape for my Walkman. I just went cold. These were my mentors, and here was this bad version of my demo on. Luckily it wasn't on loud and they were in their own conversations, but at one point Patrick, who was just staring out the window, said 'Hey, what's this playing right now?' And Victor said, 'Yeah, what is this?' And I had to tell them it was stuff I was working on but that it wasn't ready. I'll get you a tape of it later. But they were like, 'No, turn it up.'"