It has been five months since we have last spoken with the electronic magician known as NKRIOT. His Goji movement has gathered more believers and is spreading throughout the west coast. After a string of EPs and visually dynamic performances, NKRIOT is on the verge of debuting his new label. OneEDM sat with the talented and kind-hearted musician as he shared what all his fans are biting their nails to see.
OneEDM: Congratulations on the release of Virtual Climax Recording how did the 3D performance go? Was it all you hoped it to be?
NKRIOT: It was great! It was a very intimate setting, there were about 60 people in there. Everyone thought it was just going to be a movie with my music in it but they had no idea it was a live performance. We documented it and filmed it and put it out there. It created a lot of traffic which is great. It was a success. I was super stoked.
As your career goes on, you evolve more and more. Your brain seems to be a computer in itself, hence why you’re so good at constructing and deconstructing them. What is the driving force behind all this growth and experimentation in you, do you feel it’s almost your purpose?
Yes, as a child I always felt out of place within the positions and environments I was put in. So putting myself in a place where I feel like I can progress has helped me. I feel like I am where I am now because it is my purpose and my driving force to do something out of the box and help influence and inspire others. Ultimately it is to inspire and help others because I didn’t have that growing up. I had a mom and dad working 9-9 all the time and friends that didn’t get me because I was a nerd talking about “Back to the Future” and time travel all the time. Time is a very valuable thing and I don’t think we should waste it.
Can you talk about your new label XAR Records?
It will officially happen (the announcement) when we drop my single “Are You Ready?” coming out late July 2018. We signed our first ten artists and we will be releasing a compilation album with 20 tracks (two tracks for each artist) at the end of August. “Are You Ready?” will be part of an EP I’m releasing and I also will be releasing two tracks on the compilation XAR Records album.
Your equipment is like your band members. You trust them as someone would hope to trust their fellow band members. Say there were no synthesizers, no equipment and it’s just you standing alone. Is NKRIOT still NKRIOT without all of that?
Of course, have you heard me a cappella? I strip down on a set and just sing the whole song a cappella. I’ve done that a couple of times. Several people [who] recorded me live went back home, listened to the track and they were like dude you’re literally on the BPM. NKRIOT is not just the instruments it’s also the creativity and the force that is within me. When I put on the mask its not really a mask for me, it’s revealing the inner true self.
Can you tell us about your #InItTogether campaign with your friends at LinkedIn HQ?
The #InITogether campaign was a collective of individuals sharing their story on how LinkedIn changed their life. So they wanted to learn what I have done with my life and how has LinkedIn helped me out. The campaign helped me out a lot because it was the unveiling of NKRIOT and who I am as an individual. See, I was always keeping my identity a secret and wasn’t letting anyone see my face but with the campaign, it revealed Kris, and people went into a realm that no one knew. It exposed how rooted I am to my community and to my family which is good.
When you go on stage and you wear a chrome helmet and you’ve got all this equipment and lights are shining and you’re doing all these crazy majestic beats, everyone thinks you’re Batman and you’ve got money. It’s how I felt people looked at me for like three or four years but with the reveal, the community and industry embraced me more. They saw a dude doing something different and raw. That happening allowed me to open up more and have better communication with others about my feelings and my emotions. Because initially I didn’t wear the helmet but one night at a club I received racism and the helmet hid my color and my gender. But after that, this campaign it helped me expose myself.
How would you like to see music and technology come together in the future? Where does NKRIOT fit in all of that?
One day when the budget is right and timing is right, I would love to perform in multiple places in the world at once throwing the worlds largest concert ever or just in the country. Imagine having fifteen shows in the United States, one of me in a studio with a 3D scan of me projected all over the world. Not a hologram playback but like a laser sculpture of me translucent and its happening all over the states at once. A live stream all over the internet and live and in person concerts people can go to. I would love to do the concerts for free!
“Shogun 8.0” and “Blame” have a very eastern feel to them; It is known that the movie Shogun Assassin was an inspiration. What do those two tracks signify in Virtual Climax Recording?
“Shogun 8.0” is basically an ode to my father. What I felt with that song was my wanting to create a movement of sound that represented my father in music and how I related to the story of the assassin going out to battle like my father waking up in the morning saying goodbye to me as he went to work and provided. It brought back the innocence in myself and respect for myself and for my family. “Blame” is a track that I wrote that is traumatic. I actually have written lyrics to it but I want those who listen to it to create their own lyrics in their head. Do you blame yourself for your faults or do you blame others? They are really hard emotionally invested songs that are rich.
Can we expect to see more Cinematic Compositions from you? Can you give us maybe a sneak peek of what’s to come?
Right now I am working towards that. I think you can get more from people actually playing the strings than it being produced on synths. So I’m trying to develop a team to actually play those instruments live. I have so much music coming out its going to go through a whirlwind of, electro, cinematic, and dance. I want to create an environment in my shows where people headbang, pit, shuffle, and cry all at the same time.
When you’re making music, what’s happening inside of you? Can you put into words or describe what is happening or how it happens?
Imagine during your whole day you have all this tension and all this stress and all this emotional weight on you. When I go into my room I sit down with my laptop and my equipment and I blank out. I clear my mind from all the noise and that’s when the music comes alive. I start hearing sounds and tones, its crazy. It’s like a voice in my head speaking in music. It’s telling me all this stuff but in the language of music. Sometimes I’ll produce a whole track for six hours then delete it because it was just something I had to get out and release. My music is my meditation. When I was 13-years-old I used to go out in the backyard and play with my guitar for hours on this little bench and that was my therapy and meditation.
Goji is all about fusing the bitter and sweets of all genres and bringing them together. Could Goji be an example to people as far as how we should come together and not separate based off of our beliefs and appearances?
Yes! A great example of that is XAR Records. It is a great example of the Goji movement because every artist is a different genre and we are taking the bittersweet of what they have and what they possess and apply it to the in-house production value. Everyone has something beautiful to offer and they all believe in the Goji movement, it’s a lifestyle more than a genre.
Connect with NKRIOT
Check out NKRIOT’s interview with OneEDM at Art Battle L.A. here.