When Music Paints A Rainbow...

Wednesday, February 21, 2018, was an evening of musical passion and artistic declaration. Los Angeles’ first stock exchange turned live music venue, Exchange LA,  housed the fantastic Art Battle featuring live music by Boyle Heights electronic musician, NKRIOT. 640 South Spring Street in downtown LA welcomed lovers of art and music to witness a partnership of colorful and futuristic wonderment. Art Battle is a live competition where 16 painters have 20 minutes to transform blank canvases into beautiful pieces of original artwork. The audience votes to determine the winner. This was the first LA battle of 2018 and NKRIOT blessed the event as he orchestrated the night.


Art Battle at Exchange LA

A four-level nightclub that couldn’t be any more perfect for what was in store.  Exchange LA is a 25,000 square foot space. On February 21st it was filled with pulsing sound waves that motivated and inspired each virtuoso. It was NKRIOT’s first performance at this venue, and every attendee was excited to be apart of it. A young man with heart and spirit joined a group of brilliant LA artists to offer one whiz-bang experience. When you think of music and art coming together you think to yourself, yes, that sounds awesome, how could it not be. The evening was exactly what everyone expected and more. People came together and connected with one another. Artists began to test their skills with a paintbrush as NKRIOT came to hand in his robotic essence as the soundtrack.

Photo Credit: Piero F Giunti.

16 Artists – 3 Rounds – 1 Champ

As soon as you step into the main room, a wave of electronic love and edgy craft hits you.  Eight easels holding white canvases are centered on the main floor as “NKRIOT” displays across the stage. A man of gratitude and genuine love for music and its meaning, NKRIOT takes his desires out of the equation and gives life to the art and its purpose of spreading love and inspiring. The city of angels is heavenly with this one, and OneEDM was fortunate enough bare witness.

At 7:30 p.m. the doors opened and lovers of art and music begin to gather in. Everything you could wish to see materialized before your eyes. Friends and family of the talent showed their support every passing minute. The anticipation in the air was rich as guests huddled around the blank canvases waiting to enjoy the event. The solo display of NKRIOT holding steady in the midst of it all couldn’t be any more perfect.

As the MC stepped on stage, a quick rundown of who was involved and what was about to be beheld took place. Each round had a wildcard artist. This was a last minute entry participant that won the chance from a draw of a hat, or bucket if you will. When the wildcard artist wins they no longer have to hope they’re attending, they’re in already. The previous winner of Art Battle LA, Madison aka Madi came to create as well, and she had the best seat in the house – right on stage next to NKRIOT.

Photo Credit: Piero F Giunti.

Round 1

As the artists gather their supplies, NKRIOT tunes his guitar, adjusts his settings, and grabs the sparkly chrome headpiece. Its Round One and “The Riot Lab” is boiling and bubbling under NKRIOTS fingertips. The first eight artists (Ben Silverstone, Megan Hall, Amna Basheer, Michelle Guerrero, Wreck, Roberto Carlos Zae, Francisco Palomares, and wildcard Christina Arosco) paint to NKRIOT as he performs all improv music, live.

As the talents perform, guests circle the artists. NKRIOT creates music live as the artists paint live. It was inspiration feeding off inspiration, and these masterly folk were hungry. Shredding on his guitar, NKRIOT drips the amplifiers with an electronic surge as the artists drip beautiful art over their once empty canvases. The round comes to an end and the top two advance on to the finals.

Round 2

Round Two and the next group take their positions. Artists Al Marcano, Jesse Ramirez, Issac Pelayo, Noemi Barajas, Heather Ireland, Victoria Cassinova, Chris l Rutledge, and wildcard winner Jermaine Mcgee aim to out-paint the last round. Things took off with a bang as NKRIOT hops off stage and jumps in the crowd belting “American Dream” from his album Riot. Brush strokes were on the double as the current single, “Reality Pages” and its cutting-edge synths illuminated the room. Before you knew it, NKRIOT invited the guests and rioteers to join him on stage. The passion and bonafide spirit of this humble and down to earth musician made him the champion of this battle down in LA.

The Final Round

Live art with live music made this more than an art show event but a vivacious and lively musical museum. The final round lasted 30 minutes which was an ideal amount of time for NKRIOT to showcase his latest album due out later this year. Now more than ever NKRIOT shredded his electric guitar and demonstrated why he is separate from just any ordinary DJ, he’s an artist. Saving the best for last, his new material was fresh, catchy, and fancied the audience more than the previous sets.

Admirers gathered around the stage to focus their attention on him as he dazzled with expansive delight. Suddenly, he invited electro R&B singer Tolliver to join him. Grabbing the mic, Tolliver put his edgy, funky spin over NKRIOTS Goji rhythms. Out of all the sets he performed, NKRIOT’s final performance with his new material was the absolute best. Closing the show with his song “Blame”, NKRIOT gave an infectious, pulsing wobble with esoteric, supernatural wonder.

Photo Credit: Piero F Giunti.

It was an evening to be remembered and most definitely a highly recommended event. Big thanks to NKRIOT and Exchange L.A. for their warm welcome. Look out for NKRIOT’s next album coming out later this year with the first single “Shogun 8.0” due in March.

Connect with NKRIOT

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Steve Matos
the authorSteve Matos