King Deco — Tigris EP & Interview

Posted by on April 24, 2014


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Amidst this facile pop culture climate—in which producers and writers alike have problematically concluded that lucrativeness follows the more nugatory and hollow creations—an artist with a clear identity and sound is at once both palpable and powerful. Hence, my enthusiasm for King Deco. A month after releasing her EP’s lead single, “One”, the full project is here, adding two mesmeric and lushly-produced tracks in “Laila” (produced by Adam Pallin) and “Ocean” (produced by Cobra Starship’s Ryland Blackinton & One Love), as well as a Kinetics verse with every bit as much of the intricateness and carefully-crafted lyricism we’ve come to expect from the astute rhymer. What is most compelling, though, about King Deco’s project, is how much depth and weight this project bears in just three songs. She excels at combining lyrical tension with her softening, tranquil harmonies, and ultimately leaves us craving a more ample dose of her world. Luckily, we don’t have to wait long, with her Euphrates EP release around the corner. For more, we spoke to the talented songstress herself:

FNT: With so much genericness in the industry in regard to music video aesthetic, where did the inspiration for the visuals for “One” come from? How is it indicative of what we’ll continue to see from you as an artist in terms of your image?

KD: I think my art (both visually and sonically) will continue to change and evolve as I do. I wrote “One” when I was trying to move forward as an artist despite where I came from, and it felt like I was being pulled in two different directions. When Nick Wiesner [the video’s redirector] and I started discussing visuals for the song, it made sense to use that as a starting point. From that experience certain themes kept coming up: self battle, self discovery, one-ness with the universe, female empowerment and being at one with nature.

Nick was able to translate those themes into something visual that not only fit my aesthetic but also made sense: a lot of circles, kaleidoscopes, one point perspectives, flames, two alter-egos battling, etc.

How has your background and experience growing up in the Middle East impacted your sensibility as an artist? In what way, if any, does it come through in your music and style?

It’s definitely made me more sensible. I’m not entirely sure that that’s a good thing, though. My Middle Eastern heritage has grown to become a part of my sound. I wasn’t completely accepting of it but the artists and producers I’ve worked with really encouraged it.

Your frequent references to Cleopatra have become part of your public perception. How did this come about? Was this a choice you made as you developed your artist aesthetic, or has she been a larger influence in your life?

I thought I made that choice when I first started developing my artist aesthetic but she was there from the very beginning. I went home for a little bit and found that I had mentioned her in journal entries, dressed up as her for halloween and purchased the Elizabeth Taylor movie in 9th grade—all things I forgot I did. I think from what we know about her, she was extremely strong, but she was also a woman in the way she fell in love and the way she nurtured as a ruler.

I know you’ve been working a lot with Felix Snow and Kinetics & One Love on your new project. What have those experiences been like, and who else can we expect to see you collaborating with either on your EP or in the near future?

I’ve definitely learned something from each of them while working on Tigris. Adam Pallin and Ryland Blackinton are also collaborators on that project. Working with different creatives who all have different processes helped me figure out how I worked best. Kinetics is a perfectionist, Adam is super chill, Felix doesn’t overthink a thing, One Love is super versatile and Ryland taught me how to work with someone via the Internet (we’ve never actually met). So far Kinetics & One Love are the only common thread on Euphrates.

How did your name “King Deco” come about? What made you decide to use “King”, an unlikely choice as a female artist?

I chose it for that reason. I was sick of being treated differently because I was a woman. Deco was my DJ name, and when I threw the ‘King’ in there everything just clicked.

What can we expect from your EP and in King Deco’s future?

Some of the same stuff (personal stories, thematic songs, cinematic underwater soundscapes), and hopefully a lot of growth and definition.


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