Royale Artist Collective
Born one day apart, Northwest hip hop duo KnowMads began their movement almost a decade ago and have been cultivating one of the most diehard independent followings in the region ever since. They began making music purely out of love. As their passion grew, so did their fan base.
Tom Pepe and Tom Wilson went to rival high schools in Seattle where their infamous rap battles during football games were often more of a spectacle than the game itself. Wilson had a makeshift studio in his attic where they recorded their first songs at age 15. “We used to take the metro bus around the city, traveling from place to place,” recalls Wilson. “We were nomadic in the sense that we were always on the go, yet felt at home wherever we were…as long as we were performing and creating music.”
They released their first album, self-titled KnowMads, as juniors in high school and followed up with their 2009 LP, SEATTLE, selling over 2000 copies and creating a global awareness that follows them to this day. Their third LP, 2012’s The Knewbook, landed at #7 on the iTunes Hip Hop Charts, solidifying their grassroots movement. Their significant online presence brought forth opportunities to open for Macklemore, Chance The Rapper and landed them slots at major music festivals such as Bumbershoot and Sasquatch! Their live performances have brought them up and down the West Coast, from Vancouver to Los Angeles, where they now reside.
Their current release, Knew School, represents their migration, not only to Los Angeles, but also into the mainstream music industry. Producer Peter Lee Johnson (Atlantic Records) was brought on board to lend his classically trained ear and experience to the project. The process began with Johnson sending the duo loops, which they would play endlessly, working together to determine themes based on the feeling of the tracks. Knew School was conceptualized around their formative high school days, but laced with broader themes and life lessons, which emerged in the succeeding years.
KnowMads have a synergy that can only come with a decade’s worth of writing and performing together. Their sound encompasses two unique personalities and tones, but the message of their music has one voice. “Our fans often tell us they feel like we put their thoughts into words," Pepe says. "It makes us realize how universal our message is. We've created a cultural outlet for those who don’t feel they have a culture to connect to.”
Formed in 2014 after a chance encounter on YouTube, Focus Fire is comprised of Christian Ellison and Mark Barton. With Christian living in Arizona, and Mark based 5,000 miles away in Scotland, working around an eight-hour time difference hasn’t been easy. Yet, their unrelenting spirit has defied the odds, allowing the duo to channel their varied experiences into emotionally charged productions. Whether an idea calls for progressive house, electro, dubstep, or drum and bass, Focus Fire is always eager to explore new territory, and above all, the duo aims to take listeners on a journey through their vivid assortment of soundscapes. Having already opened for established acts such as 3lau, Bro Safari, MAKJ, and Mija, Focus Fire is approaching 2016 with a vigorous release and touring schedule. Stay tuned for more announcements on this rising talent.
Kapture, aka Brendan Gordon, is a long time artist and musician with an enthusiastic passion for Electronic music. As a lifelong, trained musician, Brendan started producing Electronic music in the summer of 2010. He took up the art of DJing in the fall of 2012, and today his live performances invoke a unique, powerful energy mirroring that of the industry’s biggest names. Over the years Kapture has shared the stage with the likes of Zeds Dead, 3lau (Life In Color), Figure, Mt Eden, Must Die, RL Grime, Downlink, Apashe, K theory, Unlike Pluto, Truth, Lucky Date, Kicks N Licks, Truth, P0gman, & Focus Fire—to name a few. Kapture has a debut EP on the way, to be released in the spring of 2016.
A product of the Northwest, Jake Syrenne graduated from the University of Montana with a BA in Instrumental Jazz Studies. Syrenne eventually turned his trained ears towards the emerging electronic scene after discovering groundbreaking acts like Lido and Haywyre. Enveloping himself in his new craft, Syrenne has risen through the ranks of Northwest Electronic Music with his combination of live saxophone performance coupled with his unique future bass production.
“Deformaty is one of the hottest USA Breaks/Electro House producers of the modern electronic scene with awesome phat and energetic sound, chart success, and hot releases for labels such as Kick It Recordings, Diablo Loco Records, V.I.M. Breaks, Lizplay Records and more!” – VIM RECORDS
His music, ranging from powerful electro/bounce house to nasty tear out breaks and drum and bass, has been regularly played by EDM giants such as Tommie Sunshine, Krewella, Far Too Loud and others at Ultra, EDC, and other major events. Hailing from the Pacific Northwest of the United States, Deformaty has a prolific musical career, with several top charting releases, including #35 on Beatport’s top 100 Electro House “Bouncin”, the hit collaboration with Koyote and best-selling track on Brooklyn Fire Records in its time, and #2 in Breaks with his single “Heavenly Plague”. He has performed at massive festivals such as Beyond Wonderland and Kaleidoscope Music Festival, and has shared stages with Bassnectar, Far Too Loud, Excision, Vaski, Downlink, and many others. Kick It Recordings dubbed him “the breakbeat king and aficionado” and his hyper aggressive tracks are on Pandora and other large online stations like Digitally Imported. In 2013, Deformaty won the Beyond Wonderland Discovery Project in 2013 and has been featured in the Insomniac magazine. His DJ sets consistently provide a high octane, peak hour performance and are not experiences to be missed.