WHO WE ARE
KABIRIA is the music playing in a young Kate Bush’s headphones, as she rollerskates along the sunset drenched Santa Monica pier in her daisy dukes and a Dr. Dre crop top.
Sprawling synthesizers, dreamy vocals, and a throwback to the 1990s swagger of South Central LA gives KABIRIA its own sonically dense brand of gritty yet melodic music. G-funk, electro/dream pop, 90s electronica and trip hop – each find their way into KABIRIA’s sound. Splitting time between the lush evergreen forests of Vancouver Canada and the urban palm trees of Los Angeles creates contrasting perspectives where Ice Cube and Phantogram intermingle with Grimes, and Goldfrapp.
KABIRIA was born on a cold winter night within the steamy windows of Cafe Tropical, a small coffee shop on Sunset Boulevard in Silverlake. Chris Dang and Gretchen King, the duo that makes up KABIRIA, were both very recent transplants to Los Angeles who were looking for greener pastures after splitting with their previous projects.
Gretchen was the lead vocalist and founder of the Columbus, Ohio band Phantods. After being featured on television and movie soundtracks, charting in the CMJ top 100, sharing the stage with the likes of Fitz and the Tantrums and Young the Giant, and a successful showcase at SXSW, Gretchen became a local celebrity in Columbus. At the same time, she was also collaborating with Nine Inch Nails drummer Jerome Dillon on several movie soundtracks. But feeling that she had peaked as the big fish in a small pond in Ohio, Gretchen left her home to seek out deeper waters.
As the guitarist and songwriter for the Vancouver, British Columbia band Autoviolet, Chris was signed to a management, publishing and recording deal with a New York label and management firm. He had mentored under David Ogilvie (Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Carly Rae Jepsen) while co-producing Autoviolet’s first EP. However, Chris soon found the band had become stagnant in their alt rock direction. He decided to trade in his distorted guitars and amplifiers for a laptop and synthesizer to explore a more electronic, sample based sound.
In a strange parallel that took place on opposite sides of different countries, Chris and Gretchen left their bands and their homes to explore the vibrant music scene of Los Angeles. Without knowing it, they had both arrived within days of each other and began looking on Craigslist for like minded musicians. By chance, the first (and only) meeting the duo took was with each other at Cafe Tropical.
The sound of KABIRIA is heavily influenced by the nomadic nature of its members. The sprawling synthesizers and dreamy vocals draw from the wide open skies of Ohio to majestic mountains of British Columbia. A throwback to the 1990s inner city of Los Angeles gives the band its own sonically dense brand of bounce and gritty, sampled electro-funk.
In addition to releasing their own brand of c-walk synthpop, the band is currently in a partnership with US/Korean hip hop label Cycadelic Records/KIWI Media Group, writing and producing music for their hip hop/urban division’s up-and-coming talent and for established Korean artists such as JYP and Killagramz.
“They really know how to touch on a wide variety of genres without making [it] too obvious, to the point where you don’t realize it unless you’re really thinking about it, because it just sounds so good.” Nick Brutus Grass Younes from IX Daily.