So Loki are a Vancouver, Canada based duo that's been building a strong local fanbase and making waves on the internet, and their decision to be completely independent and immersed in graphic and visual art as much as working to progress their work sonically, have shown how amazing true creativity can be.
We recently sat down with the boys to learn more about what they've been up to since they released V, their recently released physical (via USB) project and to learn more about their creative process.
I want to ask about your first and second project. What were the biggest lessons you learned from the first large-scale project to the next?
We learned to be more fearless with the second album. We said everything we wanted to say while keeping it accessible enough for the general public to enjoy. Our first album was a lot of introspective moments figuring ourselves out and the second one was accepting that transition from local kids making music to internationally known artists being able to share their opinions with the world. We had to really push ourselves to make every word count and learned that no one is going to give you the title of “best in the city” unless you take it for yourself and that’s just what we did.
For you, what does Comfort in Chaos mean? Why does that resonate with your live events?
**Comfort In Chaos is our day to day life. We leave a lot of things to the last minute and we welcome that chaotic feeling right before we do anything big (album releases, shows, etc). Our live events and pop-ups are always hail marys from day one- we bite off more than we can chew and the day of the event is like watching desperate ants build a hill. In the end, it always works out better than expected.
You've ramped up playing live shows in Vancouver. I think when people think of hip hop in Canada, right now people immediately think of Toronto, but can you tell us why Vancouver is a place we should be paying more attention to? Also, why masks during your events?
Vancouver is a breeding ground for contemporary hiphop because it has yet to be identified as a place that has a specific sound. There’s no one running the V like Drake does in Toronto and with an empty podium on the west coast we believe people don’t feel married to anything so we’re all free to experiment and push the boundaries. As for the masks we made people wear them in order to ease the social anxiety of most shows, people were less worried about their outfits because of their unified look and could focus more attention on the music and enjoying themselves. It really took people out of their comfort zones.
Where do you guys see yourselves a year from now? 3 years? 5 years?
Within a year: We hope to play some bigger festivals both inside and outside of Canada + drop our first full studio album
3 years: We do our first world tour and have dinner in Paris with Andre 3000 on one of our stops.
5 years: We see ourselves being industry leaders and being the reason Vancouver becomes a hotspot for all contemporary music whether it’s hiphop, electronic, you name it.
You created Owake Records right off the bat. What prompted you guys to start your own record label than to try to join someone else's. What would you say were the biggest lessons
We created our own label because we knew exactly what we wanted and knew no one would offer us as good of a deal as we needed off the bat. We had an aesthetic and sound in mind and knew a couple cats who fit in line with that vision and thought “you CAN have your cake and eat it too”. The biggest lesson has been figuring out how to organize a team of millennials that all live their own lives, deal with their own stresses, and create in their own unique ways while also giving everyone the space they need to grow.
Your cross USB was a mega-hit. What was the inspiration behind the idea, and do you have any plans to release anything like that for whatever you guys come up next?
For our first mixtape we really wanted to release it on vinyl but due to financial restrictions, we held out and hunted for alternative distribution methods that fit better with modern standards. Our beef was that a vinyl just sits there! They’re too big to lug around and demand old technology (though record players are making a comeback). Our cross USB was perfect because it was small enough to be displayed on a desk or go with you in your pocket so it made for the perfect piece of guerilla memorabilia. As for the design aspect we took inspiration from the infamous “East Van Cross,” which is easily one of the most iconic structures in Vancouver. It’s that one thing in Vancouver everyone can agree is “Badass as fuck” so it only made sense.
As for future releases we’ll definitely be doing more USB drops across the board for all Owake Records artists.