The New LoFi

Ten Years

Montevideo Mondays (IV)

It´s funny how the process of notoriety of an artist gets so complicated and -at the same time- so predictable inside of a cultural environment. A couple of weeks ago, the artist known as Kevin Royk popped up in the news for the wrong reason: a couple of kids threw stones at them in a montevidean square while he was shooting a video. The problem? Kevin Royk is an artist mostly devoted to his queer and LadyBoy image, which gave him a popular place in the local gay community and also abroad, in tiny scenes based in countries like Brazil. The boys who perpetrated the attack said -of course- that Royk was provoking them.

What the news may not say is that in just a couple of records, Royk managed to establish him as a name even being below the radar. His appearance last year in the Contrapedal Fest, which took place with a bunch of local and foreign emergent bands was for him a good opportunity to show himself to a more broader and diverse audience, even though he has been building his career since 2008. Some credit has to be given to similar artists who have helped pave the way, such as Dani Umpi.

Going to the records, the music crafted by Royk is an uncomfortable artifact, one made of electronic beats and a voice that spits english without caring for the pronunciation and is far from being imposted. And his electro-pop can take you to some considerable heights, even in a city sometimes so frigid and reactionary as this little place can be. As an artist developed into music, Royk has also some ballads such as “No pares” (Don’t stop) that have a lot to do with that issue of staying true, no matter how many stones they throw at you in the street, but his strong moves are between the frontiers of Afro Beat, the most commercial dubstep and other latino frequent styles such as reggaetón.

After you put an ear to his music you may say that Kevin Royk’s music is still not ready for conquering big parties and attracting huge audiences. However, the rawness of his tunes gives his music an interesting approach: they sound like songs ready to be polished for being massive products, which is something this artist may not want.

Royk’s activity never stops: his Soundcloud is full of remixes and versions crafted by him or his colleagues. In the next weeks he’ll have his first live DVD and we’ll have a chance to see how far can he go from this new point.