System of a Down’s Shavo Odadjian Launches New Band, Releases Debut Song ‘Like That?’
System of a Down bassist Shavo Odadjian has just launched the new musical collective North Kingsley. His new collaborative project with Saro Paparian and Ray Hawthorne just revealed the new single “Like That?,” breaking from rock and metal to create a hip-hop focused cut.
North Kingsley’s “Like That?” mixes modern hip-hop with abrasive, bass-driven rhythms. An official lyric video has been released for the track, complimenting the song’s gritty feel of the Los Angeles underground. Instead of a full album from North Kingsley, the group is releasing music in small bursts, giving fans a three-track EP every few months.
"We’re giving you songs you can marinade on, instead of 12 songs all at once. There’s going to be a clip for every song, something visually for you to vibe on,” says Odadjian. “I directed videos for System, I do stage production visuals for the band so that’s important to me. Saro has an incredible eye for creating new things visually and I act almost how a producer would on that and we are going to drop merch with every release, so it’s more than just music.”
He continues, “I love to collaborate. I love to hear my ideas come through other people. There is strength in numbers. Saro would make the beats, and I would play guitar and bass - and not in a way that you’d usually hear in rock. When Ray came in, he was very turned on to what’s going on socially and politically. They both know their way around the studio with what’s new and fresh. I played hard to get for a little while with them, but the vibe and what we were working on was so cool that it became the start of North Kingsley.”
“I’m known for playing metal but you can’t say it’s just metal - it has a lot of other influences in there. I did Achozen with RZA and that was straight hip-hop. North Kingsley is right in the middle. The kick and the hi-hats and the snare sounds punk. To me punk rock isn’t a style of music, it’s something you live. It’s a lifestyle and it means going against the grain and I heard that there, and we are putting it all together to create something exciting and new for today.”
“Our sound is very LA. Ray and I were raised in those dirty clubs for years and you have Shavo who’s part of one of the biggest LA bands of this century,” Paparian adds. “I want people to know that this came from LA, you can hear it in the griminess of both the rock and the beats. The three of us align across the spectrum and bring different things. It’s like these musical and cultural nodes that center and become North Kingsley. We have specific creative identities, it’s like watching those three things clash and meld together like steel rods being sculpted by friction. I’m stirring this witch's brew with Ray’s lyrical intellect and Shavo’s exceptional songwriting talent. It’s in his DNA to know when a song feels right and I throw my flavor into that and that’s us.”
As for vocalist Ray Hawthorne, he professes, “I grew up on System and had lots of albums by socially conscious bands and that spoke to me. We are all focused and are all hard on ourselves to challenge one another and make something that’s great musically and that, I hope, extends to our message.”
Watch the lyric video for “Like That?” below and click here to pre-order North Kingsley’s Vol. 1 EP, which drops Aug. 14.
North Kingsley - Like That? [Official Lyric Video]
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