Up-and-comer Nikhil Gupta -- or "N K N K," in EDM terms -- has mastered his first production of many to come, titled "No Lies EP," through the Amped Artists label. Set to release on Beatport on the 18th, the extended play features two tracks: "No Lies" and "Somewhere in San Francisco." I was given the opportunity to preview the EP and shed light on the enigma that is N K N K. Here's what they're all about.
On a night out, his heart beats at 124 bpm. When he's getting ready for something epic, it jumps to the 130 - 140 bpm range. Nikhil's production days started five years ago on a program called Reason, but that relationship was found to be rather unreasonable. After a year of messing around and virtually getting nowhere, he made the switch to Ableton. A perfect match, the elements fell into place rather nicely and quickly to form the all-yellow "No Lies EP": a mini-piece centered on "summery afternoon vibes." Nikhil describes his sound as a cornucopia of "feel-good, deep, and progressive" elements that interweave to produce a unique, groove.
Let's break the EP in with the title track "No Lies" (click on the text before you continue reading). Guided by the pads and piano, the track tells a captivating story through a multiverse of synths to send you on an emotional journey. You're standing on a seaside cliff, observing the baby blue-periwinkle gradient of the sky above and the deep, true blue of the ocean below. Your atmosphere pulsates to the track: the clouds to the beat and the tides to the pads. Donning a para-glide, you break into a run toward the edge of the cliff and kick-off, generating lift-off. At the onset of the track's ultra-mellow, encapsulating breakdown, time comes to a pause as you float with bliss and serenity through the air. Then, you find the urge to lift your sails and shift yourself at an angle, forming a 180 that causes you to soar past the clouds and tides with falcon-like speed. "I'm the captain now," you think to yourself as molecules of dopamine rush to your head. Time kicks back into motion, here, at the track's climax. The outro signals the end of your para-gliding adventure as you descend onto the shore and let out your feet for landing. And what a splendid adventure it was. But, why the title "No Lies"?:
When I was writing "No Lies," I was going through a kind of internal moral struggle with some big changes in my life. The track helped me get through that struggle, because when it comes down to it, it's all about being honest with yourself. Be around people that bring you up, and do the things you enjoy. Both tracks mean something to me, but I'd like for them to mean something to the listener if he or she finds a personal connection to them. That's my goal. Oh, and to make people dance, of course. This EP has been in the works for a long time, and I'm really proud and excited to finally be able to release it!
Onwards, to "Somewhere in San Francisco." You're completely tuned-in; no ambient noise exists to you as the track plays out. It's dusky: a large layer of cosmic darkness sits atop the fading strip of red-orange sunlight. Now, imagine that you're walking the streets of a San Francisco that's not too unlike Big Hero 6's very own Sanfransokyo: lights beam the visible spectrum's 16,000,000 color variants; a mysterious, light haze fills the air with satellites of color; and signs illustrated with Japanese characters pop into and out of existence. Cable cars pass by in a constant streamline, leaving behind ripples of chromatic light in the surrounding haze. Bay Bridge irradiates a warm, inviting yellow, inspiring the Sanfransokyans, and you, with a light, cheerful being. An otherwise incomplete description of this bumpy, uplifting track, which can be better expressed in the following photo:
With a smile like that, how could you say no? Be on the lookout for the Beatport release of the "No Lies EP" on the 18th! Its calm, yet bumpy tracks are essential additions to your Summer Playlist that's been collecting dust lately. Plus, you could really use some new tracks that aren't by Kygo and Flume, right?