FRTNK (pronounced “Fourteen K”) is an American alternative hip-hop group hailing from the greater Los Angeles area, known as the Inland Empire. Formed by artists Benjamin Aragbaye, Bryan Ramos and Barin Butler, the group’s musical style joins the electronic sounds of rock and Neo-RnB, while seamlessly merging it with heavy 808’s and groovy synthesizers.
We had a chance to sit down with FRTNK recently and get behind the scenes of their new album AQUA:
Where did you get the name (of FRTNK’s upcoming album)?
The name AQUA actually came from that first line of the song. As we developed the feel and vibe of the track we kept that name because of the interesting simplicity.
How did the band form?
We came together because we were all neighbors in a ghetto suburbia we call Moreno Valley. We were all artsy and drew inspiration from each other and that just led to the artistic synergy we have now.
How would you describe your sound?
To be honest the best description of is probably the moon wave. But in a genre that people can understand and identify we are probably alt hip hop, indie hip hop, different hip hop. Different is the key word here.
What Would You Say Are Your Influences?
We have so many different influences. It’s not just music you know. Inspiration strikes from anywhere So we could say a collection of Kanye West, Jimmy Hendrix, Fela Kuti, Japanese Animation, Futuristic movies! Haha you name it.
What is your songwriting process?
The songwriting process happens so randomly. There isn’t one specific way. Ben might bring lyrics with a minimal interpretation of the beat and then me or Barin might flesh it out and bring life to it. Or on the other hand, we could have production first and we will all listen to the song and listen for something we call ghost harmonies. That’s when you listen close enough you can actually hear the beat producing its own melodies haha it’s kinda weird. But we just do what feels right.
What’s next for FRTNK?
We have a lot planned for 2017, we are gonna be doing some shows here in Los Angeles to wrap up 2016 and then 2017 you should expect exciting new visuals, more music, more art, more shows, more life!
What advice would you give to other bands on the rise?
The advice I would give to other rising artist is know thyself and to thyself be true. Ignore the noise around you and focus on what you want to create. Focus on your voice. Noise is distracting and if you pay attention to it you’ll miss the opportunities ahead of you.
Keep up with more FRTNK on their FACEBOOK.