In a competitive field flooded with talent, Los Angeles act Lost Kings have pulled away from the pack with their infectious dance releases. Members Rob and Nick launched the duo project only a year ago but have quickly ascended the ranks of the industry, thanks to a strategy that heavily relies on their production chops and turnaround time.
With 20 native records living on their SoundCloud page, along with a few guest mixes sprinkled in, the Lost Kings’ diligent work ethic in the studio has translated to excellent streaming numbers and a multitude of radio spins.
The Lost Kings kicked off their musical project with a slew of progressive house remixes, but gradually converted their style to a groove-tinged sound reminiscent of the disco age. Dutch imprint Spinnin’ Records is home to their latest undertaking, a three-track EP titled Bad.
Billboard caught up with the Lost Kings to recount their story as up-and-coming producers, the creative process behind the EP and what they aim to accomplish in the future.
How did you get on Disruptor’s radar in the first place?
Rob: As soon as we finished our first remix, we sent cold emails to every management under the sun. When we reached out to Adam and sent him the remix, he was the first to get back to us and has essentially been involved since day one.
What was the determining factor that made you want to sign with Disruptor?
Rob: They agreed with how they wanted to build us as artists. We wanted to establish ourselves with remixes and build anticipation off of that while we figure ourselves out musically. Once all of that has been accomplished, we’d make the step of releasing originals. They agreed with our vision and let us be free musically.
How would you describe your relationship with the Disruptor team?
Nick: We work with them on a daily basis. Whether it’s with music, photos or social media, it is constant interaction with them. It’s such a collaborative effort.
Rob: They’re with us 24/7 making sure we don’t turn off, because the second you turn off, you lose your momentum. You have to keep it going — and luckily we have a team in place that allows us to keep the momentum rolling.
You started off releasing progressive house music in the early days of the Lost Kings. What made you want to steer your music in another direction?
Nick: We try not to get wrapped in genres, because once people can put you in a box, you’re predictable. If you look at the biggest artists of the world — Kanye, for example — every song is different, every album is different. You don’t know what they are going to do, and it makes them stay relevant. At the end of the day, we just want to make good music.
You recently released a three-track EP on Spinnin’ Records. What made you decide to release your first originals on that label?
Rob: The tracks are so different than what you would think Spinnin’ releases. I think it was big for both of us. They have such a great following too. To put out these tracks we really believed in — we just wanted people to hear it.
Nick: In the land of social media, they have it. No other label has what they have. It’s a dream situation to be able to put out those kinds of records out with their following.
What was the creative process behind the title track, “Bad”?
Nick: Jessame, the singer on “Bad,” had this original idea that he played for us in the studio one day. We had always wanted to work together and when we finally heard the idea, we immediately knew we wanted to expand upon it. It took a while to figure it out because this was the first time we were collaborating so we didn’t know what was going to transpire. We just knew it would be a great record. It really opened our eyes, just something different coming out of the woodwork. That’s what we want the EP to be all about. It shows our versatility as artists.
Preceding the EP, you experienced great success with the remixes you released. What would you attribute the success of those records to?
Rob: Hype Machine definitely played a big role in our remix success. When we started out, we didn’t even know what the concept of it was, but when we began putting out more remixes, we realized we were getting more and more plays off of Hype Machine. We started making that a focus. We can attribute our success to the quality of the remixes in general, along with the push. We don’t have a problem reaching out to people to make sure our tracks get heard. One of our big moments was getting our “Latch” remix on the radio, and that was before we had a manager or agent. That was solely from us emailing BPM. Luckily, they told us they loved the remix and two weeks later, we received an email saying it was going to go on BPM and replace the original.
What do you hope to accomplish in the future?
Rob: Top 40. We want to be more than just an electronic music duo.
Nick: We want to put our stamp on the music industry. Making good music and having a global audience listening to it — that’s what we want. To be respected as artists and having fans that care about our music — that’s what we want. We are a DJ duo, so there’s already a stereotype in regards to who we are and what we can do. We want to break that mold, break those limits and become something greater than that. That’s the goal. That’s the message.