Emcee, Singer, DJ, producer, and percussionist. In live performance, Srikala uses Ableton Live to perform his original music, improvising live with Indian percussion and ambient vocals. His projects incorporate dub, hip hop, reggae, world beats, and sacred mantras. His mission is to uplift, open hearts, and move bodies. The soul in his music is found not only in the rhythms, words and beats but in the energy and intention within them.
Influenced by artists ranging from From Talib Kweli to Radiohead, Michael Jackson to Matisyahu, Jimi Hendrix to Tinariwen. Srikala was raised in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn, New York. Throughout his West Indian upbringing, he gained a deep love for listening to and creating hip hop, R&B, dub, and reggae music. Influenced by his mother, who always had a variety of styles in the tape deck, his musical palette expanded as he aged, incorporating various styles of music such as rock, blues, pop and jazz. He recalls spending many days and nights in the basement with his cousin making beats, saying “That’s just something we did growing up.”
“My music is about transformation. So much so, that if you stripped away the music, that message is still there,” he explains.
In his early days, he was intrigued by the skateboarding lifestyle, much like his “kick-pushing” musical favorite, hip hop artist Lupe Fiasco. Says Srikala, “I was skating a lot because I was up-and-coming in that scene. There was a lot of partying and I eventually burned out in that space,” he recalls. “Ultimately, New York City beat me up.”
Instead of coasting through self-destruction, at the age of 18, Srikala chose to meet the city’s challenge and find balance by taking a drastically different route: he spent six years living in an ashram on New York’s Lower East Side, dedicated to refocusing his life through the spiritual cultivation. “Whatever healing needed to happen started happening, and as it did, I started writing music again,” says Srikala. As the music became increasingly prominent in his way of life, he was gently encouraged to leave the ashram and embark on the next phase of his journey because, as he notes with a smile, “there weren’t any monks coming out with albums.”
As his first foray back into the city that helped to shape him, Srikala dove in audio engineering and began independently releasing records in 2011. His multiple talents have afforded him the opportunity to collaborate with artists around the world as an MC, producer and DJ.
In all of Srikala’s expressions of sound, he seeks to bring a message of hope, inspiration, and joy to the masses.