You’ve likely heard the name Rawtek before, but you might not have realized that the Los Angeles-based duo has never before released a full EP – until today. Their debut EP Tropic Graffiti is out now via Barong Family, which is the absolute perfect platform for their no-holds-barred style of turnt music.
As their name implies, Rawtek unite organic, percussive styles from around the world and a heavy, state of the art electronic approach to music producing. Perhaps more so than ever, this soundclash plays out on their new Tropic Graffiti EP, which takes in sounds from Rio to London to New Orleans.
Every track on the EP is a collaboration, each adding their flavor to Rawtek’s fusion sounds. Check out the full EP below!
You can catch Rawtek’s first live show at Insomniac’s Nocturnal Wonderland on Friday September 15th, and Escape on Saturday October 28th!
We also had the opportunity to speak with Rawtek and ask a few questions about their vision, the EP, the word “lionsound,” and their new popularity. Check it out below.
So tell us a little about yourself?
We’re a duo group both from Los Angeles born and raised. Both of our parents are very musical. Levi’s parents were deep in the skateboarding scene of Venice beach. His dad skated for Dogtown when it first became a skate company back in the 80s. And now he’s a painter and dancehall DJ. Daniel’s dad was a guitarist in a band in his younger days. Both of our parents are very supportive of everything we do musically due to their own musical venues growing up. We grew up with the arts always drawing and painting. Myself and Daniel met around 2010 through mutual friends but we didn’t start making music until a couple years later. When we began producing and working together we both realized we had very similar tastes in music and Rawtek officially began in 2013.
What does Rawtek mean?
Rawtek is a play on word. Raw meaning raw organic world sounds and tek meaning the technical synthetic sounds of today’s dance music. We use a lot of Latin drums, South American and Caribbean rhythms/vibes, and other world influences and blend them with heavier bass music and aggressive festival sounds.
I see you guys use the term “lionsound” frequently. What is Lionsound?
LIONSOUND derives from reggae music. Levi grew up around reggae being played in his home every day. We ended up adopting the term to describe our aggressive approach to indigenous and wild sounding music!
How does it feel to have every A-list DJ playing your music? Can you name some of the ones that inspire you the most and why?
It’s awesome! We still can’t believe it sometimes. Especially when it’s artists you’ve been listening to for almost a decade or so. There’s so many artists out there producing amazing stuff. We get inspired by too many people right now. Major Lazer, Wiwek, Skrillex, Troy boi, Boaz, Cesqeaux, Kayzo just to name a few.
Do you have any big shows coming up that you are looking forward too?
We’re playing at our first festivals in September and in October at Nocturnal Wonderland & Escape in SoCal. We’ve gone to these insomniac festivals for years so we’re excited to get to play them.
What music are you currently listening to?
We listen to a lot of different genres. Especially a lot of R&B, hip hop, and some indie rock stuff. We love easy-listening music like music on the other side of the spectrum as far as the style of music we actually make.
What is your guys favorite food?
Haha anything that’s good, doesn’t matter! Except Levi because he doesn’t eat meat. But so much love for Asian and South/ Central American food though……Fire!
If you could do one thing in the world no matter what, what would it be?
We just want to travel, see new places, meet new people, discover new cultures and foods, and be able to play our music wherever it’ll be enjoyed.
Your EP release is you first release with Barong. How did that come about, and tell us a little bit about the EP.
We always wanted to release a full EP on Barong. We actually had a collab with Victor Niglio released on Barong a couple years ago & Barong seriously puts out some of the craziest music we’ve heard in the past few years as far as dance music today. It’s definitely one of our favorite labels right now. We had been collaborating with a bunch of friends earlier this year and ended up stacking a bunch of originals. We sent it to Barong & Yellow Claw and you guys know the rest. We’re really proud of each and every track on the EP. Each one is so rewarding to us and so fun to play live. Can’t wait to see what people think as well.