Srikala is an MC, DJ, producer, and percussionist who has established solid footing — and an equally solid following — by creating hip hop rooted in confidence without bravado. The soul in his music is found not only in the rhythms, but in the energy and intention of each beat.
“My music is about transformation. So much so, that if you stripped away the music, that message is still there,” he explains.
For Srikalogy (whose real name is Srikala Kerel Roach), this transformation is at the center of ‘New Paradigm’, his fifth studio album and first widespread label release, due May 20, 2014 on Black Swan Sounds.
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. He recalls spending many days and nights in the basement with his cousin making beats, saying “That’s just something we did growing up.”
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, 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 spiritual instruction and meditation. “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 trained in audio engineering at New York’s Institute of Audio Research and began independently releasing records in 2011. His efforts produced four albums in less than three years, each project placing equal significance on both the message and the music. His multiple talents have afforded him the opportunity to collaborate with artists around the world as an MC, producer and DJ. He is also the founder of Unitribe Productions, a community-based organization dedicated to creating socially-conscious nightlife events, and plays regularly with The Flowdown, his jazz-funk fusion band in which he is lead singer and percussionist.
In all of Srikala’s expressions of sound, he seeks to bring a message of hope and inspiration, and defines his philosophy with ease: “I am a fan of the beauty of life.”
In turn, ‘New Paradigm’ showcases sophisticated beat production and songwriting that are seamlessly bound together by his skilled cadence and flow. The track “State of Mind” (featuring J Brave of California-based Luminaries) is a hip-hop track tingling with dubstep sounds promoting unity – a theme strongly advocated throughout the project. “RadheGovinda (DanceHall)” taps into Srikala’s Caribbean roots, blending tones mellow enough for meditation, while “Take My Hand,” featuring conscious rocker Trevor Hall, perfectly demonstrates how naturally a spiritual message blends with head-nodding beats. From start to finish, the 14-song project illustrates his varied musical influences, the complexities of his background, and his current exuberance.
As he embarks upon the next stage of his own journey and transformation, Srikala accurately surmises what music fans of every genre have long known to be true: “Good music is good music,” says this powerhouse of creativity. “It really just depends on how you present it.”
- ● Srikalogy: Self Titled Album : February 2014 (coming soon)
- ● Optimus Tribe: Urban Mystic – 2014
- ● Srikalogy: Kirtan Remix Vol 1 – 2013
- ● Srikalogy Kirtan Sessions (co-produced by Duke Mushroom)-2012
- ● Sacred Hip Hop (a collaboration with hip hop artist and film director/producer, Abe (Anadi)Heisler) -2011VideoSrikalogy Solo Set @ Cosmic Renaissance – 1-18-14 Srikalogy Solo set @ Unitribe’s 12 – 12 – 12 Party Solo Set
Srikalogy with Full Band 2013Srikalogy 2012 Video Press Kit2013 Performances and Festivals
- ● Fontanas – NYC – March
- ● SRB – NYC – March
- ● Festival of Colors – Alachua, Florida – April
- ● Club Divine – Chicago – April
- ● Krishna Lounge – London, UK
- ● Wanderlust Vermont – Vermont – June
- ● Luminous Movement – Santa Monica, CA – May1st
- ● Mantras, Bass and Beats Tour- California-May 2st- 13th
- ● Lightning in a Bottle – Lake Skinner, CA – July
- ● Dance Meditation Practice – Detroit – July
- ● Bhakti Fest Midwest – July 5th – 7th
- ● Ecstatic Dance – Oakland, CA – August
- ● Kirtan Vancouver – Vancouver – August
- ● Rootwire Festival – Logan, Ohio – August
- ● EvolveFest – Pennsylvania – August
- ● Symbiosis Gathering- California – September
- ● Bhakti Fest – California – September
- ● Black Swan Midwest Tour – October 16-23rd
- ● Club Divine Florida Tour – Florida – Nov. 1-11th