On his latest single, “Bank Head,” Kingdom (Ezra Rubin) features NYC-based vocalist Kelela, who sings, “And I need to let it out.” It’s a phrase that seems to apply quite aptly to the multi-faceted artist himself. A producer, record label founder, and visual artist, Kingdom is constantly producing new work. The kind of artist who never loses his creative capacity, Kingdom is preparing to release a brand new EP, Vertical XL. It will feature seven original tracks, including the aforementioned single, and is the first proper release he’s put out since his Dreama EP in 2011.
Created during his first 5 years living in LA, Vertical XL is a deeply personal exploration of some of Kingdom’s darker and more melancholic influences. Incorporating elements of R&B, jungle and grime, his seventh EP reaches the entire spectrum of human emotion. He presents a new take on love ballads, club shakers, elegiac ruminations on sadness and loss, and a staunch and defining anthem. The inclusion of his frequent collaborator Kelela is both a welcome addition of blissful vocals, as well as a nod to his relocation.
Moving across the coast from LA to Brooklyn, Kingdom has been one of the most prominent figures in the underground electronic music scene in the US. That world was generally dominated by UK DJs and producers, and in large part still is. This is not to say that Kingdom doesn’t have strong ties to the bass music community in London. He released his first EP through Bok Bok’s Night Slugs label and has maintained a strong relationship with him throughout his career.
In June 2011, Kingdom launched Fade To Mind as a sister label to Night Slugs. Creating not only music recordings, the collection serves as a platform to release video and visual art, design apparel and host live events. It functions as a podium for a like-minded group of artists including Nguzuguzu, Fatima Al Qadiri, Rizzla, and Mike Q, among many others. The company Kingdom keeps is a testament to his impeccable taste. We hope to see new music from some of his peers following his own upcoming release.