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, devotion without preachiness. 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.
Influenced by artists ranging from Talib Kweli to Radiohead, Srikala was raised in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn, New York, by West Indian parents. Throughout his 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: “That’s just something we did growing up,” he says.
His early days also found him very active in the skateboarding lifestyle, but the social wear and tear of that wore him down. “There was a lot of partying and I eventually burned out in that space,” he recalls. “Ultimately, New York City beat me up.”
To recover from this crash, he spent six years in an ashram on New York’s Lower East Side, dedicating himself to spiritual instruction and meditation. Slowly, Srikala found his way back to the music and, eventually, left the ashram in 2010 because, as he notes with a smile, “there weren’t any monks coming out with albums.”
He trained as an audio engineer and with those skills produced four albums in less than three years. His audience grew with him, and he’s now at the center of a vibrant Brooklyn-based scene, putting on socially conscious nightlife events with Unitribe Productions, a community-based organization he founded. He also 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 brings a message of hope and inspiration, and defines his philosophy with ease: “I am a fan of the beauty of life.”