System of a Down bassist Shavo Odadjian has unveiled the first single from his new band North Kingsley. The track, “Like That?”, will appear on a three-song collection called Vol. 1, which arrives on August 14th.
Along with Odadjian, North Kingsley’s lineup is rounded out by producer Saro Paparian and lyricist Ray Hawthorne. “Like That?” features rapid-fire verses, with a hip-hop meets electronic vibe throughout the track.
“We’re giving you songs you can marinade on, instead of 12 songs all at once,” said Odadjian in a press release. “There’s going to be a clip for every song, something visually for you to vibe on. I directed videos for System, I do stage production visuals for the band so that’s important to me. Saro has an incredible eye for creating new things visually and I act almost how a producer would on that and we are going to drop merch with every release, so it’s more than just music.”
As far as the genesis of the project, Odadjian added, “I love to collaborate. I love to hear my ideas come through other people. There is strength in numbers. Saro would make the beats, and I would play guitar and bass — and not in a way that you’d usually hear in rock. When Ray came in, he was very turned on to what’s going on socially and politically. They both know their way around the studio with what’s new and fresh. I played hard to get for a little while with them, but the vibe and what we were working on was so cool that it became the start of North Kingsley.”
Odadjian alluded to North Kingsley as far back as December 2018, when he told Heavy Consequence about the early stages of the project. At the time, he told us, “It’s bass-driven hip-hop, but I can’t really explain it. You guys need to hear it.”
In the press release, Odadjian continued, “I’m known for playing metal but you can’t say it’s just metal — it has a lot of other influences in there. I did Achozen with RZA and that was straight hip-hop. North Kingsley is right in the middle. The kick and the hi-hats and the snare sounds punk. To me punk rock isn’t a style of music, it’s something you live. It’s a lifestyle and it means going against the grain and I heard that there, and we are putting it all together to create something exciting and new for today.”
Check out the lyric video for “Like That?” below, followed by the artwork for the three-song release Vol. 1. The single is also available for download here.