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Artist Spotlight: Blackstarkids releases new single; talks new album and performing at Riot Fest

After releasing one of the best albums of 2020 and immediately becoming an Atlas favorite, Blackstarkids aren’t slowing down one bit. The trio of Ty, Gabe and Deiondre took their first Riot Fest by storm this past weekend, as attendees couldn’t help but stop and catch the vibes. Atlas caught up with the band to talk about their current and upcoming tours, even more new music and keeping the inspiration constantly flowing. 

Atlas Artist Group: What’s been the best part of your first Riot Fest experience?

Ty: Performing!

Gabe: Yeah, performing!

Deiondre: That shit was fun.

Atlas: And you’re on tour right now (with Grouplove)! What’s the craziest thing that’s happened on the road so far?

Deiondre: It’s been a lot of stuff! Honestly, just meeting people after performing has been hella fun- just getting reception in person. We’ve been spending most of our time as a band in COVID making an album and just getting a reaction over the internet. Being able to just perform and enjoy the rest of the show- being in the crowd and just talking to people, hearing how….they like our music.

Atlas: What’s the best fan reaction you’ve gotten so far?

Gabe: Oh my gosh- I feel like it’s always from the four year olds. They be like so deep. Somebody said we remind them of De La Soul.

Ty: Someone said we remind them of the Beastie Boys! 

Deiondre: Those types of comments are super dope.   

Atlas: You’ve made a lot of music in a very short amount of time. How do you view the evolution of your music from when you started to where you are now?

Ty: So with Let’s Play Sports, I felt like we were just tinkering with the sound, trying to figure it out. So if you listen to that, the idea of what the band is is there [and] it feels a lot more lighthearted. I feel like we weren’t showcasing that much of our personality in the writing. It reminds me of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, stuff like that. 

But Surf– when we were doing that- that’s when we really came into our own as a band so that’s where you get a lot of songs with a lot of personality compared to our first album. But it’s not consistent throughout the whole album as much versus Whatever, Man– it’s us really figuring out how to do that bright and colorful expressive side of ourselves…and still show personality.    

This one (Puppies Forever, out October 15) is kind of like Surf, where it’s not just all bright and colorful but it has depth and range of emotion. It’s just like a more expanded version of that. I feel like we kind of bounce back and forth between happy, bright albums and albums with more bite and emotion.

Atlas: Since you’ve made so much music, where does that inspiration keep flowing from?

Deiondre: Luckily we’re a group where we’re just hanging out whenever we’re together- even while making music, it’s just us hanging out. In that time, we’re just talking about music we heard individually. We’re all just talking about everything and it just kind of comes together into one idea whenever we’re making music.

Atlas: With the upcoming tour, what can new fans expect from your set?

Ty: A dope ass show! 

Deiondre: It’s gonna be tight- all the words that define cool. We’re up there having fun, too, and it literally is just fun.

Ty: We’re the best band you could see live right now.

Gabe: True! Where’s the lie? There ain’t one! 

Atlas: What’s coming up for you besides the album and the tour- what’s next?

Ty: We’re about to start writing some new songs. We haven’t made a song all year.

Deiondre: We’ve been hella focused on practicing for tour.

Gabe: And more merch for people to wear!

Ty: A lot of these songs that are coming out now on the album- we made this album last year.

Atlas: Is there anything else that you want people to know about you or your music or is there anything you wish you could talk about more that you might not get asked?

Deiondre: For our music in general, I just want everybody to get this through their heads right now- don’t take any of us as seriously as you think we are. We are not that serious! But at the same time, we love music, so whenever you listen to our music, just listen to it while you’re doing something you like and just take it easy.

Gabe: Just have fun!

Ty: But also we do put a lot of hard work into it but we’re just having fun at the same time. It’s fun, hard work. 

Deiondre: We just want you to be able to feel that same thing- to not worry about shit when you listen to our stuff.

Blackstarkids’ latest single “All Cops Are Bastards*” is out now! Puppies Forever will be released on October 15!


Story by Olivia Khiel
Photo credit: Jake Kelly