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NEWS

New Festival Video Series 'THE PIT' with EDM-Metal DJ Sullivan King

Jun 242022

Today, Monster Energy introduces its new series THE PIT, which shines a light on the talent performing at its sponsored events. To kick off the series’ first installment, Monster Energy sneaks backstage at the Buku Music + Art Project—a New Orleans-based, two-day music and arts festival held annually during Mardi Gras—for an intimate hang with EDM-metal pioneer Sullivan King. SK is just 21, and he’s already disrupting the EDM genre with a circle pit swirl of grimy dubstep beats, head-banging live guitars, and blow-your-hair-back vocals. Onstage, SK sounds like a one-manband, and his infectious vibe blends EDM with heavy metal, bridging a gap between ravers and rockers. The LA-based artist is one of the genre’s most buzz-about artists, and will soon have the rare distinction of headlining the legendary open-air, Denver, Colorado-based Red Rocks, a 9,545-cap amphitheater as an EDM act.

SK was previously one of Monster Energy’s Up and Up Festival virtual performers in 2020 where he dazzled audiences with his instrumental virtuosity and on-point DJ skills. In this premiere edition of THE PIT, the groundbreaking musician candidly discusses the challenges of appearing on EDM festivals as something of a crossover artist. In addition, he reveals his tricks to reading crowds, he divulges how he engages masses of people during his festival appearances, and he shares his thoughts on mosh pits, headbanging, circle pits, and crowd surfing. SK also discusses his plans for the future, and this includes festival dates, headline dates, international shows, and… fatherhood! Yes, during our filming of THE PIT we experience the once-in-a-lifetime moment where SK announces his wife just gave birth, and he then cuts short his afterparty DJ gig to go and meet his newborn son. It’s a goose-bump inducing moment of live music glory.

This debut of THE PIT also takes us behind the curtains to show what it takes to light up a roaring crowd of thousands as a one-person band. Here, THE PIT shows stunning live footage from the festival. From the rare perspective of the artist, we see a sea of arms held high, and get to experience SK wowing the audience with his mad guitar skills and his fiery DJ work. THE PIT sneaks you backstage and into the private world of SK, where he reveals his festival day has been 36 hours straight before cracking open a Monster Energy drink to amp him up. He also reveals that day he will be bravely debuting new songs that he hopes will translate well in a live festival setting.

 

SK was born Keaton Prescott, and he is a self-described music nerd whose father turned him onto Eddie Van Halen. It was a lightbulb moment for the creative kid, and he spent countless hours practicing Van Halen riffs and solos, and shred guitar techniques. When the EDM genre exploded in 2012, SK became interested in the adventurous new style. Instead of abandoning his passion for guitar-based music for this new and exciting musical frontier, he sought to merge his two interests. SK would go on to dive deeper into EDM by formalizing his production chops through studying at Icon Collective, an online LA-based music school that specializes in teaching music production, vocal training, songwriting, and music business.

 

SK first became a buzzed-about artist when he appeared on the track “Vantablack,” a dubstep song credited to him and Dirtyphonics. “Vantablack” appeared on the Vancouver, British Columbia-based electronic label Monstercat’s compilation Monstercat Uncaged Vol. 3 in 2017. This early track has many SK trademark musical devices such as his use of scrubbed-raw vocals, chugging metal guitars, melodic and virtuosic solos, abrasive electronic textures, and rugged, dubstep grooves.

 

SK has been touring and actively releasing music since 2014. Since then he has embarked on many US tours, and been featured on countless collaborations with artists on both sides of the fence, including modern rock legends Papa Roach and drummer Matt McGuire of iconic EDM-pop collective The Chainsmokers. His prolific output in eight years spans over 50 singles and EPs, and three full-length albums. Today, he is known as a game-changing singer, DJ, and multi-instrumentalist who conjures a face-melting barrage of sounds with mosh pit-inducing guitars, thunderous double-bass kick drums, and adventurous electronic textures.

 

Sullivan wasn’t the first to make the leap from live musician to DJ. Skrillex was once the singer of the post-hardcore band From First to Last from 2004-2007. But unlike Skrillex, SK has brought the band and heavy music mentalities with him as an EDM artist. Though this is a breakthrough in EDM, it harkens back to the industrial music movement of the 1970s-1990s. During these two decades, artists began to experiment with mixing pummeling drum machine beats, loud guitars, and abrasive textures. For many years, this was sound firmly entrenched in the underground, but in the 1990s and beyond, bands such as Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, Rammstein, and Fear Factory brought this irresistibly dark and heavy vibe to the mainstream with much success.

 

Whereas those big names were bands integrating electronic elements, SK is truly a one-man band. He performs like a DJ, and during THE PIT, we get to glimpse his onstage equipment which is a DJ table console interface, a microphone, and a guitar. Live, he’s always switching things up, quickly alternating between prowling the stage as a metal frontman, manning his DJ equipment, and ripping shred guitar solos and bowel-churning metal riffs. Somehow he manages to be in three places in one performance. SK’s approach to playing live—like his music—draws from punk, metal, rock n’ roll, alt-rock, and EDM. His songs are grimy and darkly alluring with a brutal beauty that appeals to Slayer and Skrillex fans.

 

 

 

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