General / Communications Director
friendkerrek, birth name Ryan Travis, is a Dallas, Texas born beatmaker, composer, and DJ who has been located in Louisiana since just before the turn of the millennium. His works are influenced by many artists from Knxwledge to My Bloody Valentine. Melodic samples invoke strong emotions while knocking drums and synthesizers fill out the arrangements, all with plenty of processing through the Roland SP-404 and SP-555 samplers.
friendkerrek was introduced to music through his family; his dad was always listening to an eclectic collection of music and his grandmother gave him his first Yamaha Keyboard when he was younger. From there, friendkerrek’s destiny was sealed. A young prodigy, FK was creating music and experimenting with sounds at an early age. Guitars, brass instruments, computers, sampling -- friendkerrek studied them all. Moreover, FK took the time to learn all about music theory as well. All of this happened before he graduated high school, setting the stage for what was to come.
Upon moving to New Orleans in late 2017, friendkerrek quickly built up a reputation as a consistent and energetic live performer thanks to his charismatic stage presence and expert knowledge of the Roland SP-404SX. Joining forces with a handful of other New Orleans-based producers was a crucial step, leading to the formation of Bag Season Records and the launch of the monthly producer spotlight called Counter Sessions at a local arcade, helping to cement his place in the beatmaking community.
He continued to push himself as a live performer and DJ throughout the next few years, performing around local New Orleans bars and clubs as well as more noteworthy venues such as the New Orleans Jazz Museum and The House of Blues. He also performed out of state in places such as Florida, Philadelphia, Texas, and even Atlanta's famed producer showcase Controllerise.
From 2018-2019 he released 3 EPs, several singles, and two full-length cassettes. His first release of 2019, The Lathe of Heaven, was released through acclaimed underground hip hop label Mt. Fuji Tapes. It sold out within a week of the preorder release and was featured on Okayplayer.com's list of best mixtapes of the year alongside legendary beatmakers such as Ohbliv, Dibia$e, and STLNDRMS.
2020 began with a new album, friendzone. This 18-track offering is a collaborative album with some of the best artists from New Orleans and beyond. Features include Wino Willy & AFKA (New Orleans), brainorchestra (New Jersey), and WOX (Berlin). A new mixtape called TRUST was released shortly after in early April 2020.