Over the past year, Obsidian Studios in East Passyunk has hit the ground running, producing talented music artists and helping them break through into the industry.
Now it is adding its own flavor to your earbuds.
Obsidian’s founder, who goes by “Shep,” joined forces with engineer, fellow vocalist and good friend “JOZIE” on the new endeavor. The pair of South Philly residents collaborated with producer, writer and guitarist “Kult” who recently moved to the area from Florida after leaving his native Russia at age 15.
“We all grew up with punk (rock) in our teens,” Kult said. “I was producing records and making music and I reached out to a friend in New York because I needed a vocalist. He sent me to (Shep) and we linked up.”
Following a few alterations and modifications, the blueprint for Interkon was born. The Pop Punk/Alt Rock band puts a unique spin on the music they grew up with, inspired by bands like Nirvana, System of a Down, Rage Against the Machine and Motley Crue.
Originally, the band connected by sharing ideas virtually during the height of the pandemic while Kult was living in Orlando.
“I sent him the vocal tracks without music, just raw vocals and he made a track around it and we fell in love with it,” Shep said of his first encounters with Kult. “I knew we had to link up in person. He came in and we made about seven tracks in two days.”
Kult’s trip back to the Sunshine State was only temporary, as the band began to gain momentum by June 2020, right before Obsidian officially opened. They spent a couple of long days in another studio and churned out half a dozen songs.
“When we got him into Philly, we were still doing the engineering thing and (Kult) would lock himself in the office for eight or nine hours and make a track,” said JOZIE. “We’d wait until sessions were done, sometimes 9 p.m. Sometimes it was 3 a.m. We based everything off of what he did and we loved it. The dynamic was just too natural to look past. We all work splendidly together and now we’re all friends.”
They tapped talented videographer and content creator Daytodaychase to capture a few lively scenes for the debut video, which was shot in Morristown, New Jersey and can be found on the band’s YouTube page or on www.interkonmusic.com. The song can be streamed or downloaded on all major music platforms including Apple Music, Soundcloud, Spotify, Pandora and Amazon Music.
“Wait For Me” blends the styles of their childhood idols while adding a touch of Blink 182 along with their own flavor, ripping through the first offering in just two and a half minutes — a direct introduction to your new favorite summertime jam.
“I hear lots of melodies in my dreams but I never remember them,” said Kult. “This one was different. I grabbed my guitar and my fingers knew what to play, emotionally it took me back to my toxic relationships and when I finished the instrumental it felt like a clean start.”
Another video is in the works and the band will be releasing more music in the coming weeks. The Interkon family continues to grow, as it added manager Emma Nuttall and guitarist Nicky Zzz, a North Jersey native who will add an extra spark when the band begins playing live shows in the very near future.
“I was never really in a band before where I was like ‘I love this’,” Nicky Zzz said. “Then once I started hearing everything that these guys were writing, I knew this is what I’ve been waiting for.”
Obsidian Studios itself has also grown, as it has added a second recording studio to double the amount of music it can produce. Members of Interkon work there as engineers and hone their own craft after a hard day’s work of laying down tracks for other musicians. It’s helped them earn income while still being in a creative music environment, which is a huge advantage over other musicians.
“When you first start as an artist, you starve because you have no money and you’re not making anything,” Shep said. “You have to give everything to the music. But with us, I think everything has been going so fast and moving so well because we’re constantly in a music environment. Even if we’re not working on our own stuff, we’re working with really talented artists in the city for 12 hours a day. When it comes time that Vic has a beat or a guitar riff, we’re already in music mode. When we have a 45-minute break between two six-hour sessions we can get done two verses. We have as solid a system as it can be.”
And they continue to bring music lovers together, many of them under Obsidian’s roof.
“That’s part of it,” JOZIE said. “It’s not only doing it ourselves but doing it with the whole collective of Obsidian, playing all our shows together and having everyone with us. We’re open to everyone but make our own little industry of multi genre and all types of artists, managers and photographers and videographers under the same roof.”
Bringing people together is at the heart of what Interkon stands for.
“We all come from different places,” Kult said. “I thought of it like intercontinental. So we just shortened it and put a ‘K’ in there to make it look cooler.”