D343K: The Digital Lab | Presents ‘Vitakari’
Who is Vitakari?
Vitakari is the person I wanted to be growing up. The most exaggerated femme version of myself, kinda like my final form. Becoming VK was my first step into unconditional self love, especially as an artist. At NYU’s Studio Art program, I couldn’t focus on only one creative medium and stick to it–so I dropped out.
I made music for the first time ever at age 22, recording in the bathroom of a closed NC college cafe after midnight. Cliche to say, but in that exact moment, I got the brain-blast idea to turn music + visual art + performance art + experiential installation into one huge project.
It’s been two years since I started singing and created Vitakari. I have so many people convinced that I know what I’m doing, I’m starting to believe it, too, haha. After living outside of California for 7 years, I moved back to LA less than 9 months ago. I’m carving out my own path in the LA art world pretty quickly!
What is your new single, “Bad Weather,” about?
The day after ending a short lived situation-ship, my co-writer Liz Gavillet & I literally wrote this song in four hours. It was a positive spin on the typical heart-break song, super inspired by “Pumped up Kicks” by Foster the People. I used the backdrop of bubblegum-pop to disguise what the song really is; a post break-up diss track (with a comedic spin). Pulling inspiration from 2000’s Y2K Pop and the early internet-rap era, I snuck some hip hop/r&b elements into this lil Indie Pop winter banger. Dropped it right as cuffing season ended, but while it’s still too cold outside to be ‘Hot Girl Summer’ Single, so it’ll be an epic anti-Valentine’s day anthem. Me and Dude I wrote the song about actually have a rad friendship now! He is one of my biggest supporters/creative collaborators, so boom friendship + break inspo to write the song = it all worked out!
Do you feel like you do something different while recording?
Romance sets my soul on fire! So many of my songs are about love. I tend to use real-life audio messages, actually sent to lovers, as a sample within the track. I even recorded an argument with a dude once and opened a song with it.
How did you gain traction on soundcloud? Who was your audience at the beginning?
While living down south, I gained traction for sharing trippy digital colleges of myself and spoken word poetry videos on IG. I sang vocal hooks for Slim Guerilla and other members of Passion Playas, a southern rap collective (started through Raiderklan). We all connected through the internet.
Even though I was working with rappers/rap-adjacent artists from day one, my sound was always “Indie Pop meets Neo-Soul.” I joked that I make music for rapper’s girlfriends–AND IT WAS TRUE! My audience is still heavily dominated by the rap-girlfriend demographic.
Favorite collaboration so far?
Hasn’t happened yet, but looking forward to working with Money Man.
What can people expect in the future?
Yuki-San and I saw so much success from “So Above,” (our summer 2019 indie-pop banger), and are working on the next. I also have songs with Cervon Campbell, Alex Saba, Liz Gavillet, Vernell Daye and FIH on the way. We are shooting the “Bad Weather” music video this week! It should be out V-Day week.
I’m also curating my own art/music showcase, titled ‘ESCAPE TO VITAWOOD.’ It’s an experiential event; you gotta go through an escape room and navigate a maze just to get in! Awesome line-up with performances from Ka5sh, SWSH, FIH and others. Performance art from Hustlina, Jasmine Winds, Badleah, Subtlefreckles and Vernell Daye. Shoutout to ULO World for having us! Big thanks to our sponsor Audius Music also. FEB 20th MARK YOUR CALENDAR!
What is Vitawood?
You’re gonna have to come to find out <3
What inspired you to write your first song?
I wrote my first song, “Xaddy Daddy,” about myself but in an alternate timeline; where I’m a dad who’s addicted to Xanax AND Adderall (Xaddy), but still tryna look out for his kids. 2018 was a weird year for my mental health lol.