Kyral x Banko Spill the Secrets of the Snoitch [Interview]
The Snoitch universe may have revealed itself in a whirlwind to the masses, but the journey of Kyral x Banko has been nearly a decade in the making. Collin “Kyral” Burdick and Bennett “Banko” Kohler have been rapidly gaining notoriety in 2021, largely due to their massive EP release, Snoitch, on the WAKAAN label. Following a two-night, four show run at Denver’s Black Box in March, we took a moment to sit down with the boys and reflect how they arrived at the biggest moment of their careers.
The ‘KxB’ project began back in the college days, when the two met on campus at the University of Illinois in 2011. Both were already involved in their own music endeavors; Bennett began producing hip-hop beats in high school, while Collin was tearing up DJ battles in local college clubs. Shortly after the duo met, the Kyral x Banko project was born.
“Our connection was pretty instantaneous,” Collin Burdick told MP3 MAG. “Our mutual friend that introduced us knew that Bennett was doing exactly what I wanted to do with my production, so it ended up being an instantaneous click.”
Fast forward a few years from the inception of ‘KxB,’ and the duo was ready for a much needed change from the college scene. Ready to take the project to the next level, the duo made an important move to the bustling music hub of Denver, Colorado. While their initial catalog was rooted in more Trap centered music, the move out West influenced a shift to the modern, ‘Snoitch-y’ sound they emit today.
“Everything changed when we moved to Denver,” said Bennet Kohler. “We didn’t originally move out here for the project, but it definitely changed the course of everything for us. The core of our music is still the same, such as the drums and the feel we’re going for, [but] all of our sound design and approach to making tracks really shifted after [the move].”
Early in 2020, the duo began work on what would eventually become the Snoitch EP. It’s inception, and intent to submit it with WAKAAN, brought a lot of excitement, but like the rest of the world, the COVID-19 pandemic put much of their plans on hold.
Despite the hardships, the extra time at home provided the opportunity for the boys to pick up some new creative skills. Graphic design and illustration became a major part of the project this year, which would help Burdick illustrate the one-of-a-kind Snoitch cartoon universe and EP’s cover art.
Take an in depth look at the cover art and you’ll be immersed into the intimately personalized world of Snoitch. The art features the infamous shed/studio where the boys create all their greatest musical masterpieces. You’ll also find Bennett’s pup Stanley, as well as Collin shredding on his Snoitch snowboard, while Bennett rides a dolphin in their backyard. Each and every unique detail in this cover has been carefully selected to include all sentimental aspects of not only their music career, but also their lives together as a duo.
What started as a made up, meaningless word—spurted out of the creative mind of Kohler—has now come to mean nothing and everything all at once. The Snoitch era captures the boys in their truest, most authentic form; a simple burst of randomness that has launched the next phase of the KxB project. What’s more, the duo have continued to keep their fans and family involved in the process and its meaning.
“We asked our Facebook group what they felt Snoitch meant, and there were hundreds of comments with different explanations,” said Burdick. “It embodies our sort of approach to life; loose, happy-go-lucky, [and] random. We’re definitely trying to empower people to be weird, be themselves, and just breed positive creativity.”
Eight months after they originally started the project, Kyral x Banko finally got the word in early 2021 that WAKAAN had accepted their EP. Once a dream, the duo were now set for their biggest release to date with only weeks to prepare. This meant finalizing cover art, mixes, merch, and everything in between.
“It was probably a [seven to eight] month process of getting the release on WAKAAN, where we knew it belonged,” said Kohler. “There was a while where we were unsure if it was ever going to happen, but we trusted the process and more importantly, trusted our management. After months of waiting it was just insanity. An onslaught of getting everything together on time for the release date.”
As life returns to normal, the boys are looking towards the future. They hope to hit the summer festival circuit as soon as it is safe and possible to do so. In the near future, they have an upcoming release with Wtf’s That Sound’s and are working on collabs with Mersiv, Spades, and Mport. Most importantly, the KxB boys will be focused on their next original projects and continuing to push the boundaries of the Snoitch universe.
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