Loktavious, Denver area rap artist is performing at 420 Headrush Art, Music and Culture Festival on 4/20. Check out the story of our Spotlight Artist and details about the upcoming event!
By Veronica Lee
Breaking into the music industry is one of the most challenging tasks a new artist faces. From the creative process of writing and recording music, to obtaining fans and booking gigs with venues and promoters, an artist needs to be an entire creative and business enterprise. With a heavily saturated market of musicians and artists, accessibility to upload content and distribute on every social media platform, reaching a global scale is both simple and improbably. For the ones that obtain and peak interest of fans and labels, that’s where the truth of talent and originality shine or fall flat.
With mediums of file sharing such as Spotify and Bandcamp, as well as Facebook, Colorado is not an easier or more challenging location when it comes to making it big. Just ask native Loktavious, a local Denver rap artist, who has been on the scene since 2013 and is starting to see his star rise. Having collaborated with local artists and performed in venues from Ft Collins to Colorado Springs, Grand Junction to Denver, and exploring all of the state in between, it hasn’t been too much time he dedicated time and focus to pursuing his passion, but things are already shaking up.
Loktavious derives his name from a personal touch on a broader concept; Loki was a nickname given to him through childhood because of his rambunctious nature and Octavious is a reference to the Romans. The idea of Octavious as a verb, the act of using words to change the world, is something that Loktavious takes on full steam ahead. “I’ve upheld two creeds throughout most of my life; freedom of expression and kindness.” With opening lyrics to the track Life of Loki, “So all of my songs they’ve got a message and purpose/If I didn’t do it that way then it all would be worthless” make a strong and powerful statement, this isn’t just a love but a need to express. But what exactly is that message? Satanism, he says, is an underlying theme and perhaps not so much as in an active worship of Satan but more of a symbol branded by the religious. He explores the idea that good and bad can be flipped on its side and revised. “I appear to be evil by those who perceive me,” he says, but goes on to explain that what if the people who wish to do harm are actually the ones that wave the flag of Christianity. What if the people who really wish to do good in the world are on the opposing side?
His latest release, the mixtape titled The Trinity, continues to explore these themes. It is comprised of three tracks; “Dedicated to the Friendly Demons”, “Dedicated to the Dancing Angels”, and “Dedicated to the Deceptive Gods”. He even proudly wears the badge of making listeners uncomfortable, pushing the line of good vs evil. Influences of bands like rock bands Rage Against the Machine and Tool, along with Three Six Mafia are woven into raps along his personal life stories and telling the stories of others, “Not only do I tell my story but I tell the story of those I’ve met in my life, those who are not with us anymore, or don’t have the ability to tell that story.”
Loktavious is currently attending the Art Institute in Denver for Audio Production to explore songwriting and is taking the challenge of independent composition to the next level. He is currently working on a follow up to the latest mixtape release, a 20-song mastered album, and is planning on collaborating with some recognizable names and influences.
After putting in the hard work through the creative process, though, the journey doesn’t end there. To gain access to perform is the next step. “When I first started, it was a lot of trial and error. Go find promoters and try and work with them, have horrible things happen to you…” It is not a new or uncommon tale that fresh young artists who are excited and motivated get taken advantage of. However, he is learning early in his career, just exactly how valuable he is. “I’m getting in to where I know my worth as an artist, not necessarily going into a venue and demanding something, but I can be like ‘This is what I have to offer for you. I can bring in heads, make sure they stay and enjoy the entire show. I can promote the event on my own and I have a fan base that can help promote that.”
And with that approach, he explains that the last 7 months have really opened up new and bigger opportunities. Including a spot on the lineup of 420 Headrush Music and Arts and Culture Festival at Lincoln Street Station Bar & Grill coming up next weekend. Elevated Elements in partnership with Warpresents, Scales Music Production and House of Bass are throwing one of the biggest dance parties of the holiday with 3 stages packed from 2pm-2am and headlining performances by JSquared and FacePuddle. Loktavious, just one of three rap artists on the bill, will perform a set with DJ Garfield (who will also have a solo position in the evening). Set times have yet to be released but this is guaranteed to be a major event of lighting, dance and music.
Loktavious also recently performed with Aaron Carter in February in Iowa City and has plans to travel west to California for an opening slot on major platform, details cannot be released just yet. Most importantly, though, Loktavious is excited to get people excited about his music, “If you like my music, share it with your friends and tell your friends to share it with their other friends and their Moms.” Loktavious is an artist to watch, the journey is just beginning for this young artist and his deliberate and self-assured message is just beginning to make waves in what was just a ripple not too long ago.