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Everybody Knows / All-Styles EP – K. Sabroso (Interview)

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Our Indianapolis brother K. Sabroso has been one of the most steady and prolific sources of original Bboy joints, and is well-known to Bboysounds heads. Dig his latest, a track called “Everybody Knows”:

Teaming up with Unruly ShadowBronin Warriors, and Skylaurr Rauthkeaux, K. Sabroso (@ksabroso) threw down this 4-track EP ahead of Battle Ground Zero 6 in Indianapolis on April 29.

Peep the rest of the EP:

We were lucky enough to hear directly from K. Sabroso, and now is your exclusive chance to learn about the man called “K”:

Who is K. Sabroso?

Hahahahahaha! K. Sabroso is who I want to be… or more accurately, how I want people to respond to my work. “Que Sabroso” is a common phrase in Spanish literally meaning “How flavorful”. It can be applied to food, fashion, or even someone’s personal style. I wanted to make people say “Que Sabroso” when they heard my work so that’s where the name comes from.

As K. Sabroso, I compose, produce, remix and DJ a really wide variety of sounds ranging from House to Downtempo to Drum-n-Bass to Glitch but I am most well known for B-Boy Breakbeats and Tropical Electronic music.

Tell us about the new EP.

The new Ep is a labor of love. Along with my partners, Skyshaker (@skyshakerlife) and DJ Ninja, we wanted to make something to promote this yearly battle called Battleground Zero. All 3 of us met in Indianapolis through the IUPUI Hip-Hop Dance Club who throws this event every year and even though Skyshaker and I have moved out of state we still remain close to the club and all the dancers out there. And they are also nice enough to fly me out to DJ it each year, hahahaha.

Battle Ground 6 bboy battle

Battleground Zero has a B-Boy competition and also an Allstyle/Beat Rock component so we have seen a wider and wider variety of styles represented and so we made these songs as kind of a shout out to the different kinds of dancers who come out. We took 5 breakbeats that pretty much everybody in the scene knows and made 4 songs in completely different styles out of them. House, West Coast Funk, Battle Vogue, and a B-Boy Battle Break were the result.

From starting out as a Bboy, what made you move into DJing and producing?

I actually started rapping and then producing and DJing before I got into B-Boying. But all my friends who were writing Graffiti and Breaking were having way more fun than I was… so I put the music away and focused on Breaking and Graffiti for about 5 years.

There came a time when I just got kind of disappointed at the state of our scene, though. As the years go by, most scenes (especially in the Midwest) will go up and down in terms of the amount of dancers, events, and overall activity… and Indiana was at a low point as compared to most of our surrounding states (Illinois, Ohio, Michigan). I wasn’t really feeling that so I started teaching free breaking classes at the Boys & Girls Club, created and ran a website that became the central communications hub for dancers in the state, and started throwing free & all-ages battles and workshops.

Taking on those administrative roles within the state didn’t really leave me a lot of time to practice or go out clubbing (most of our dancing in Indianapolis was centered around club nights with great DJs like Topspeed and Metrognome) so I was already kind of leaving the scene as a dancer even though I was still heavily involved with contributing to the scene’s infrastructure.

Eventually, there came a time when for largely personal reasons it was time for me to leave the scene as a whole and pick back up on the music I had left behind.

I started producing heavily and then started DJing again and at some point it made sense to start focusing on DJing and producing for Breakers since that culture was still very influential to me and my sound.

Bboys and Bgirls all over have been getting down to your tracks, DJs have been playing them at jams around the world. How do you feel about that?

I mean… I love it, hahahaha. I have had a few DJs contact me and ask if it was ok for them to spin my music at battles and I was like “Yeah! That’s why I put it out.”

To me, the production and Dj mixes are promotional tools to let people know what I sound like. Hopefully, if people like my sounds they will share the music and tell their battle/concert/event promoters that they want to see me come out to their city, state, or country. That’s why I give 95% of my music away for free and only charge for the songs I sign to record labels.

How did you end up moving to New York and how has this affected your music?

I was actually planning to move to Austin, Texas from Indianapolis but I ended up going to NYC to visit a friend a little before the planned move. Since I had not been to the East Coast in a super long time, I decided to make a mini-tour out of it. Culturally, I fell in love with the place almost from the first day of that trip.

Also, the cost of flying nationally or internationally is much more affordable than from a lot of other cities in the US and that was a big deal as well since I want to do more DJ traveling abroad.

The biggest effect on my music has really been the volume of it that I can accomplish. This sounds horrible… but in Indianapolis I had a lot of friends who would hit me up to hang out, party, go out dancing, etc. In New York, I’m very isolated since I don’t know a lot of people here and the few I do are all musicians… so instead of having a social life, all that time, money and energy go into music hahahaha. Probably not the healthiest approach… but I average about 1-3 songs completed a week now as opposed to the 2-3 songs a month I was doing in Indy.

Also, changing from Djing as my main source of income in Indianapolis to going back to working in restaurants has stabilized my income and schedule so I can be more productive. DJing was always hugely time consuming for me because continually finding new songs, editing them, organizing them and putting together playlists for specific events so that each event had a fresh selection of the newest stuff I am crazy about but is also tailored to the crowd and promoter I am spinning for is hugely time-consuming. I love DJing but it was difficult to be a working DJ and a dedicated producer so I chose production.

What’s coming up next for K. Sabroso?

Too much hahahaha. I’m a workaholic so I always have a lot of projects that I’m juggling. One of the biggest things this year is that I am splitting my entire catalog into 3 identities:

K. Sabroso will be strictly breakbeats from now on.

Broso will be what I use for my party music. Trap, Jungle, House, Tropical Bass, etc.

Sandoval will be the name I release chill or dramatic stuff under. The album of Jazzy beats I made last year is a good example of that.

It really seemed to confuse people that I was releasing 20 different styles of music under one name in no particular order so hopefully this should help with that hahaha. Once I set up these new identities, I will feel comfortable with releasing a lot of the stuff I have been sitting on.

Also, trying to consciously build up a larger fanbase in Latin America and travel there more. Kinda working back to my roots.

I have begun throwing a monthly Tropical dance party at a venue in Brooklyn called Bembe, too. With my partner, Dj Reck, we spin all kinds of music from Africa, The Caribbean, and Latin America and we call the party “TroPicante”. It’s on the 2nd Monday of every month.

K Sabroso Brooklyn

What message do you have for the Bboys and Bgirls?

To the breakers out there, take an active role in your scene or it won’t last long enough for the next generation to pick it up. And it doesn’t all have to be just teaching classes and organizing events. If you are a breaker who is a doctor or a licensed physical therapist, hold free clinics where dancers without insurance can get that messed up knee or wrecked elbow checked out. If you specialize in marketing, help the promoters. If you are in finance, teach kids how to raise money to start their own dance studios. If you are an accountant, offer discounted services to the breakers running their own clothing companies.

[hr]”I see breakers coming from every walk of life and involved in so many different career paths and many of them feel like they have to choose between the career and breaking… when they have skill sets and knowledge that could be of huge benefit to the scene as a whole.”[hr]

If everybody in the scene took what they did on the outside and used it to contribute to the dance, we would have such an unbelievable infrastructure that there would be no room for outside interests to come in and exploit us because everything we need would have already been provided for us by other dancers.

Words of positivity, hope, and a better world for Bboys and Bgirls tomorrow, and this EP is the latest installment on the soundtrack to that film!

Make sure to support the homie K. Sabroso and Like him on Facebook and visit his Soundcloud, you’ll end up spending the day there.

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