Sikes | Pittsburgh Indie Hip Hop & Podcast News

Sikes is an Indie Hip-Hop artist & producer from Pittsburgh, PA. He also hosts a weekly podcast focused on the Pittsburgh Music & Entertainment scene called Start The Beat with Sikes.

AUGUST 2K18. Holler if you hear me!

AUGUST 2K18. Holler if you hear me!

Photo: Dave Walker

Photo: Dave Walker

Before I get into all the SIKES related stuff I just wanted to remind anyone new to this blog that the new GREYWALKER album is finally out! Without Control is available for streaming on all major Digital Platforms so if you haven't given it a listen yet please do! 

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Now onto the SIKES news... Last month I announced that we were going to be releasing the new SIKES AND THE NEW VIOLENCE album on November 1st and everything is still on track for that to be the case. This is very exciting for me. I hope it is exciting for you.

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The album is going to feature 10 brand new tracks but there's a good chance that if you've seen me live in the past year or two you've already heard an early version of some of these tracks. That being said, this album should have been released way earlier than the end of 2018 but I don't have the luxury of making music full time and well... life happens. However, having that extra time gave us an opportunity to bring Evan Thorsen (Greywalker, Byron Nash & Plan B) on board whose guitar work completely transformed the sound of this new record into something I couldn't of even imagined a year ago. It's been a blast having him on board and I'm glad things worked out the way they did.

The material is a lot more "hip-hop" focused than anything else I've recorded in the past 5 years and features some of the most sample based material I've ever recorded as SIKES. Just like our last album I've Seen Better this album has zero guest features and everything was 110% self-recorded and self-produced by me at my house in Troy Hill.  If you live in or around Pittsburgh try to keep your calendar clear for that first or second weekend in November. There is most likely going to be an event that I want all of you to be at. I can't say anything else at the moment but as soon as everything is locked in place I'll be making a pretty big announcement. You'll see...

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Another SIKES thing that I should bring up is my recent recognition in the Pittsburgh City Paper's 2018 Best of Pittsburgh issue. I made a video the day this was announced addressing my feelings on this and if you haven't seen it I will link it down below. Overall, I'm grateful for the support from every single person who voted for me but after being featured in the past 4 years of this issue I do hope some other PGH Hip-Hop artists get their chance to shine in 2019.

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With all of this other stuff going on I've had to take a slight step back from releasing new episodes of START THE BEAT. I am still working on plenty of new content for the show behind the scenes but the public output is going to a little less frequent over the next couple months. Regardless, I had some time recently to sit down with the guys in Smokey Bellows for a really fun talk on Episode 181. Links down below! 

If you want to become more involved with stuff related to START THE BEAT and join in on some discussions centered around topics discussed on current episodes and potential topics for future episodes I have started a Facebook group to help facilitate these conversations.

CLICK HERE TO JOIN START THE BEAT: FUTURE IDEAS & DISCUSSIONS

One last thing to mention regarding START THE BEAT and upcoming video content. As you may have noticed, I recently started experimenting filming the episodes and I was uploading the episodes to YouTube for a while but they weren't getting any interaction and YouTube is just an insanely difficult platform to break into. Especially when you're someone like me who doesn't release consistent content. If you look at my channel right now it's a variety pack of different stuff that isn't really related to each other and I think it has pushed some old subscribers away and only confused potential new ones. 

The plan moving forward is to create a new YouTube channel specifically for Start The Beat and other Vlog style content so I can shift my current channel back to more music related content. I just recently upgraded my equipment a bit so once I have some new content filmed on this new fancy camera I'm probably going to launch the new channel and see how things go from there. Once it's live you'll know!  


The last thing I want to to do before wrapping this up is just remind everyone once again about BREWTAL BEER FEST happening on October 20th at Mr. Smalls Theater and Funhouse. To help promote the event and have a little fun we've started up a silly series called the "Brewtal Boiz" where we talk about beer and metal and pop culture and everything else that our parents said would ruin our lives. The first couple episodes are down below. Check 'em out!


I think that is plenty enough for now. If you want to keep up with my nonsense on a daily basis you still can find me everywhere outside of here @therealsikes.

PS: Here is some art I did recently. Later!

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APRIL 2K18. This time it's PERSONAL.

APRIL 2K18. This time it's PERSONAL. I have no idea what that is supposed to mean. I just wanted to sound intense. Deal with it.

Photo:   Nick Prezioso

Photo: Nick Prezioso


First order of business: Just an important reminder that SIKES AND THE NEW VIOLENCE has a NEW lineup, NEW songs and a NEW live show that we will be debuting at the Millvale Music Festival 2018! We play at 6PM on the Gap Park Main Stage. Check out the video for more info and mark those calendars. We're less than a month away! OMG!
 

Check out a full list of SIKES shows below. Note: April 23 and May 1 are BOTH solo performances.

Here is a list of upcoming GREYWALKER shows too in case you're curious.


Second order of business: A friend asked me to make a video talking about what social media platform is best suited for bands nowadays and why. My answer is none of them. Find out more about that in ONE MINUTE OR LESS!

CHECK OUT THE FULL PLAYLIST OF ONE MINUTE OR LESS VIDEOS HERE!


Third Order Of Business: MYSPACE NITE is back this Friday once again at Brillobox. Doors open at 10. Me and Wyatt are spinning all night. $5. You know the deal. 

Check out this gallery of photos from some previous events taken by Nick Prezioso.

RSVP TO MYSPACE NITE HERE!


Last order of business: Episode 163 of START THE BEAT w/ Michael T. Nolan of VENUS IN FURS is now available! Check out this clip about the importance of a good live show. 

We also talk about his long history in the Pittsburgh music scene, the importance of putting on a real "show" and all of the creative forces that have been driving him along the way. Sit back, relax and let's START THE BEAT!

Listen to the full episode using the player above or find it on whatever other platform you prefer. START THE BEAT with SIKES is available on iTunes, Stitcher, Google PlayLibsyn, Epicast or wherever else you get your podcasts!


Episode 164 w/ Silence is also available! Check out this clip regarding the Pittsburgh scene and some thoughts on one of the most beloved DIY spots in the city. 

We also bout the history and message behind their band, touring the country, the PGH DIY scene and so much more. From playing paintball and making movies, to running a record store and trips to the hospital this conversation goes all over the place but it's really tight. Sit back, relax and let's START THE BEAT!

Listen to the full episode using the player above or find it on whatever other platform you prefer. START THE BEAT with SIKES is available on iTunes, Stitcher, Google PlayLibsyn, Epicast or wherever else you get your podcasts!


I think that is all for now. I'm sure there is more but whatever. I'll update it later. Stay tuned. Love ya. XOXO.

March 2K18 Update: The end of the F$%KING world.

JK. Everything is fine. Here's what I've been up to the past few weeks. ;-)

One week ago the Pittsburgh music community was in a total panic attack mode after news broke out about the Pittsburgh Music Ecosystem Project's Town Hall Meeting that happened last Tuesday at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater. A lot of people had a lot to say.

One of the most prolific sources of generating public commentary came via the Pittsburgh Post Gazette and the article written by Scott Mervis. It was shared around on Facebook by quite a few people the day after the event and the conversations that developed from all of this were rather interesting to follow. Personally, I couldn't even put my thoughts into words so instead I yelled at my camera for an hour and tried to make sense of it all.

If you want to know my uncensored, unapologetic thoughts on some real shit regarding the Pittsburgh music community here's my two cents. Enjoy. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.

NOTE: This was supposed to go up last week right after I filmed it but I had some unanticipated issues with the video files and no extra time to fix them properly over the past few days so I decided to upload it "as is". It's just me talking a bunch of shit anyways. I wasn't planning on this being in an IMAX release. It's fine.


Greywalker - 12/25/18 @ Cattivo (Photo: Nick Prezioso)

Greywalker - 12/25/18 @ Cattivo (Photo: Nick Prezioso)

We finished recording the new Greywalker album last month and I've been taking whatever free time I have in between other obligations to finish mixing it so we can send it off to the magical land of mastering. We're hoping to have the album out this Summer but we'll see how it goes. These things always take longer than you want them to. Sometimes being "DIY for Life" is literally just a consequence of the reality that doing everything yourself takes forever. The album sounds really good though. We're super proud of it. You'll be hearing it as soon as we can wrap it up! 

If you want to hear some new jams LIVE and come support a great cause our next show in Pittsburgh is a Cancer Benefit Festival at the recently opened Stage At Karma located on East Carson Street in the Southside. If anyone is interested, we have tickets available and all of the money from the sales are going straight to the benefit. Hit us up!

For more info on this event and some other upcoming shows check down below.

We are gonna help a local girl with her 2nd battle with cancer. All money from ticket sales go directly to offset the enormous cost that comes with the disease. Let’s do what we can to change a life.   Entertainment from:  Improvidence (Pitt death bois)  https://www.facebook.com/Improvidence/  Outcast (Kentucky fried riffs)  https://www.facebook.com/outcastkyhc/?fref=mentions  Greywalker (Steel city thrashmen)  https://www.facebook.com/greywalkermusic/  156/Silence (Dollar Store Norma Jean)  https://www.facebook.com/156Silence/  Hymnless (Sad dads w/ attitude)  https://www.facebook.com/Hymnless/  Nullity (Soundcloud rappers but w/ metalcore)  https://www.facebook.com/NullityPA/  AROSEATHORN (Indy PA Noise boiz)  https://www.facebook.com/AROSEATHORN/  Bury Thy Kingdom (Pittsburgh Prog-men)  https://m.facebook.com/BuryThyKingdom/   No outside beverages/Bar for 21+ with ID/ No drugs or drama or you’ll be ask to leave 12$ presales 15$ at door BUY TICKETS FROM LOCALS. AN ADDITIONAL GOFUNDME WILL BE POSTED SOON SO IF YOU CAN'T ATTEND YOU CAN STILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

We are gonna help a local girl with her 2nd battle with cancer. All money from ticket sales go directly to offset the enormous cost that comes with the disease. Let’s do what we can to change a life. 

Entertainment from: 
Improvidence (Pitt death bois)
https://www.facebook.com/Improvidence/
Outcast (Kentucky fried riffs)
https://www.facebook.com/outcastkyhc/?fref=mentions
Greywalker (Steel city thrashmen)
https://www.facebook.com/greywalkermusic/
156/Silence (Dollar Store Norma Jean)
https://www.facebook.com/156Silence/
Hymnless (Sad dads w/ attitude)
https://www.facebook.com/Hymnless/
Nullity (Soundcloud rappers but w/ metalcore)
https://www.facebook.com/NullityPA/
AROSEATHORN (Indy PA Noise boiz)
https://www.facebook.com/AROSEATHORN/
Bury Thy Kingdom (Pittsburgh Prog-men)
https://m.facebook.com/BuryThyKingdom/

No outside beverages/Bar for 21+ with ID/ No drugs or drama or you’ll be ask to leave
12$ presales 15$ at door BUY TICKETS FROM LOCALS. AN ADDITIONAL GOFUNDME WILL BE POSTED SOON SO IF YOU CAN'T ATTEND YOU CAN STILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

In other news, I completed a little project I had been working on originally for One Minute Or Less that turned out to be a much bigger project than I originally expected. In full transparency I was drunk and on vacation when I decided to do this (If you can't tell already in the video) but it turned out really great and I'm super stoked on it.

If you haven't checked this out yet and you have a few minutes to spare DO IT! There are 2 different versions available online now. Links to both below! :-)

I have some new episodes of Start The Beat available as well featuring Lazy JP of the Hip-Hop duo BBGuns and indie horror filmmaker Todd aka Killer Wolfson of Just Buried Productions. Check out some short video clips and links to the full episodes below! 

I think that's everything worth mentioning for now. There is lot's of other cool stuff coming up. Especially with the new Sikes and The New Violence related stuff. I may not be talking much about it online but it's all happening behind the scenes. Some cool announcements coming soon. Yep. Stay tuned!

Be excellent to each other and don't let the fuckers get you down. Peace!