RKO – The Birth Of Freak-Crunk-Pop

For anyone finding themselves pondering what the shinier reaches of the pop spectrum may look like in the decreasingly distant futurescape that is 2011, raise your eyebrows at RKO.

RKO is making some of the most instantly catchy new pop ditties we’ve heard in what seems an eternity. His mum’s from Panama and his dad’s from India, and he’s apparently lived in five continents in his twenty years on planet earth. We’ve been calling his collision of sounds: freak-crunk-pop. He could swagger up alongside the likes of Soulja Boy and Lil Wayne, but his cloud-bursting hooklines sound like a collab between Justin Timberlake and legendary Nineties chart scribe Max Martin, and at his core is a freak-style that he attributes to an early obsession with funk nutbar Rick James.

He’s been working with Radar faves, and all-round buzziest new production team out-there The Knocks, who co-wrote/produced several of his tracks, as well as JLS’ right-hand men, Tracklacers. And his been lashed with props from everyone from I Blame Coco and Little Boots to Starsmith who’s all over his remix duties.

Popland has done a shocking job of male solo acts of late, that conveyer belt of non-descript cheekboned nothingness a year back that was: DanBlackTommySparksFrankmusikErikHassleetcetera, with barely a chorus pieced-together between them, signalled a real low point. And in a way, RKO’s the antithesis to just that. A popstar that doesn’t look like you could just bump into him down your local indie disco, unless your local indie disco happens to be located in the middle of some kinda black hole-esque vortex from whereever the Fifth Element was set.

RKO’s mixtape (click the downwards arrow link on the right of the above Soundcloud to download) -which features his new cuts, bound to a selection of choice bangers from his fav new artists like Jessie J, Willow Smith, and Travis Porter, as well as a series of barmy police ‘skits’- has been causing a right stir in blogland.

We certainly approve. Below are some clips to a few of biggest choons: