At just 23 years of age, singer-songwriter King avriel has already had a pretty full life. She began performing by age two, and soon became something of a prodigy on both piano and violin. By kindergarten, she was publishing poetry and short stories in several national literary magazines, and later, she spent her formative years voicing Timberly on Nickelodeon’s Hey Arnold. All the while, I was probably just playing a boatload of Pokemon Blue.
In recent years, she’s made music her primary focus. Though she’s released only a handful of songs, she’s garnered loads of buzz for her brand of neo-R&B, pairing her angelic vocals with a myriad of electronically-orientated soundscapes. She’s since parlayed that success into a number of notable collaborations, including with Miguel and Ohio rapper Stalley. Now, she’s aiming for yet another milestone with the release of her debut album, thesis, due out later this summer.
The album is set to feature a number of her past singles, including the evocative “Caricatures” and the mournful “Judgment Day”. For a taste of something new, avriel has unveiled “180”. If this is your first time hearing of avriel, the track offers a fairly comprehensive crash-course. Over trap drums and slight atmospherics, she demonstrates both a swagger-laden sing-talk style and her dazzling vocal prowess. No matter which aesthetic she makes use of, the young singer’s always captivating.
“I felt the best way for you to understand where I’m coming from and how it’s shaped me was to chronicle some of my teenage ‘rites of passage’, avriel said of the song. “While those pivotal moments seemingly gave me more freedom and maybe even some moderate success, they only sunk me deeper into a psychological enslavement, cemented in the materialism, vanity, and predatory nature of LA. I think that story, juxtaposed with the trap elements in the beat — a cliché in and of itself — sets up a nice contrast that hopefully makes you think about the culture we’ve all grown up in.”
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