Natasha Kmeto
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Natasha Kmeto

Portland, Oregon, United States

Portland, Oregon, United States
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"Natasha Kmeto - Expressor"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Natasha Kmeto - Expressor
Natasha Kmeto is a Califonia born and raised, Portland based producer/DJ/vocalist who is breaking all the right rules. As a female R&B/Soul vocalist, you shouldn't be singing over tracks labeled as left field hip-hop and IDM. As a producer, you shouldn't be blurring the lines between hip-hop, experimental electronics and jazz. As her new album Expressor demonstrates, Natasha has no concern for these imposed genre restrictions and no inclination to play the role of a stereotypical "Diva". Thank god for this because her recently released sophomore album delivers something that is thoughful, beatiful, rockin' and entirely unique. I highly recommend Expressor to fans of the Low End Theory sound and regulars and residents like Flying Lotus, Tokimonsta, Teebs, Baths, Nobody, etc., and those who dig Ninja Tune Recs new sound (i.e. Eskmo or Daedelus) and fans of indie hip hop producers like J Dilla, Madlib, or MF Doom.
I recently had the good fortune of seeing Natasha Kmeto perform live at The Holocene in PDX for the album release party of Expressor and she was awesome. Last weekend I was at Tibetan Fox, a portland based clothing and art collective that made and designed T-Shirts for our blog. The owner and artist, Derek told me that Natasha was very sick for her show at the Holocene and drank a half a cup of tabasco sauce with apple juice to help her clear her throat before performing. That's super badass and she still fuckin' killed it despite illness. If you live in the North West check her out on this Friday, 11/19 in Seattle or Saturday, 11/20 @ Branx in PDX. Check out some of her music below and go to her Soundcloud page to check out more. You can purchase all her work on iTunes. - Technocracy Music


"N.W. Independent Grind-Natasha Kmeto one woman band"

Being a independent artist insn’t very easy. Not only do you have to make the music on a shoe string budget you then you have to figure out how to get it to the people. Indie artist Natasha Kmeto has figured out a good formula for doing that, her live show is enough to make the most cynical blogger turn into a fan. Her music is really a mix of all genres. Her performance is a mesh of mixing like a classic club DJ but then she throws the curveball at the audience with her singing over the beats she mixing. It’s truly dope and coming from a female its a welcome change of pace from your classic R&B or pop vocalist. Her skillful use of the ones and twos combined with her vocal skills and sex appeal is a formula for success. I was first put up on her by a friend then I saw her “Drunk dial” video which got me interested. The live show sealed the deal for me, if your looking for something to do around Portland check her out on December 10@Branx or the 11th@Backspace.

Check out her new album Expressor on itunes http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/expressor/id396785780

For more info about her or just to peep game check out her site http://www.natashakmeto.com/

Don’t say I never laced you when you cop it either! - Pegasus Weekly


"Natasha Kmeto has your number"

If you want a breath of fresh air, or rather a mint flavored hurricane blast, then the newly released Expressor, by Portland based Natasha Kmeto, is your album. Right from the first track, “Swells Bells” (see below), chills ran up and down my back. Are you ready to experience power ballads in a time machine jumpsuit to your heart. I’m telling you –not asking you!

Let me point out, this is no mere vocalist backed up by a hidden team of producers. Kmeto composed the entire journey of Expressor, from the lyrics to the West Coast contemporary bass heavy beats (she also plays a mean live set). These cuts are a gold mine of soul that you might typically hear sampled on a Flying Lotus Brainfeeder release but are made fresh here for you today. Some may say that Kmeto’s style is a brilliant fusion of dominantly sung soulful R&B, left field Hip Hop, and well-structured experimental IDM. I say it’s effin brilliant! Expressor is available through CD Baby and Itunes right now! - iamalaser.com


"Rhythm Nation: The Visionary Sounds of Natasha Kmeto"

NATASHA KMETO was ready to quit music. In 2008, the Los Angeles-via-Sacramento musician found herself in Portland following a stint at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California. After being submerged in the commerce-before-art reality of musician session work, Kmeto contemplated walking away for good.

"I was just really burned out and I felt like I needed to find the love again," she explains. "That's part of why I love Portland so much. I was really able to become a fan of music again instead of analyzing everything. I just set up in my basement and started making music that I wanted to hear, and from that came this project. I'd always been into electronic and hiphop music, but I never really made it for some reason."

If you think you've heard this story before—bitter musician relocates from California to Portland, becomes smitten with the city, rekindles their love for music in their basement—it's because you have. Countless times. Probably in this very paper. Yet amid this city's seemingly never-ending crop of ambitious musicians—these bearded indie immigrants with songbooks full of repurposed Malkmus lyrics and a newfound love for their adopted home—Kmeto stands alone.

After a series of limited-run releases, Expressor is the first complete offering from Kmeto. It's a recording that obnubilates the traditional structure of what we all know as R&B, and instead reinterprets the genre as a foundation for pulsating beats and a blurry haze of electronics that coat every inch of the album. It's the pristine groove of Aaliyah buried beneath the clattering static of Dntel, an inventive method of warmly tarnishing a genre of music that the FM airwaves have turned into a glistening, soulless exercise in studio precession and vacant-eyed pop starlets.

"I grew up on Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and the Supremes. Sacramento's a really ethnically diverse city, so I grew up in a neighborhood that really had a high precedence on R&B and hiphop," says Kmeto. As for transferring that diverse range to her new home of Portland, "I get a lot of people who say, 'Wow, no one sings R&B here,' and that's kind of sad."

Kmeto conceived every moment of Expressor, from the words to the beats, and the results are less a musical intersection and more a head-on collision of the pomp and pageantry of dimmed-lights R&B crooning and the cacophonous hiss of well-structured IDM. The seemingly straightforward "Mrs. Knowitall" is pushed and pulled by a warped beat that falls in and out of tempo, yet the song remains tied to Kmeto's dominating voice ("I can't help but sing this way," says Kmeto, apologizing for a voice most singers and American Idol contestants would likely kill for). There's an unconventional theme to Expressor. A seemingly predictable R&B number, such as the love struck "Want You Too" or the slinking "Cynical Integrity," veers sharply in any which direction. The latter is buoyed by a melodic backdrop of looped "la la la" vocals—possibly the most traditional moment on an album that takes pleasure in sounding anything but—and the former is stripped barren: a wondrous moment of sparse beats, cooing vocals, chirping electronics, and eventually, a swelling chorus that forces all the elements together.

"I knew that I wanted to make music that was representative of everything that I like. I love IDM, I love hiphop, I love R&B, I love pop," says Kmeto about her goal to fuse these influences together. "Not that I don't like straight-up genre music, because I do, but I just knew that I wanted to make something really unique."
- The Portland Mercury


"Expressor Album release"

The California-raised and classically trained musician Natasha Kmeto, who now lives in Portland and enjoys more creative freedom because of it, is releasing her first full length album this Thursday, 11/11.

Holocene will host the party to celebrate and introduce “Expressor,” Kmeto’s album, which is rumored to stream live from her website that night. The festivities will get rolling with Graintable and Nicky Mason.

Having released her debut EP “9? in 2009 along with a remix version later that year, entitled “v9? it’s rather exciting to be seeing this well-versed artist release her first full length here in Portland. Having toured with musicians of many backgrounds from age 15 on, she’s come into her own sound organically.

Self described as “Futuristic Soul” Kmeto is also musically entrenched in R & B, Hip Hop, Jazz and Electronic. She was classically trained in keyboard, and also produces and carefully crafts live shows. This woman is serious business, and damn does she sound good!

Kmeto’s music is youthful, but chill. She’s full of observations and admissions, making her stories, which are sung seductively and so beautifully embedded in electronic soundscapes, ever so easy to get close to.

She’s unquestionably one of the rare artists that will quench your thirst when the night is dark and late, the mood philosophic and sexy. Perhaps more interestingly, the same songs can be energizing, and danceable if listened to in another light. Equally good in secretive silence as is with a luminous lover, Kmeto’s versitility is not just in her training, but in her listenability.

Come visit, and celebrate this night lark 11/11 at Holocene, and bring your favorite friends. - Oregon Music News


"Expressor Album Review"

Futuristic soul-that is how Portland-based electro hip-hop, singer-producer Natasha Kmeto describes her sound and I agree; her sound is definitely from another time that we have yet to experience. Good thing Kmeto is bringing her music to us now in the form of her debut album, Expressor. The album is an eclectic mix of electronica, hip-hop, R&B, and soul and the layers of Kmeto's sound are just as numerous as the talents of the artist who sings over, under, and through it. Kmeto produces her own beats ("yes, I make the beats too" serves as her Myspace tag), writes her own songs, and has a strong, seductive voice to back up the synthesizers and bass. Electronica can put you in a trance without recognition of the artist's words or their substance; however, Kmeto definitely thrusts her jazz, R&B, soul, and hip-hop influences into the genre. With Expressor, Kmeto is saying something with her words and her beats. For instance, on Ms.Knowitall, Kmeto muses about recognizing the ignorance of inexperience while the beat transitions from a clapping digital melody to a hard-hitting synth. The experience of Kmeto could be likened to the way Aaliyah sing within Timbaland's twisted and changing productions; the difference with Kmeto is her voice and lyrics could stand alone as their own soulful R&B songs. The tracks on Expressor are all at once off-balance and seductive while still being cohesive as a whole album. Stand-outs that are just as much about Kmeto's voice as they are about her beats are A Way To Love Me, Want You Too, A Walk Toward We, and Kmeto's singing on Cynical Integrity sounds like Jill Scott's spoken word flow. With Expressor Kmeto is definitely taking the electronica to a whole other place. -Christina Calloway - ThisIsRealMusic.com


"new music: natasha kmeto"

"Yes, I make the beats too..." reads the tag on Portland, OR-based singer/songwriter/producer Natasha Kmeto's Myspace page. Lucky for us that she does: her tunes match her formidable pipes with her own gritty, bass-heavy electronic beats. She describes it as "futuristic soul;" in more concrete terms, it sounds a lot like Flying Lotus paired with a soulful, dynamic singer — in other words, awesome.

There's still time to jump on this bandwagon before your hipster friends, too — Kmeto has been garnering positive local press, but is currently unsigned and has yet to break through on a grand scale. If you're lucky enough to live in or around Portland, you can catch Kmeto singing and performing with Ableton at one of her local live shows. If not, you can at least check out her two EPs, 9 and the "remix" EP v9, and her full-length debut Expressor, all of which she has self-released via iTunes and CDBaby. -peter menniti

- Baeblemusic.com


"Up and Coming"

"Thanks to the internet we now have daily insights into the minds of our favorite artists...In this same light, online updates allow us to learn that local electro-R&B artist Natasha Kmeto had the best rehearsal of her life the other day. Kmeto's website gives a bird's-eye view to the evolution of her unique live set—which features powerful vocals, live synths, and an army of recorded clips and effects—and the creative process of her upcoming sophomore album, Expressor. These intimate details make for a greater understanding of, and appreciation for, the artist behind the slick and gorgeous compositions."
-Maranda Bish, Portland Mercury, August '10 - The Portland Mercury


"Watch"

"The Portland, OR, singer-songwriter-beatmaker creates hypnotic music, showcasing her soul-drenched voice and pulsing yet seductive beats. The result is a lot electronic, little bit hip-hop and totally raw."
-Jenn Kistler, Sacramento News and Review, March '10 - Sacramento News and Review


"Show Previews"

"Secretly, the one to watch... Stumptowner Natasha Kmeto, who both produces and sings her smoky, seductive brand of reverb-wrapped R&B."
-Matthew Singer, Willamette Week, June '10
- Willamette Week


"Up and Coming"

"It would be enough for Natasha Kmeto to get by with just her voice, a powerful instrument that goes from a careful whisper to a soulful belt. But Kmeto's got a lot more going on, creating electro soundscapes that sound like R&B songs turned inside out. Chilly synths find heatseeking frequencies while screwed-up beats skitter around heavy bass; Kmeto's voice brings a distinctly human element to her digital deconstructions, creating a futuristic club music that doesn't yet have any parallel. Armed with Ableton and a mic, Kmeto's found a trance-ready spot that tugs at the sleeves of hiphop, IDM, and maybe even a tinge of goth, with a singing voice that keeps the digital zeroes and ones imbued with flesh and blood.”
-Ned Lannamann, The Portland Mercury, April '10 - The Portland Mercury


Discography

"9" EP (2009)
"Square Root of 9" EP (2010)
"Expressor" (2010)

Photos

Bio

Natasha Kmeto (pronounced "kuh-meh-toe") is an electro hip-hop, singer-producer based in Portland, OR. With a rich musical background in jazz, r&b, electronic and hip-hop she likes to describe her music as "futuristic soul."

Kmeto was born and raised in California, playing and touring with bands of all genres since the age of 15. She completed the Keyboard Performance program at Musician's Institute in Hollywood and soon thereafter relocated to Portland in 2007. The move helped rekindle Natasha's creativity and passion for music which got lost in the bustle and industry of LA. Here, Kmeto was able to explore and take inspiration from her biggest influences, ranging from the cutting edge sounds of Flying Lotus to the classic soul hits of Carole King. As the Portland Mercury writes, "Kmeto's found a trance-ready spot that tugs at the sleeves of hiphop, IDM, and maybe even a tinge of goth, with a singing voice that keeps the digital zeroes and ones imbued with flesh and blood.” -Ned Lannamann, The Portland Mercury, April '10

Kmeto released her debut EP, "9" and supplemental remix EP "v9" in 2009 and began playing live regionally in early 2010.

Currently, Natasha is set to release her first full-length album, "Expressor", which finds Kmeto delving further into experimental electronic music while staying rooted in hip-hop and R&B. "Expressor" shows a marked progression in Kmeto's production and songwriting.

Natasha also continues to play live regularly, having wrapped up a great 2010 summer opening for the likes of Low End Theory residents Baths and Nobody.

Press for Natasha Kmeto:

"It would be enough for Natasha Kmeto to get by with just her voice, a powerful instrument that goes from a careful whisper to a soulful belt. But Kmeto's got a lot more going on, creating electro soundscapes that sound like R&B songs turned inside out. Chilly synths find heatseeking frequencies while screwed-up beats skitter around heavy bass; Kmeto's voice brings a distinctly human element to her digital deconstructions, creating a futuristic club music that doesn't yet have any parallel. Armed with Ableton and a mic, Kmeto's found a trance-ready spot that tugs at the sleeves of hiphop, IDM, and maybe even a tinge of goth, with a singing voice that keeps the digital zeroes and ones imbued with flesh and blood.”
-Ned Lannamann, The Portland Mercury, April '10

"Secretly, the one to watch... Stumptowner Natasha Kmeto, who both produces and sings her smoky, seductive brand of reverb-wrapped R&B."
-Matthew Singer, Willamette Week, June '10

"The Portland, OR, singer-songwriter-beatmaker creates hypnotic music, showcasing her soul-drenched voice and pulsing yet seductive beats. The result is a lot electronic, little bit hip-hop and totally raw."
-Jenn Kistler, Sacramento News and Review, March '10

"Thanks to the internet we now have daily insights into the minds of our favorite artists...In this same light, online updates allow us to learn that local electro-R&B artist Natasha Kmeto had the best rehearsal of her life the other day. Kmeto's website gives a bird's-eye view to the evolution of her unique live set—which features powerful vocals, live synths, and an army of recorded clips and effects—and the creative process of her upcoming sophomore album, Expressor. These intimate details make for a greater understanding of, and appreciation for, the artist behind the slick and gorgeous compositions."
-Maranda Bish, Portland Mercury, August '10