Feb 05, 2019
"Sorry Not Sorry"
Niko The Kid and Brayton Bowman, roommates and best friends, have just put out a massive disco house cover of Demi Lovato’s “Sorry Not Sorry.” The guys have a great story to tell, taking us from how they first met, to the production process behind their new track, to what has each of them excited for the year ahead.
Hey guys – thanks for joining us today! How did the two of you come together to work on “Sorry Not Sorry”?
Niko: I got hit up by this compilation called Discovered to pick a song and cover it. I had never done a cover in my life so I had to really dig deep on what song I was going to do and who was going to sing on it. I heard Brayton singing “Sorry Not Sorry” by Demi Lovato in the kitchen from my room. As soon as I heard that, a lightbulb went off and I screamed down the hallway, “WE NEED TO DO THIS TOGETHER.”
Brayton: He’s not lying. I make a LOT of noise in the house. I guess Demi was the artist du jour so to speak. Taking this as a sign Niko doesn’t want me to shut my mouth anytime soon ;)
When did you guys first meet and what was your first impression of one another? What was it like working together on this track?
Brayton: YEARS ago. We actually worked out of this shady ass “studio” set up in some NYU student’s apartment where Niko wound up recording me in a literal bathroom. I was chain smoking cigarettes out the window that day if I remember correctly and I didn’t really know myself that well as an artist yet. All I knew was that Niko was one of the most talented people I’d ever met and I was “shook” as the kids say. We work together almost constantly at this point. This song was definitely the first cover we’ve done together though and it was an interesting project to tackle.
Niko: My manager first showed me Brayton's SoundCloud back in 2015. I was immediately blown away by his voice. I ended up flying to New York where he was living at the time and we wrote our first few songs together. Fast forward to the end of 2016. I saw Brayton tweeted that he was looking for a room in Los Angeles and coincidentally we had a room open up in our house in LA. We've actually been roommates for over two years now. I’m a huge fan of those big “diva” vocals. If you listen to my other records, I always gravitate to those kinds of voices, so it was only right that Brayton and I make this our first official collaboration.
Do the track name and lyrics have any special significance for you guys?
Brayton: I’m FAR from confident. It was nice to use these lyrics as a bit of a facade to hide my day to day anxiety. One of the other releases Niko & I’ve worked on together is an edit of my song called “Worry Too Much.” The dichotomy I think speaks for itself. THNX DEMI.
What was the production process like for this track in transforming Demi Lovato's song into a disco house track?
Niko: Over the years I've really been honing my sound. I grew up on house and disco, so I tend to hear everything as sort of a remix or a flip. I started this one by playing out the original chords on piano and then recording the whole song to just drums and piano. We even faked a whole choir section by recording Brayton 100 times. Then I started a blank new session and made my own “sample.” The idea was to recreate a whole track using techniques that were used in the 70s or at least fake it, then take that piece of audio and flip it as if you found it on some hidden vinyl that you might find at a record shop.
Brayton: Niko was steering the ship on this one & I love to watch the kid drive. It’s fucking exhilarating. All I did was lend my vocal chords and do some background arranging. If you tell me it’s “choir” time I get pretty excited because I don’t often get to flex my gospel-chops in my day to day session grind. It was nice to pull out some church soprano moments. Been way too long.
Who are some artists that you guys think fans should be paying close attention to?
Niko: As far as dance music goes, I'm a huge fan of Illyus & Barrientos. I literally play at least two of their tracks in every set.
Brayton: Jon Bellion & Tayla Parx.
What was a highlight for each of you in 2018, and what has you most excited for this year ahead?
Niko: 2018 was definitely a crazy year for me. I started off by playing my first mainstage at a festival in Dallas on New Year’s. I got my first Grammy nomination for writing on the last Odesza album. As an artist I think I found my lane and really began releasing heavy toward the second half of the year. Definitely feel I've hit a stride now with my music. I’m most excited to continue to grow as an artist and expand my music to more ears than last year.
Brayton: I actually left my former record deal in 2018. It’s been a crazy ride, but the feeling of autonomy is something I MISSED and really crave. My music is so autobiographical that it was beginning to feel “fake” having so many business people in the way of the direct line of communication that I cherish between my audience & my journal that the music comes out of. Niko & I have some songs in the pipeline for 2019 that I’m pretty stoked about. Stay tuned.
Listen/download your copy of Niko The Kid & Brayton Bowman - "Sorry Not Sorry" today! https://fanlink.to/bp3h
short link 1001.tl/rwtcj2