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Art & Life with Kris Asgharzadeh

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kris Asgharzadeh.

Kris, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
My name is Kris Asgharzadeh. I am the lead singer and founder of San Diego reggae band Project Out of Bounds. Here is the story of the band…

POB has been touring around the West Coast region since 2007. Coming from a city which is currently regarded as the world’s largest Mecca for reggae music, this San Diego reggae band strives to play a unique and edgy brand of reggae. In order for a reggae band in San Diego to achieve notoriety in such an oversaturated market, they must be original, record, tour, and leave audiences wet and breathless. POB has done all of these things well. They have blended roots, dancehall, and modern California styles of reggae with early 2000’s metal, 90’s hip-hop, prog-rock, and electronica to create a melting pot of wicked sounds.

POB’s self-titled album released in 2009 gave birth to “Fire” which still goes down as a California Reggae classic. This debut album also featured POB’s first music video “Robot” which eventually lead to the creation of the bands beloved mascot. The POB Robot makes regular appearances at every POB concert and has been seen doing photo ops at many major festivals along the West Coast. The band later debuted a second music video for the song “Army” which mocked the corrupt music industry.

One of POB’s biggest claims to fame was being one of the original California Roots Festival bands that helped pioneer the festival into what it is today. The band was featured in the 2nd, 3rd, & 4th Annual California Roots Festival. In the 4th Annual Festival, the band played the official afterparty immediately after Matisyahu. The band performed in a pub on the festival grounds as the festival crowd flooded into the venue. They were supposed to play a 2-hour set but the star-studded crowd did not want to go home. The band did not want to let the crowd down so they played an uninterrupted 4-hour set that included guest cameos by Gonzo from Tribal Seeds, Matthew Liufau of Seedless, and many more.

POB’s second album “Love Tone” was nominated for Best World Music Album in 2014 at the San Diego Music Awards. “Love Tone” was accompanied by a music video for “Your Game” which had strange parallels to online dating and a girl toying with a man’s heart using several different board game metaphors. The album featured San Diego legend “Ivan Garzon” of The Devastators in the song “Primitive”. The band toured harder than ever during the release of this album and hit several cities in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Nevada, and even New Mexico.

From 2014 to 2019 the band has focused more on releasing new music through their new record label Roots Musician Records. With EPs “Sounds of Revolution” and “Forever” recorded by producer and record label founder E.N Young, the band found a whole new polished dub-reggae sound that had been unprecedented to fans up until this point. Sounds of Revolution features many big names in the scene including Nathan Feinstein of Iya Terra, Karim Israel of Arise Roots, and the one and only Pato Banton.

The band is currently recording yet another E.P. with their trumpet player Mister Midnight. After the EP, POB will put together a greatest hits album on vinyl and get back to their touring roots.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I make reggae music with my band POB. Music is very important to us as an outlet to get through the busy bee lifestyle of Southern California. Although some bands have gone on to be more successful and their music has turned into their sole source of income, most artists can lose a part of their artistic touch when normal life is taken out of the formula. How can one relate to normal people when their life is not normal anymore. Our message is to encourage strength in the minds, bodies, and souls of the regular Joes and Janes of the world working the 9 to 5 grind. Just like real life, our music depicts the good and the bad in the real world. We don’t care much for the rah-rah reggae bands in the scene that only sing positive songs. Frankly, the whole facade seems rather fictitious and in-genuine. Being real is the best thing you can be in art.

The very name of the band “Project Out of Bounds” says it all. The word “Project” tells you that our music is but one project of many in our personal lives. You have Project home, Project love, Project work, etc. “Out of Bounds” is a metaphor for the fun part of life. In the rat-race type game known as life, the real happiness comes out of bounds. Where the rules don’t apply, and true freedom exists. This is most certainly how myself and the band views our art form.

Any advice for aspiring or new artists?
If you want to do art for a living, focus a significant amount of time in creating a corporate model around your art. If you play music, have a manager, publicist, booking agency, sound guy, graphic design guy, etc. No DIY band get’s big alone. If you want to keep it a hobby, just enjoy the ride and do it all yourself.

Also, each individual member of a band or collaboration must heavily market themselves as their own brand. Join multiple projects and participate in multiple types of art. Put many eggs in many baskets. Become as valuable to your whatever projects you are a part of as possible by authoring your own story of notoriety.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
Our music can be found at all online media outlets. iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Play, YouTube.

The band also performs locally as well as some West Coast touring. Recently we have been on a recording binge and haven’t performed live as much, but stay tuned…

Contact Info:

          Image Credit:
Bob Bonamico

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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