Home Interviews Rockka [Interview]

Rockka [Interview]

25 min read

Hailing from Sri Lanka, Rockka aka Lakith Adikaram has been releasing his own unique style of progressive music for the better part of three years. First emerging on the strength of a 2021 offering via Mistique Music, a single recorded alongside fellow countryman VegaZ SL, Rockka was immediately touted as a new talent to watch. Although younger than most of his contemporaries, the Nugegoda resident impressed going forward, quickly landing projects with Balkan Connection, Droid9, Mango Alley and Yomo Records. Having previously collaborated on EP's for iNU and Mango Alley, Rockka pairs with Albanian progressive house phenom Maze 28  once again, this week landing on Juan Pablo Torrez's Clubsonica to with 'Mirage | Solid', alongside remixes from Juan Ibanez and Mauro Aguirre.

Progressive Astronaut caught up with Rockka to learn more about the release of 'Mirage | Solid', his background, progressive house in Sri Lanka, DJing and much more. Enjoy.

Hi Lakith, thanks for talking to us today. How has your start to the year been so far and please tell us something interesting about your day today?

Hello Guys, Thank you for having me here :)

The start of the year was amazing , I released my third solo EP with three tracks on Mango Alley and it's been good so far. It's actually a rainy day here in Sri Lanka, which I think is the perfect weather for enjoying some good music.

Take us through a typical day when you’re not traveling, what does a day in your life look like?

A typical day in my life revolves around my studio. I’m a bedroom producer, I spend most of the day experimenting with making music. During breaks, I like to unwind by watching YouTube videos or playing video games.

Looking back on 2023 what gigs of yours have stood out and why?

2023 was a incredible year for me , I got the opportunity to share the decks with so many talented artists.

The two gigs that particularly stood out the most for me was “Moses Project presents Subandrio : All Night Long “  & “Odeysse presents Dmitry Molosh “ .

What was the music genre you discovered first before you turned to electronic music, and what made you continue with the latter?

I grew up listening to a lot of rock music, yet I've always been drawn to the deep, immersive soundscapes of electronic music, which eventually became my primary musical interest.

When you were first getting started in production did you have someone help you or are you completely self-taught? And what would you recommend new producers do to help with the learning curve of production?

I started out teaching myself, using YouTube videos to learn about arrangements. After about seven months, I decided to dive deeper and joined Kyotto's production classes. It was a game-changer for me, and from there, I've been steadily improving & refining my skills..

Progressive music is well known for being hugely popular in Sri Lanka over the last few years, how did your country become one the genre’s new meccas of late? What would you attribute that to?

Sri Lanka is buzzing with excitement lately, and I believe it's because of the incredible talent we have here. Artists like Subandrio, Noiyse Project, Nishan Lee, and Dimuth K are really pushing the boundaries and putting our country on the map in the progressive music scene.

Can you name five tracks that were important in your musical development?

  1. Guy J – Airborne
  2. Subandrio – Lost Soul
  3. Cid inc. – Shifter
  4. Hernan Cattaneo, Soundexile - Astron (Davi Remix)
  5. Guy Mantzur , Roy Rosenfield - Epika

How did discovering electronic music in Sri Lanka influence your music taste and direction? Or did it all? And who from your home country inspired you and why?

The discovery of electronic music in Sri Lanka greatly influenced my music taste and direction. The Sri Lankan style has always had a significant impact on my music, blending groove with touches of ethnicity and deep soundscapes. Artists like Subandrio and Noiyse Project from my home country were my initial inspirations. Their unique perspectives on music, incorporating deep grooves and ethnic elements, were particularly influential. I strive to experiment with these elements in my own music, aiming for a sound that reflects both my Sri Lankan roots and global appeal.

You’ve really broken out over the last year and emerged as a force within the progressive house scene, your releases on Juicebox Music and Mango Alley have been sensational, what would attribute this rise in your career to?

I think what's really propelled my career forward in the progressive house scene is my approach to creating music. After a few experimentations, I got the idea one day to make each track a concept. So, sometimes I would think of the most unheard-of thing in music and try it out to see where it leads. Surprisingly, it's been working out really well, and I have a ton of new stuff on the way that I'm excited about!

You have a new EP ‘Mirage | Solid’ written alongside Maze 28 out now on Clubsonica, tell us about the release and what sort of vibe you guys were going for on these tracks.

The release of 'Mirage | Solid' with Maze 28 is really exciting for us as it marks our third collaboration. Although initially set for an earlier release, pushing it back to 2024 allowed us to include awesome remixes from Juan Ibanez and Mauro Aguirre.

From the start, we aimed to try something new and to break boundaries with these tracks. We experimented with fresh concepts and sounds, and we're thrilled with how everything turned out. It’s a project we’re proud of and can't wait for everyone to hear.

Are these your first collaborations with Maze 28 and how did you guys meet and eventually decide to work on some music together?

Yes, these are our first collaborations with Maze 28. We've been in touch for a while, sharing and experimenting with music in new ways. Eventually, we decided to create a track together to see how it would turn out ,and the results have all been successful .

There are also two great remixes from Juan Ibanez and Mauro Aguirre, how involved were you in the selection process and why Juan and Mauro a good fit for these particular tracks?

We weren't directly involved in the selection process, but Juan Ibanez and Mauro Aguirre did an outstanding job with the remixes. Juan, being a friend of mine, creatively utilized the elements in such a unique way. Mauro Aguirre, on the other hand, delivered a deep yet energetic touch that perfectly complements the tracks.

This is your first appearance on Clubsonica, what makes the label a good home for your music?

I think Clubsonica is a perfect fit for our music. The label's dark grooves and atmospheric vibes align perfectly with our sound. It's also great to see Clubsonica consistently in the top 10 of the hype progressive house charts, which speaks volumes about their reach and influence in the genre.

Let our readers inside your studio for a moment, what is your current setup and what studio tools are featured heavily in your recent productions and more specifically your ’Mirage | Solid’ EP.

I'm a bedroom producer, so I don't have any hardware synthesizers besides my Arturia Minilab MK2 & Beyerdynamic 990 Pro. I heavily rely on VSTs in my productions.

You’ve not only been one of Sri Lanka’s best known progressive house artists but also one of its more prominent DJs, most recently playing alongside Guy Mantzur. Please tell us your approach to DJing, and how you go about programming a set.

I was incredibly excited about meeting Guy Mantzur as he has been a major inspiration for me. When it comes to my approach to DJing, it largely depends on the timing and setting of the event. For early sets, I tend to lean towards slower progressive house with more dub chords grooves. But I always try incorporating my own music into the mix whenever possible.

Now that you’ve been on the circuit for a while, how has DJing to larger crowds influence your view of music as a producer?

It's been an amazing journey. Initially, I hesitated to play my own music to larger crowds, fearing how it would be received. However, over time, I gained confidence and started incorporating my tracks into my sets. This experience has been invaluable in learning from any mix mistakes and refining my sound and style, gradually improving as both a DJ and a producer.

Where do you source the majority of music for your gigs? Is it primarily from producer friends or promo mailouts at this point?

I primarily source music for my gigs through friends, platforms like Proton, inflytee.

How much prep do you put into the sets you play, or are they spontaneous for the most part? And how does feeling the crowd's energy affect your selections?

I put a considerable amount of preparation into my sets, aiming to capture the crowd's attention from the start with my first track. As the set progresses, I adjust the energy levels, usually lowering them around the 8th track to create a more dynamic and engaging experience based on the crowd's response and energy.

If you could set up an event with a line-up of five artists of your choice, who would you book and what set times would you ascribe to the artists?

  1. Alex O'Rion (1st set)
  2. Nicolas Rada (2nd set)
  3. Khen (3rd set)
  4. Guy J (4th set)
  5. Subandrio (5th set)

Current top five tracks in your sets?

  1. Jamie Stevans – Path to None (Analog Jungs Remix)
  2. Anton Make – Stardust in my shoes (Subandrio Remix)
  3. Kyotto – Beneath the Wild
  4. Maze 28 – Aer8
  5. Los Cabra - Classical Plane (KAZKO Remix)

If you were not a DJ/Producer what do you think you’d be doing with your life? (Something not music related.)

Perhaps I would have pursued a career as a 3D artist. I've always found the creative process in these fields intriguing, and I believe they would have offered me a fulfilling outlet for my creativity outside of music.

What’s something we do not know about you?

One thing you might not know about me is that I'm a fan of the anime Naruto, and I also spend a lot of time playing video games like Fortnite.. It's not just a hobby but also a way for me to unwind and enjoy .

What are some of your favorite TV series? Both all time and recently, what have you been enjoying lately?

My all-time favorite TV series is "Dark," and recently, I've been enjoying "The Big Bang Theory."

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

Apart from music, I find the most joy in spending time with my family and friends.

What does the remainder of 2024 hold for you? Anything you can share with us?

In the coming months of 2024, I have a series of exciting projects lined up. This includes the release of three more EPs under the Mango Alley label. Additionally, I have several remixes in the pipeline for Juicebox Music, AH Digital & more.

'Mirage | Solid' is available now via Clubsonica: https://tinyurl.com/3huzdabs

Load More Related Articles
Load More By Release Promo
  • Xspance [Interview]

    Myles Webb is behind the XSPANCE moniker and can be described as a self-taught electronic …
  • Rabiee Ahmad [Interview]

    As a professional artist for well over a decade, Pakistani musician Rabiee Ahmad began his…
  • MakhmuriaN [Interview]

    Hailing from Armenia, Arshavir Makhmuryan aka MakhmuriaN began his journey into electronic…
Load More In Interviews

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *