Erik "Riot Earp" King on Microgenres, Beatport, the Future of Moombahton, and Whether or Not Seapunk is a Joke
Erik King is probably unlike any other DJ or producer in the Valley. The 29-year-old, better known by his nickname Riot Earp, wouldn't be caught dead mashing up Skrillex, Deadmau5, or any other overexposed EDM artist. Instead, King prefers work in little known microgenres you've probably never heard of, such as Juke, Kuduro, and his own creation Jerkaton (a combination of Jerk hip-hop and reggaeton).
Nightfuse Erik "Riot Earp" King
He also has a lot to say on the subject of microgenres during his DJ Dossier interview, as well as why he abhors Beatport, and the listening tastes of EDM fans. Read on for a full rundown of said subjects, as well as many more.
Name: Erik King
AKA: Riot Earp
Preferred EDM genres: Moombahton, bass, Trap Bubbling, Kuduro, Seapunk, Juke, Jerkaton.
Origin of your DJ name?
I came up with it two and a half years ago. Before I was just going as my initials and anytime I did a gig or I made my own songs it was all under EK. It was more like hip-hop, glitchy instrumental sound music. And then when I got into doing more of these moombahton edits I had a different moniker that I was using just for that. I don't even remember how I created it.
You work with a slew of microgenres. Are there drawbacks?
There's a ton. Number one, I feel like -- at least out here in this city and at this particular time period -- there isn't a love for it. It's not like a place [where] there are parties that host those kinds of things. Like in San Francisco area you have a party called Tormento Tropical or you have another party called Icy Hot and there's a bunch of dudes from like Laser Sword or the guys from Low End theory that will show up to these parties and they'll literally play all of this stuff. I know in Philly they do this thing called Mad Decent Mondays where they've played probably more of my tracks than I've ever played out here just because those kinds of cities are eager for that kind of thing.
Why aren't microgenres big in Phoenix?
I would call this city a Beatport city. If you want to make something for yourself, or if you want people to buy your music, it has to sold on Beatport, number one. And number two, people don't even want the weird shit out on Beatport. They just want the top five and that's kind of where this city is. I think part of the reason is because some of these microgenres are run by adults. It's not like a kid thing. Because of the fact that music is self-aware and it's like weird and tongue-in-cheek and shit. That's something adults can do. But a 16-year-old wants to take a bunch of E and listen to hard house all night, they don't want to be like, "Oh this is crazy, it's got all these different sounds like from a thousand different things I grew up with."