Pop-duo and Denver locals Chris Kimmel and Chris Scott, a couple of good pals of mine, were kind enough to let me pick their brains on their musical baby that is “OptycNerd.”
Alexa Evangelista: Where did you two meet? When?
Chris Kimmel:“It was the winter of 2013, we were at a shit-show house party. It was mostly University of Colorado Denver music students at the party. So that meant that, at some point in the night, a jam/rap cypher started in one of the back rooms. I (Chris K) was rapping, Chris S was drinking (heavily). Chris S heard me rapping and came over to slur “yo bruh, I’m into those rhymes.” Later that week, we ran into each other in the school’s recording studio. We started working on some music together and rest is history.”
AE: When did you form Optyc? How did you come up with the name “OptycNerd?”
CK: “Weformed OptycNerd in the spring of 2014. It’s not that really not that exciting. Before I even met Chris S, I started to mess around with some beat making and rap writing. I wanted to come up with a name that was clever, punny and something that referenced the human anatomy (I’m a nerd like that). It just came to me one night. I thought it was dope. A lot of other people didn’t Ha.”
AE: Can you tell me about your recording process? Do you brainstorm? What comes first, the lyrics or the melody?
CK: “We write most of our songs together. As a lot of people do these days, we write and record at the same time. Writing for us consists of getting in the studio together and workshopping ideas. Finding great chord progressions or making awesome drum loops is usually how it starts. Sometimes one of us will have a full song idea that we develop out as well. We even write lyrics and melodies together as well. It is very collaborative from beginning to end.”
AE: What inspires you?
CK: “We are inspired by the dream of making music for our careers. We are also inspired heavily by the music and artists we listen to. We are constantly pulling influences from different genres to make our own, hybrid sound.”
AE: What is something about the process that you hate?
CK:“Although we’ve had quite a bit of online streaming success and are doing well in the local scene, it always feels like that’s not enough for people in the industry to take a chance on us. But, we’re gonna keep grindin’, baby.”
AE: Tell me about your first show? How does it compare to now?
CK: “Our first “real” show was at Meadowlark bar in the RiNo neighborhood of Denver. It was a small, intimate venue, but the response was amazing. SO much energy and everyone gave us a lot of great feedback. A lot of our future passion came from how people responded to our live sets. Now, our set is completely different. Before we were just an MC and a DJ. Now it has spawned into live instruments, electronic elements, and lighting production. But, the key element is still the same: High energy.”
AE: When/where is your next show?
CK: “Our next show is at Lost Lake in Denver on April 12th. We are playing with Whiskey Autumn. It is their album release show. The Milk Blossoms and Motion Trap (DJ set) will be on the bill, as well. Don’t miss it!”
AE: What’s Next for Optyc?
CK: “Wehave our latest single coming out in a few weeks, and our first full length album in the late spring of 2019.”
I asked the Chris’ to drop a title for the track or the album but they wouldn’t budge. I guess we’ll just have to stay tuned.
Chris and Chris are great musicians and great people. Their passion for the music they create is inspiring; you can feel the hard work and most every step of the process it took them to get here within every lyric and beat they produce. Catch their next show with me on April 12 at Denver’s “Lost Lake,” or help us spread the Optyc love from coast to coast! Let’s get these boys the recognition they deserve. Hit their spotify profile here to hear for yourself.