Lost Kings talk Paper Crowns, collaborations and tour


After releasing their latest EP, ‘Paper Crowns’, Lost Kings began their first venue tour. They hope to see both new fans and fans who have seen them before on this journey.

The electronic duo, consisting of Robert Abisi and Nick Shanholtz, has been taking over streaming platforms recently. With major collaborations on popular songs such as ‘Look At Us Now’ with Ally Brooke and ‘Phone Down’ with Emily Warren, Lost Kings are definitely a dynamic duo to keep up with in 2019.

In an interview with United by Pop, they open up about touring, their admiration for The 1975 and more.

Congrats on your new EP ‘Paper Crowns’! What can you tell me about it in terms of the inspiration behind it and the process its creation?

To start, we are very eclectic guys. We like a lot of music. We cover different music backgrounds, so we always take the approach, when we write music, to not put ourselves in any type of boundaries and make whatever we are feeling in the moment. The beauty of being producer/artist/DJs is the fact that we are able to do anything we really want to do.

For this EP, we really wanted to show a lot of sides of what we’re capable of doing. I feel like we spent a lot of 2018 preparing for this moment and putting all of the pieces together. We wanted to explore a lot of different things. One of the reasons we named it ‘Paper Crowns’ [is that] we’re not lavish dudes and wanted to touch on a lot of issues that we’ve been experiencing. We’ve had this really “anti” vibe since we started Lost Kings and have taken this alternate route with music. For ‘Don’t Kill My High’, it’s just about a situation that we deal with on a regular basis. We’re trying to have a good time and enjoy people and sometimes you experience that one person or one thing that may be trying to bring you down.  

You worked with Social House and Wiz Khalifa on ‘Don’t Kill My High’. How was that experience?

It was amazing! Social House… we’ve been huge fans. ‘Magic in the Hamptons’, we love that song and obviously we love everything they’re doing with Ariana [Grande]. We’ve become closer with them too through this process. They’re great guys and made the experience great. Wiz is someone we have loved forever. He’s pretty much an icon at this point. We shot the music video yesterday with him and it was crazy. They were all so easy to work with. We loved the process and the finished product.

Speaking of collaborations, who do you want to work with next?

Well, for the [big] dream collaboration, one of the bands we always say is The 1975. Swae Lee is at the top of my (Nick’s) list. He’s the man right now.

What can you share about the new single ‘F U for Everything‘v

We have the song called ‘F U For Everything’ coming out, which is our anthem for anyone who has not supported us. We’ve taken this alternate route and have been exploring that and being the guys that are [like], “We don’t care and we’re just going to do what we love to do.”

What makes you guys most excited about this particular tour?

This tour is super exciting for us because we’ve done a lot of shows all over the place and it’s been a lot of nightclubs. We’ve done a lot of festivals which is what we’re going to do [and perform like] on this tour. [It is going to be] a smaller version of that.

For this tour, we’ve been dying to do it for a long time and getting these venues that normally you would see bands at, but we wanted to get out of the nightclub scene a bit and move over to venues to get all ages to our shows. It’s an experience that we’ve been looking forward to… to give people a great show and for the people who haven’t seen us. This gives people the opportunity who have maybe never seen us and now they can see us in a proper venue and not have to worry about a nightclub experience. We’ve been working really hard and this a moment that we have been most excited about.

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How was it to work with Ally Brooke for the ‘Look At Us Now’ collaboration?  

It was amazing! She’s like the nicest person ever. Everything we wanted to do, she was down for it and so easy to work with. The moment she stepped in the studio, it was great vibes. At that point, Fifth Harmony was still going and as big as ever and she was still as nice as could be. It was a great process.

How do you think your sound has evolved from then to now?

It’s crazy, I feel like it’s kind of come in full circle. When we first started, we wanted to establish ourselves as DJs, but the goal was always to get to what we’re making now. Before we started as DJs and we were solo guys, so we got onto the dance thing later on. When we started doing remixes, it was a way to work through our sound and find where we wanted to go. It kind of came back to what I (Rob) was doing before we formed Lost Kings. We want to continue to evolve and make crossover music no matter what it is. We never like putting emphasis on genres. We like a lot of different music at different times. I don’t know why people sometimes get wrapped up in genres. We never want to get wrapped up in that when we’re making music. We’re just trying to make timeless music whatever that may be.

Who are your musical inspirations or some artists you have recently been obsessed with?

Nick: I’ve been been listening to a lot of Swae Lee recently. I just love all of the music that he has out like the Ellie Goulding record.

Rob: My biggest inspiration, personally, was Kanye. That’s when I started producing… when ‘Graduation’ came out. That album really spoke to me from the very beginning because I was just obsessed with the sounds on that album. That really drove me to get into producing music. Also, a guy named Ryan Leslie. He was a multi-instrumentalist guy and he would always be in the studio and playing all of the instruments as well as producing.

Nick: I would say the dream collab is The 1975. I think everything they’ve done right now is great. I love what they’re doing with their music videos and how everything ties in and kind of has a theme. They [the music videos] make the songs even better.

Thank you, Lost Kings, for the interview. You can see Lost Kings on their tour which has just started and purchase tickets here.

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