Perhaps the bottle of whiskey had something to do with it…
After meeting at a party, Lost Kings—Robert Gainley and Dr. No—sealed a bond that would ignite both a fervent creative partnership and friendship.
“We didn’t know each other at all when we first met,” explains Rob. “The relationship blossomed, because what one of us lacks, the other has. It couldn’t have been a better match in terms of music, business, personality, and friendship. The way it balances out is just crazy.”
Continuing a long tradition of dynamic duos, Rob and Dr. No (Nick), had been unwittingly searching for each other. Originally hailing from Boston, Rob could DJ, but desired to begin making original music. Meanwhile, Baltimore native and multiinstrumentalist Nick could write, record, and produce, but wanted to learn the decks. Locked in Nick’s apartment nightly, the two fast friends not only traded musical knowledge, but they started pursuing a shared dream.
“Los Angeles can be such a flaky city,” adds Rob. “To find someone who wants to make music every night and then actually do it was like a dream.” “I was having a tough time, and I even thought of going back home,” says Nick. “Right before I did, I met Rob. We were reenergized and motivated. It just clicked.”
In 2014, their unofficial remix of Disclosure’s “Latch” [feat. Sam Smith]” replaced the original in regular rotation on Sirius/XM’s BPM and blasted open the proverbial floodgates. Everybody from Imagine Dragons, Krewella, and Halsey to Vance Joy, Echosmith, and Rihanna tapped Lost Kings for official remixes. Meanwhile, their debut on Spinnin’ Records “Bad” [feat. Jessame] bowed at #15 on Spotify’s Global Viral Chart. By 2016, the boys notched a staggering 13 #1’s on HypeMachine, amassed over 30 million plays on Soundcloud, and 25 million Spotify streams and counting, while receiving praise from Billboard, Nylon, Idolator, and more. Simultaneously, they lit up stages at the Billboard Hot 100 Music Festival, Electric Daisy Carnival New York, Hangout Music Festival, Sunset Music Festival, Groove Cruise, and countless others, becoming a formidable live presence along the way. Signing to Disruptor Records / RCA Records, everything paved the way for the release of their single “Phone Down” [feat. Emily Warren].
Lost Kings conjure up an airy, downtempo soundscape and instantly magnetic tropical swing for “Phone Down” before culminating on an unshakable chorus from Warren— “You got me right here with my clothes off now, why don’t you put that fucking phone down.”
“It’s something universal everybody wants to say, but is too scared to actually say it,” Nick exclaims. “We loved the vocal so much that we wanted the music to match that level of emotion.”
“To us, it’s so relevant,” Rob agrees. “There’s a huge message to be in the present. Everybody lives vicariously through a screen. Instead, it’s about living your actual life and not getting lost in what cool photos people are posting.”
“Phone Down” hints at the scope of Lost Kings’ expansive and enigmatic sound. Confidently defying categorizations and blurring genre lines, it also showcases their flare for limitless songwriting.
“When we sit down to make music, we’re not bound to anything,” affirms Nick. “For us, it’s centered on emotion. Styles and sounds always a change, but a good song lasts. That’s what we try to focus on.”
Moreover, the duo’s moniker speaks to their unbreakable and undeniable union. “When you first move to L.A., you can easily end up partying every night,” Nick goes on. “I think most people spend a year or two like that after moving here. You get overwhelmed and end up lost. By the time we linked up, we both sort of forgot why we moved here. That’s the ‘Lost’ half. Once we found each other, we had the same aspirations and goals. We wanted to do something that leaves a mark. That’s the ‘Kings’ half.”
Ultimately, Lost Kings stand poised to rule their own domain for a very long time to come. “We want people to remember the positive feelings they get when they hear our songs or see a show,” Rob leaves off.
“There’s so much shit going on in the world that if we can provide a better mood even just for a short amount of time, we’ve done our job.”