Three different people, one sound: Let It Be Known
Harnick Atur, Keith Buhler, and Eugene Shun want to Let It Be Known. The trio was selected as one of the winners of the Discovery Project: Beyond Wonderland, affording them the opportunity to play in front of thousands of people. This is especially impressive considering that their largest audience before was a mere 250 people. “It was just absolutely amazing,” Buhler explained.
Let It Be Known hails from Northern California. They spent the car ride down practicing their set, making sure that everything went smoothly, and the effort certainly paid off, with Atur proclaiming that the Beyond Wonderland set was Let It Be Known’s best to date. “We were trying a lot of Beatport remix contests, trying to find our sound, and I think we actually found our sound with the Discovery Project,” he said.
While the crowd at Beyond Wonderland may not have known, Let It Be Known are true bedroom producers in every sense of the phrase. Atur and Buhler are roommates who live and produce at Atur’s parents house. “He’s [Atur’s dad] into like 70s rock, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and all that. I grew up on that stuff,” Atur said, “and when you hear our music, it’s like we’re trying to bring the old school back to the new. We’ve just got to propel on that and make it a known entity, and let everyone know.”
Up next for Let It Be Known is an EP that they are aiming to complete within the next sixth months. “We actually played it earlier, and seeing the crowd reaction, it was awesome,” Shun said. Insomniac caught up with the group minutes after their Beyond Wonderland set to ask them about the past, present, and future, and most importantly, how they want to Let It Be Known.
So how did you meet? How do you know each other?
HA: I’ve known Eugene since the first day he moved to the United States. So we’re like best friends.
ES: [It] was like seven, eight years ago.
HA: Back in 2006. And Keith we met at a gig.
ES: I actually met Keith first at a clubhouse in downtown San Jose. Then we started contact, and we started making music together.
KB: Eugene messaged me on Facebook. He’s like, “Dude, you want to come play at Sin Lounge with me? I’m doing a little show.” And I’m like “OK.”
HA: We wanted to start something like a small DJ thing going on.
HA: Like bring house music to San Jose because it’s predominantly a very, very hip-hop driven community. So trying to bring it in, massaging it in.
KB: Kneading the dough, so to speak.
So what was it like winning the Discovery Project? How did you guys find out you won?
ES: I was at work, and I received an email from Insomniac. And I was just texting them [Atur and Buhler] as I ate, “Have you guys gotten an email yet?” And they were like, “No, no, what are you talking about?” And I was like, “We’re going to play. We won the competition.” We couldn’t believe it.
HA: It was super surreal, like, we [couldn’t] believe it. It was like, “No, no, you gotta pinch us. Is this real right now?”
KB: I gotta say, tonight was unbelievable. That [learning they had won] was unbelievable; this was just astronomically unbelievable.
You talk about being different ethnicities. How has that influenced your music?
HA: I come from Punjabi descent. I love bhangra. Everything’s very, very percussion-based, so I have that influence in the music. Mr. Buhler right here, he’s actually of Dutch descent, so he got the dirty Dutch in him, you know.
KB: Yeah, I love my dirty Dutch beats. Nicky Romero, Alvaro… There’s kick drums that get you bouncing. That’s what I love.
HA: And then this guy [pointing to ES], melodies.
HA: We have that one sound that we all can be in unison with, you know? And that’s really, really hard. If you’re an individual artist, you’re kind of finding those ways. We’re having three brains to make one entity. And for us, I think that’s…
Three heads are better than one.
KB: Today, it’s especially hard to find your sound. So if you can develop a unique sound that individualizes you from everybody else, that brings everybody to you for your sound, then you have something going, and we feel like we’re kind of getting on track with that. We kind of realized it a little bit tonight, so we’re going to keep going down that path, and see where it takes us.
What are some challenges or obstacles you’ve faced?
KB: When we first got into it, we didn’t know too much about the producing side of house music but we all had the love for house music. We just got together, and we’re like, “Let’s make music at my house. I’m going to buy some speakers. Let’s do this.” And then we did it, for like a year.
ES: We actually finished the first single within two, three weeks.
KB: To add to that, in our remixes we try to add dubstep.
Yeah I heard that towards the end.
KB: Yeah, you heard that Madeon-style part. We’re trying to add different kinds of genres at the same tempo so it’s danceable, but it’s different. We feel that many people don’t do that today.
That’s definitely true because when you guys played dubstep, I was actually able to dance to it, and that doesn’t usually happen.
How did you guys come up with the name?
HA: We were in the car one time, and we were listening to Tupac.
KB: And you were like, “Let it be known.”
ES: Since we just started, we want the group to be known, so let it be known. LIBK, that’s where it started.
KB: We hope someday that if we are successful with what we’re doing, that it becomes a statement, like, “Let it be known!” Whatever you’re doing, let it be known. You gotta work hard to get to where you are.
ES: We’re not just a group; it’s a lifestyle.
KB: If you can think like that everywhere you go, then your life will be better, and you’ll bring everybody up with you, so that’s the way we think about it.
HA: And hopefully with this, you might see us at a festival close to you. I think this is our best set, to a point where we actually have this huge crowd feeding off our energy, and they’re giving it back. It’s such a surreal feeling.
KB: I wasn’t even on that stage, I was like 10 feet above the stage.
ES: That was an awesome party, I really cannot hear anything.
AK: Do you guys wearing any hearing protection?
All three: No
ES: We should after tonight.
KB: What’s the last thing we want to say?
All three: Let It Be Known
By Anum Khan