PK 2022 Interview

It’s been a while since Music Mondays Founder Zomb Slays got the chance to sit down with the alternative artist PK and they finally got the chance to catch up recently. Don’t miss this MM Exclusive Interview with an Estonian creative that has been taking over the underground scene for years.


Zomb: First things first it’s been a long time since we’ve spoken, May 2020 to be exact. Let’s catch up and learn what PK has been up to. Who are you and where are you from for those that don’t know PK? 

PK: Yeah, it’s been a while man. Since that time, well, the pandemic ended for me as well so I got back on stage, which was incredible. Released quite a few videos, I think 2022 might be my most active year music video wise. If someone doesn’t know who I am then I am another soul searching for why, where and who I am in this beautiful struggle through music. But more specifically an alternative hip hop pop-punk artist one might feel the urge to call me. From a magical little IT wonderland called Estonia.

Zomb: Extremely well said. I definitely noticed your content really excelled since the last time we spoke. Let’s talk about getting back on stage, tell us a little bit about performing and what it has been like for you post pandemic? 

PK: In a way the lockdown actually kind of helped me psychologically. When I stopped doing shows, it was because I was burnt out. But when nobody did shows, I didn’t feel like I was the only one getting left behind anymore. Now all of the sudden, that was the norm. Whatever the reason, we all just stood by and watched the world kind of reset itself. When we were allowed to do shows again, it still took me some time. Actually I went back on stage as late as this very summer. I think the main thing between my performances before the pandemic and after is my mindset going into a show or planning one. I used to be quite stiff about it all - what I mean by that is I was constantly thinking “I need to get another one so everyone won't forget me”. I guess I kind of found the beauty in my own tempo and let go of the need to push so hard. That definitely added a huge fun factor to the whole thing. I always struggled with anxiety so at this moment I’m kind of in a “why should I add more to it myself?” state.

Zomb: Wow so you definitely took the pandemic as a reset point for yourself mentally, which I think is such a positive. You’ve always been very active with performances and even pre 2020 like you mentioned. What are some of your favorite parts about performing and what does a PK 2022 setlist look like these days? 

PK: The reset kind of just happened, I think the best things always kind of just happen. Of Course we need to put in work etc but generally speaking. At this point, my favorite part is just sharing. Before and after the show, I play my favorite songs to the crowd. Actually even during the show, I always do covers of something that affected me somehow between originals. It’s a bit ironic that after all these years of writing different stuff, I don’t really know how to express myself outside of music. The sounds that are flowing through me are my most personal precious possessions so sharing those makes me feel like people can see through me in the warmest of ways.I have always said that I have a lot of love in my but words often fail me in describing it so I bottle a lot of situations in life. Doing a show makes me feel like everyone can finally understand me, like even if just for a moment. While all of the questions about myself will probably never be answered by this reality, it answers some of them. My setlist is a pretty straight-forward painting of me - it’s pretty chaotic haha. From euro-trance which samples Family Guy to acoustic melancholy to a post punk anthem to metalcore to melodic trap basically. It’s actually pretty hard to put together a setlist because there’s just so much that I would like to tell people. To share but I guess that’s the tragedy in this situation.

Zomb: That might be one of the greatest descriptions of performing I’ve ever seen. I love that you keep it personal but it’s also acting as a release for emotions for you. You mentioned Music Videos were a big part of 2022 for you and we’ve actually reacted to a few on the MM Podcast. Tell us a little bit about the PK video process and what your favorite video you released in 2022 was. 

PK: That’s a very nice thing to say and think, thank you. As i sit here now I would have to say “superstore” is my favorite just because of the simplicity and joy of it all. That video was literally just a group of friends meeting up on a summer day and creating something out of nothing with a smile on their faces the whole time. It was a walk on the beach, my closest friends were the warm breeze and the tune was the waves that carried us further to freedom. Is that not what creating should feel like? Well it is to me. But I think “after eight” is the most professional video I ever made. Then again “maybe” is special because it features my dear mom. And “white pants' ' has all my stuffed animals in it. By the way, I’m a HUGE softy towards stuffed animals and animals in general lol. The video process alters because the videocrew alters and the approach alters. Can’t really say there is a definite way I always do things. Probably the only thing all the different videos have incommon is that I visualize them all beforehand. Even though I’m not really the director in half of them. Everything from a professional film crew with 20+ people to 5 of my closest friends. I am open to do it all, as long as the song speaks to us all and makes us feel something. Doesn’t have to be the same feeling and we might never even talk about it. But we know.

Zomb: I would definitely say your visuals are such a key element to understanding the PK sound absolutely. The quality and ideas are always improving but the heart is always there which makes them timeless. Your performances, your visuals and your single tracks were a key part of 2022. What were some of your favorite moments and accomplishments of 2022 as this year comes to a close? 

PK: That’s actually quite funny because when I started, I literally saw no point in ever making music videos. I just didn’t want to do it, which is ridiculous thinking back now haha. But you are right, they are and as time progresses I think even more visually with almost every song I make. Well, I am happy with a year of singles. This is my first year of singles in years. I think I released 7 albums in 5 years or something like that. Too much. That’s way too much. My favorite part of 2022 was definitely the self proclaimed PK Project we put together with 2 of my friends and performed a few shows this summer. I never felt such a symbiosis on stage with anyone as I did with them. Nor have I ever felt more free. I think one of the coolest accomplishments musically this year was that the national rock radio station played my music. And it has a reason - I have been an artist who has been known in Estonia for over 15 years as only a rapper, to be recognized for something else is refreshing, to say the least. Past 2 years I have made a list in January. The list of what I want to do as an artist and as a person overall. I fell back on some this year but mostly made it through. That makes me proud because this year has been the best while it’s also been the worst. Very recently I had an epiphany of sorts and at this point, I feel like I just keep being born over and over again. Physically and mentally. I honestly lost count haha. What can I say? Thick skin, small wins and we march on. I feel very happy about learning to take life a bit slower. I’m not great at it yet but it’s happening.

Zomb: Nothing but facts from PK. This year was certainly filled with ups and downs but it’s very rare an artist can lay out their year like you just did. The perfect combination of hard work and genuine love of the craft is something every artist should strive for. It’s important we recognize how much of an established artist you are while still being so intimate with the art. Your library will live forever so the albums and projects you put out over the years will keep their meaning. Heading into 2023, what are some big goals for PK? Are you looking to perform more? Do you have plans for another project? 

PK: That’s a beautiful thing for you to say - that they will live forever. I lived a big part of my life being afraid. Afraid of fading away, being forgotten and only amounting to the very moment I release something. That’s probably one of the big reasons why I have released so much music. I don’t think like that anymore but that sentence sent me back for a second. But in a great way, no worries. As I’ve taken a bit of time for myself and will continue to do that moving forward, I will come out of my so-called isolation that I’ve been practicing for the past months but hopefully in an evolved way. The first song of the new year will drop as soon as on the 7th of January. I do have some plans for the rest of the year too in drafts but they need to be sorted a bit before I can speak about them. I think my biggest goal is not dependent on the number of the year at all. I want to be happier about it, about it all. If that means less songs, I will do less. If that means more shows, I will do more. As long as it adds to my life, I’ll create as such. I’ve lived a long time slowly giving away myself inch by inch. There will be videos, there will be songs, there will be shows. But above it all, I’m focusing on a healthy mind. If you can take it, you can make it. I guess I should say healthier*. Can’t expect to fix everything at once but hey, got to start somewhere.

Zomb: I couldn’t agree with you more, we’re absolutely excited for PK’s 2023. January 7th is the date! So we’ve caught up with activities since the start of 2022, we dove into specifics of it all but most importantly what are some of your long term goals with music? Who is PK and how have you evolved since we last spoke in 2020? Are there other artists you’d eventually like to work with or are their goals that you’re working towards long term?

PK: That’s always been such a surreal question for me. The long term goal. I kind of want to continue what I’m doing now. Not to get complacent but I’m kind of in a mental sweet spot. I was just thinking recently about the chase. How we always want more, that’s just human nature but what if we were so self-aware that we realized when we don’t want any more. When we’re at the threshold. That’s how I feel right now - at the threshold. I tried chasing more and burned out. I tried doing less and felt void. This may change of course but for the time being, I think I will tame the pace a little and see how that works out. If it doesn’t, modifications to the process shall be made. Compared to 2020 I ventured into a whole new world. That was my serious emo rap phase, to be fair, the music was rather depressing haha. Since then I have collabed with so many different awesome people, this is definitely the one thing I want to continue to do. Since 2020 I have worked with a singer from a metalcore band, hip-hop artists from the US, pop-punk artists from the UK, people with a completely different approach and it opened my mind so much about the whole creation process. I want to keep doing that for sure, to find artists to collaborate with that don't make sense on paper, know what I mean. The contrast, the pure “wtf” of it all. To make a thing like that work is very gratifying for me. And I’m always open to ideas. That’s a thing I want to really point out. Coming up, a lot of bigger artists never gave me a chance. Understandably so but I just want to say that I am approachable for everyone. If you don’t want to make a song, just come have a chat about your ideas about life or anything really.

Zomb: That’s really such a healthy way to look at it, you’ve made such great progress doing this routine so as long as you’re aware things might change you can be very flexible. That’s definitely something I’ve grown to appreciate and understand about PK. If you’re reading this, definitely show PK some love and send a message because I would love to see more PK collaborations. One of the last questions I had for you was, being an established artist that has put in a lot of time in art yet still loves and has so much fun with their accomplishments no matter how big or small, what is one piece of advice you’d give to a brand new artist trying to take music seriously? 

PK: Don’t take it too seriously. At the end of the day people want to go to bed happy about themselves and actually fall asleep. It’s very easy to get caught in the spiral of wanting more. There’s nothing wrong with taking a step back every once in a while to assess the situation and your whole being. There’s no rulebook, we don’t all have to go at the same pace. I’m not sure if that counts as ONE piece of advice haha. Crammed a few in there. Oh wait I got one! Listen to as many people as you can. They won’t all tell you what’s right for you or what you want to hear so filter it. But listen. Info is everything. Can’t go far in anything if you don’t have the info. Take the info - put it in a parallel channel next to your own values, mix them up according to your personal understanding of the world and what comes out on the other side, is your way to do things.

Zomb: I actually can’t believe how spot on accurate this is, such great tips from a seasoned artist right here. I not only completely agree with this but if anyone glosses over this advice they’re crazy. My last question for you is, music aside for a moment, what are some things that keeps PK sane when you aren’t creating? What are your favorite things to do outside of art? 

PK: It’s always been video games for me. That’s the first thing I do when I need to clear headspace. At the moment I’m playing NBA mostly but it doesn’t really matter. The point is not the game. The point is forgetting everything and focusing on something completely different. Well, I do hate losing so I guess the point is kind of the game too. Yeah, ok it’s a pretty big point actually. Winning is great…Plus video games have a lot of cognitive benefits, I’ve heard. I didn’t really watch Netflix before because I didn’t want to waste precious “chase” time and always was on my own case to do more towards being a bigger artist but I’ve discovered tons of brilliant shows as of late and really enjoy a tea, a good series and just some literal slagging off to be fair. Doing nothing is such an underrated activity.

Zomb: That kind of mental reset and relaxation is almost required as an artist. Always should set aside some time to consume content and just enjoy other forums of art. Not only is it a good reset and rest but you can get super inspired as well. It’s definitely getting late in Estonia so before we log off do you have any shout outs or words of motivation you’d like to leave the readers with? 

PK: Haha yeah I’m low key nocturnal over here already. I want to shout out my PK Project family for such a special year. Sometimes I don’t understand the love and act discouragingly. Thank you to everyone who continues to give me the light of day. I’m not sure why or how but sometimes we don’t have to. Definitely Music Mondays and you, Z for always being such a pleasant person to talk to on and off the air. I think we all already have motivation inside of us. Maybe it hasn’t clicked yet or we can’t see it for whatever reason. Life is a bitch too often and it clouds our vision. We all have a click. It might come tomorrow or in 15 years but we all have the click. And once it happens, it won’t unclick. Time.

Zomb: Well said my friend and it was a great pleasure to speak with you again. Huge shout out to everyone mentioned here and thank you so much for taking the time to sit down with us. We’re definitely gonna sit down for a podcast soon and dive into even more details. Keep your eyes peeled for PK in 2023.

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Written By Zomb Slays: