Interview: Intentional Intrusiveness With Ken Barrientos From The Log.Os

By | August 1, 2012 at 5:29 pm | No comments | Featured Post, Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Ken Barrientos From The Log.Os Interview by Eric F. Estrada

If you aren’t familiar with The Log.Os it’s about time for you to take a listen. Conceived by producer Ken Barrientos (Ken Bts) and backed by the likes of Nikko Gray and Iman Omari. The Log.Os is a soul tingling post trip esque project that is steadily making a name for itself. I met up with Ken after opening at the EchoPlex for Shabazz Palaces to discuss Log.Os origins, directions and intentions of the group among other things.

ISM: What exactly is *Log.Os. How did the project come to be called that and where did it come from…

KB: The Log.Os to me was something that just stuck. It’s weird that I can’t remember specifically coming up with certain things that I want to title my creations including The Log.Os and The Breath (my label-like entity), but I think they subconsciously creep into a mental list of ideas I get – whether they be for a project or a personal post-it note or inspirational word. It’s almost like a premonition for something in the near future, but it’s inside of me. The little voice… I think “Logos” was really the spirit of what I was doing because the word has so many usages. I think the most obvious modern one today you hear is: “Logos” as a visual promotion in the form of a symbol or an icon representing a company or a facet of a company. That kind of struck me, not just as a satire but something to flip as a juxtaposition of the same idea. I wanted to use all of the definitions at once and at the same time offer a new twist to the name and a new definition. It reminded me of one of these post-modern names we’re surrounded by in the background of everything, like a codex or a file-type… Even a virus. Ultimately, I hoped to have it speak for itself without any “Logos”.

ISM: Wait, so do you have any Greek in you?

KB: No. I just discovered things by being somewhat of a historian and a buff for etymology. Logos in classical Greek philosophy means “One’s discourse.” I also thought that added to the appropriateness of the title.

ISM: There isn’t an abundance of information about Log.Os on the internet, is that an intentional strategy and is there a specific intention for this album?

KB: I think I just came to terms with what could be perceived as a strategic move although in essence I guess every decision one makes has its own intuitive results. By just keeping it minimal and concentrated for what would be the first personal statement of my own, I wanted to avoid tainting it with anything unnecessary that really had nothing to do with the intention behind it. I had to trust that I didn’t need to overcompensate for my message, outside of streamlining the message itself – that being the music and whatever it evokes in return.

ISM: Okay, so take us step by step through your creative process & by step by step I mean literally step by step. What is the first thing that you do, how do you find yourself/the idea and/or direction the track/tracks.

KB: If you mean if there’s a strict regimen: the only one I have is that I try to challenge myself and not get too comfortable with the same process and, in fact, if its something that I’ve never done once I’ll try to do it just for the sake of capturing my naivete or innocence in doing it. At the end of the day, I have the discretion of putting it out or sharing it if it challenges me also. I never want to write the same song twice and I think that bleeds over into everything else that I do. If I end up doing something, it’s because there’s a calling to diversify my palette for the expression I wish to convey through a project such as The Log.Os or the next medium.

ISM: I know this is a bit cliche’ of a question to ask but for the sake of us getting to know you better I feel like we need to get into how exactly did you fell into music? So how did that happen? How did all of this come to be?

KB: My first passion was art, as it’s most-known institute, visual art: drawing, painting, and graphic media or design before I even knew that’s what it was called. That’s really, I think, the catalyst for making music the way I make it because it was a nonchalant transition of mood but into a new medium – so much that I started realizing that these song sketches I was doing before in my own privacy became my best work by being my truest work. It was my diary, in essence. That’s not to say that anything has dwindled in my visual interests. I’m still very hands-on with the visual aspect and design aesthetic of my work – even the photography or typography. It’s all just a labor of love for me.

ISM: That is very interesting. Does that mean that you are self-taught or did you have any formal training?

KB: I think what comes through as my personal touch in both my music and art is all self-taught, even the trademark techniques I use – forall that they’re worth. When I was younger I did take some art classes, but never seeing them through to full fruition. I usually ended up dropping out or feeling that I started out at a weird point of the curriculum. I still have a lot to learn though. That’s the enjoyable part. I like to apply myself.

ISM: Being the creative person that you are I’m wondering what your parents were like. We’re they supportive of your initial efforts?

KB: Yea, I think I was one of the lucky ones to get encouragement from my household. I think that attributes to my natural comfort to say something more personal or significant to myself because I was enabled to feel out my art that much longer than normal. I value that environment in hindsight. It’s taken a while– not in terms of “finding a statement”, because I wouldn’t contrive it – but to filter out the elements that do and don’t reflect my voice and assess them each as part of my being and my learning process. So far The Log.Os has served to at least capture where I was in one given moment in one of the more accurate and challenging ways yet to me,albeit somewhat abstract and novel in its approach.

ISM: Sitting here talking to you remind me of one of my best friends…an enigma in an enigma in another enigma. Not to make any comparison or say that there is anything wrong with it. I appreciate it.

KB: Thanks. I don’t think there’s a lot of good mysteries left in the media of “arts & entertainment”. People put themselves on the front pedestal of their own work, rather than the work representing them. I think a lot of it has to do with the eternal quest for identification. It’s obvious everyone has an ego or an equivalent concept of an ego, including myself, but there’s something to be said about the cult of personality these days. To each his own, but I chose to do my own thing. It’s really not about me anyway, in the traditional sense.

ISM: What exactly is The Log.Os about?

KB: It’s a document. It’s one expression lingering out to whoever receives it, like a message in a bottle. Likewise, I believe you can even read a novel and you could appreciate it for what it is even if it is a non-linear perspective or has an anonymous author.

ISM: With everything that we’ve gone into today I’m wondering if you listen to I guess…mainstream music. I’m asking this because I feel at least when you go past a certain level of depth or consciousness you sort of shy away from certain things…so do you get down with any Lil’ Wayne, Lady Gaga or anything like that?

KB: Sure. I think its all open information to take in and register. In fact, there’s no guilty pleasure when i listen to top 40 radio whether it be from this era or another era. It all influences our language, body-language, and cultural references. Its all part of the same grid. Some may be surprised that the mainstream music I’ve found myself long-term affixed to include older Madonna, George Michael, and Seal. Any of those epic brooding ballad-style artists I grew up on – bittersweet romance, sexualized technology, and androgyny. I feel they were ahead of their time aesthetically. When it’s missing from the media it seeps back into the avant-garde. As a listener, I try to appreciate it for what it is when it happens – rather than rehash it when its gone.

ISM: You seem like an even-tempered person. Have you ever gotten in a fight?

KB: I’m a pretty peaceful guy all around, man. If anything, my angels or demons come out in what I’m writing whether it’s lyrics or an instrumental piece – or even photography or a painting.

ISM: The other day you said something about not being a role model but I’m sure with being in the limelight that there’s people that look up to you either way, people who put you somewhat on a pedestal. How do you feel about that?

KB: I think that’s a good question and an interesting paradigm. Ideally, that’s what I would encourage if I could: for anybody to be inspired positively, or even negatively, off of what I do. If anything I feed off the dynamics of both. Neutrality has its place too. We’re all learning off of each other anyway. Ultimately, though, I don’t want to speak as if I’m talking for a whole demographic of people where I’m in a place of leadership. In fact, one of the bottom lines is that the art that I make has a lot to do with vulnerability.

ISM: Do you ever go online to see what people are saying about you? To see reviews or anything like that?

KB: I see it as a conversation and I try not to let it taint me too much. Featuring or turning the spotlight on the reviews is interesting to me, though. Somehow the experiment has become about turning the mirror back on them, because I’ve for the most part haven’t felt the need to reveal much else about the project other than the project. It germinates on its own and the outcome is part of the artwork as well.

ISM: How long has The Log.Os been around for?

KB: As far as the chapter that it took for me to create and incubate these songs, it’s been more or less the last three years of a certainstyle of songwriting leading to the release that tied together in an automatic way. I almost realized it after the fact that there was something trying to get out in these songs. It wasn’t necessarily even a conscious decision, it was just my sub-conscience reaching through.

ISM: Were you touring and performing during that time as well?

KB: I was yet to even be out as a solo artist yet at all, so not in that capacity. I was helping people with music, engineering and floating around. Importantly, I was just engaging myself with people
and social situations as well. I think it comes from that element as equally or greater than any of my professional music experience – growing as a person.

ISM: With that said how did the collaboration with Nikko Gray & Iman Omari spring forth?

KB: It wasn’t too different than how I’ve met anybody before them, butwhat’s more remarkable to me is how our compatibility sifted us across miles through to each other at one point in time and how we could unanimously make something that was ultimately so critical of us. I can never appreciate that in my own awe enough. It also trickles over from how connected we’ve become to each other as people in the familiar sense. Its reciprocal. I’d like to think that I’m also investing in their own stories, keeping our influences between us organic and life-based. That’s really fam. I’d do a lot for those two.

ISM: Turning back to the initial statement about reviews online. There’s are a lot of positive blog feedback on your work floating around. To quote a review on NPR saying the album is “a heavenly slice of synthetic soul.” With that said, can you give us insight into how long you anticipate Log.Os being around on for & what kind of future do you envision for the group.

KB: I want to give it respect as its own organism, aside from my own management of it, to the extent that it needs to say something. I’m still going through the learning curve of finding out what the next phase will be and whether it may be called this again or something else. I’m letting intuition guide my way, and all I can hope to do is to serve it by bringing it forth and also get out of its way by letting it be what it has to be. It’s dependent on so many variables, but it is personal and it is also a transcendent state that goes beyond my own mind and body.

ISM: Before we close I want to thank you for taking the time to sit down and talk with converse. The last thing we’re going to do is some word association. Just say the first word that comes to mind…

ISM: Adam & Eve:

KB: Allegory

ISM: Vulnerability:

KB: Tolerance

ISM: God:

KB: Math

ISM: Universe:

KB: Unknown

To keep up to date with Ken and stay up to date with The Log.Os you can follow him on twitter at: Download material at: And/Or take a listen at:

-Eric F. Estrada

© 2011 ILLSOCIETY Media Group LLC. All rights reserved.