Photo: Kevin Condon

Photo: Kevin Condon

Multi-musician, songwriter and producer Kelsey has been around the block, having fronted a long-running, successful rock band based in NYC’s Lower East Side. But Blak Emoji, the current face of Kelsey Warren, is something entirely different and new--both for Warren himself and for the listener weary of monotonous music trends.

Blak Emoji is where he blends together current and classic pop inspiration, mixing his tendencies as a brainy, substantive and complex writer with a fixation on synth sounds. Tying together his longtime interest in alt-rock (think Nine Inch Nails, Bjork) with a more recently kindled romance with modern and retro dance beats and in between (Phantogram, Little Dragon, Childish Gambino), Warren has found his niche.

Blak Emoji, which Warren began in late 2015, released its debut EP, INTRO in January 2017. INTRO received acclaim from AfroPunk, The Line Of Best Fit, Atwood, Popmuzik and BUST Magazine's 23 best New Albums To Discover. Two singles, "Poison To Medicine" and "Velvet Ropes & Dive Bars" were licensed in the ABC television show Quantico the same year. Another single, the electro hard rocker "Sapiosexual" was also used in the indie documentary Saving Mandyland. Soon after, the band toured and also supported artists such as Fantastic Negrito, Justina Valentine and Dorothy to name a few.

The band's full debut album, KUMI, was released late February 2019 spearheaded with it's captivating first single "Lust Love Above". In July, the video for "Lust Love Above" directed by Jasin Cadic was released and featured on Vampire Freaks blog/site. KUMI is likely to be music which you haven’t heard in some time, if ever -- and that’s precisely how Blak Emoji wants it.