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Kitsap teen competes in EMP’s battle of the bands | Kitsap Week

Nabii Ko$mo was among the top 12 chosen to compete in this year’s Sound Off! competition organized by Seattle’s EMP. - Contributed photo
Nabii Ko$mo was among the top 12 chosen to compete in this year’s Sound Off! competition organized by Seattle’s EMP.
— image credit: Contributed photo

A Kitsap teen is taking his sound to Seattle as one of 12 artists selected to compete in the Experience Music Project’s 2014 Sound Off! competition.

Sound Off! is a 21-and-younger battle of the bands. More than 120 musicians from across the Northwest submitted their work to the competition this year. Three judging  panels whittled the list down to a final 12.

Dustyn Hunt, aka Nabii Ko$mo, of Kingston was on the short list of artists to make the cut. Ko$mo submitted his song “Wolves,” a hip hop track. It is available for listening on the EMP’s Sound Off! website.

“I sent some music in to the contest and a month later I got a phone call saying I had advanced,” he said. “I get to compete.”

Ko$mo will go head-to-head with other artists on Feb. 15 at the EMP. The battle consists of three nights — Feb. 8, 15, and 22 — with four artists performing during each concert. The performances will be judged by a panel of local music industry elite.

The winners of each show will advance to the finals on March 1 in the EMP’s Sky Church.

“You are judged on the performance,” Ko$mo said. “Then you go to the finals between four bands.”

Ko$mo, a sophomore at Kingston High School, produces and records at his home in Kingston, along with a few friends.

“We get some beats, they make some beats,” he said. “(Then) me and my friend record it.”

Ko$mo’s sound is reminiscent of Mos Def, A Tribe Called Quest, and perhaps even a little Del the Funky Homosapien. But his modern take is laid over the hip hop heritage, speaking to the life of a Kingston teen.

“It’s just hip hop,” he said.

Tickets to the Sound Off! shows are available through www.empmuseum.org.

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