Dryw Keltz 9 a.m., Nov. 21
Sound description: Rock and flute ensemble.
RIYL: Imagine Dragons, Paramore, Twenty One Pilots, Avenged Sevenfold, Jethro Tull, Brandi Carlile, Walk Off the Earth, Jason Mraz, Fleetwood Mac
Inception: Del Mar, 2012
Founded by Kiley Halpern (writing, vocals, ukulele, flute) and Erik Pierce (writing, production, guitar, vocals, drums), the sound of Ki is described by the band as “influenced from the undertones of classic rock” and “a hybrid of fierce rock and uplifting modern pop, woven with elements of folk and soul.” In early 2014, having written hundreds of songs together, the duo sent demo recordings to various producers and music industry movers and shakers. Veteran producer David Kershenbaum (Duran Duran, Tracy Chapman, Joe Jackson) offered to co-produce their four-song EP The Rising at his studio (previously home to Marilyn Monroe), where they spent around two months recording with and learning from Kershenbaum.
After releasing The Rising, they were joined by San Diego drummer Curran Kiel. Next, Pierce's childhood friend Tony Salomone (keyboards, vocals) relocated from Tennessee to join the band. Bassist Ben Boon visited the group in San Diego and ended up relocating from Portland, Oregon in order to join.
Their first music video, “By The Sea,” was released in March 2015. They played the debut Kaaboo festival in Del Mar and at SXSW 2016 in Austin, TX, and were nominated Best Pop at the 2017 and 2018 San Diego Music Awards.
As of summer 2018, Kiel and Boon had left the group, leaving the trio of Kiley Halpern, Erik Pierce, and Tony Salomone. A video series was released to stream on Amazon Prime. “When Stars Align takes a look into the past, present, and future of our journey,” according to the band. “Part one features never before seen footage of our humble beginnings, live performances, and unforgettable milestones we've had along the way, all set to a full-length soundtrack including seventeen unreleased songs.”