2020k is a Queer Pop and Experimental Electronic project solely headed by artist RJ Kozain, who was raised and currently resides in the Pittsburgh, PA area. 2016’s “Burst Mode” is the debut album from 2020k and was almost exclusively written, produced, engineered, and released (via a self-started independent label imprint, 2020k LLC) by Kozain himself and was re-released in a digital deluxe format on Bandcamp in December 2019. The record addresses various subjects with its music and visual presentations on how humanity interacts with technology in the 21st century, as well as explores themes of anxiety, love, politics, queer art, and sexuality. "Burst Mode (Digital Deluxe)" comes after a long recovery with post-concussion syndrome that came on a week before the original release of the record and lasted a year and a half.
Timeline & Notoriety
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+Born and raised an hour outside of Pittsburgh, PA. Currently resides inside the city itself.
+Starts producing Electronic music in 2003 using various DAWs and uploading the songs under the alias RJ Eclectica. Graduates high school in 2008, then heads across the country to attend The Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences in Arizona October 2008-May 2009 with a study and certificate in audio engineering.
+Released a collection of demos called the 2020k EP in August 2012 to coincide with two well-received area debut live shows at The Rex Theater in Pittsburgh’s South Side District. A limited run of 50 physical CD-R's were handcrafted for this release.
+Called “The future of Electronica” and compared to Depeche Mode by the short-lived underground publication Sykomindz Magazine
+Critically acclaimed, compared to Trent Reznor and HAL by the Toronto based independent publication Open ‘Til Midnight
+”Contagion” was released in March 2013 as a five track single EP which contained remixes by underground musicians Kinesthetiac, Wet Eyes, and Kamas.
+”Run in Circles,” a collaboration with Vestron Vulture was released as a Five-Song EP Single in September of 2013
+”Run in Circles” was featured on Retro Promenade’s Vox Populi compilation and featured on Hype Machine through a guest article by 2020k at the R&B and Electronic based Avenge The Virgins publication
+"Infected/Placebo" became featured on Lo-Fi by Default's Sunny All Around mixtape, released digitally on 2020k's blog, and sold physically on LFD's website.
+Received journalist notoriety for the self-started blog.twenty20k.com collective amongst NPR, The Guardian, Spin Magazine, Pitchfork, FACTmag, The Consequence of Sound, Tycho’s blog for coverage on the influential Boards of Canada’s viral marketing scheme for their 2013 release Tomorrow’s Harvest
+“Contagion” went on to be featured in December 2013’s charitable Touched. compilation which has donated all of its proceeds to the Macmillan Cancer Support center. The brought together the likes of Plaid, 808 State, The Future Sound of London, Christ., Ochre, George Sarah with Angela McCluskey, and more.
+Debuted "Burst Mode," at first live show of 2014 at Mr. Roboto's in Pittsburgh, PA. This leads to the debuts of several new songs in other live opportunities throughout the Pittsburgh area, opening for Darren Keen, Seeming, and Pillar Point.
+Sells out of first pressing physical CD-R edition of 2020k EP after opening set for Seeming in Mid-July 2014.
+Becomes occasional on-air host for Pittsburgh's alternative public radio station 91.3FM WYEP's show The Block Party in early 2014, ends up DJing every Wednesday from 8PM-12AM from July-September 2014 and continues hosting and assisting the radio station's teen program (Reimagination) into 2016.
+Features new song called "Sea Bound" with Wet Eyes to November 2014's charitable Touched. Two compilation. The track stands alongside legendary musicians such as Orbital, Autechre, Bibio, Secede, Ulrich Schnauss, µ-Ziq, The Future Sound of London, Plaid, Ochre, Maps, Christ., 808 State, amongst others and donates all of its earnings to the Macmillan Cancer Support. This installment has been written about in FACT Mag, Igloo Magazine, Ear Milk, and Tiny Mixtapes.
+"Sea Bound" is remixed by Mokhov and included on Touched. Two The Remixes. Also included on The Remix compilation is a 2020k Remix of "Truro" by (ghost). As of July 2015, the compiltation has raised over $45,000.
+Speaks to BBC World News about Boards of Canada's Tomorrow's Harvest Campaign for "The Why Factor?" Encryption episode.
+Contributes "Heart Raid," recorded in 2009 with classmate Holly Ross at the Conservatory of Recordings Arts & Sciences and considered the first 2020k song, to the Touched. 3 compilation, aiding the Macmillan Cancer Support.
+Debuts "Burst Mode" and is accompanied by a music video directed by Liz B. Announces the release of three profiles, the first being released summer 2016.
+Establishes 2020k LLC.
+Sustains a concussion weeks before release of Burst Mode; all promotion is halted.
+Self releases Burst Mode September 16th, 2016.
+Cleared from Post-Concussion Syndrome March 2018. Begins work on relaunch Burst Mode and future 2020k projects.
+Becomes Pittsburgh ambassador for The Creative Passport, personalized ID for music makers, where they can access, update, and manage information about themselves and their works, and share it with others; created by Imogen Heap.
+Collaborates with iambountyfan.com on a series of compilation installments called ECHOES FROM OUR PAST. Receives technical credit for vocal production on the "Open Sea" release by OUJI/Babs and unveils 2020k cover of iamamiwhoami's "b" on the bounty release. This mark's 2020k's first musical release since 2016.
+Pittsbugh Synthpop band Take Me With You releases a building, a dreaming featuring "Twenty Stories," co-written with 2020k.
+Burst Mode is inducted into STACKS, a Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh initiative to spotlight music from the Pittsburgh area. Take Me With You's a building, a dreaming is also accepted into the program.
+Continues work with iambountyfan.com on the ECHOES FROM OUR PAST series by providing vocal production work to "chasing kites" by Luka Palisæde, which releases on a double album alongside 2020k's "b" cover and "OPEN SEA" by OUJI/Babs. The compilation receives notoriety from ionnalee and her record label To Whom It May Concern.
+Helps launch PGHmuseums.org and hosts its PGH Art Talk video series. These videos, which syndicate in the form of a podcast, spotlight artists of various mediums in the southwestern Pennsylvania area and elsewhere via interviews about their work.
+Re-releases Burst Mode as a digital deluxe edition exclusively on Bandcamp. This re-release includes additional remixes of the title track by Pittsburgh Alternative/Darkwave artist Doors in the Labyrinth and Minnesota's Wet Eyes respectively.
+Creates Twitch profile, begins live-streaming music production sessions.
+Collaborates with Fair Play Pittsburgh via administration of its official Facebook group. Fair Play Pittsburgh is a musician-led initiative to bring all aspects of the Pittsburgh community together - artists, venue owners, promoters, media, and audiences. Their mission is to help each other thrive as musicians & music-related professionals and to promote the value of a strong, supportive, high-quality music scene.
+Pittsburgh concert promoter Drusky Entertainment includes "Burst Mode (Digital Deluxe)" in a list spotlighting local artists on Bandcamp
+Releases "b" as a standalone EP on Bandcamp on June 20th, 2020.
+Made directorial debut on the 2020k music video for "b," which premiered on Princess Jafar's Zoom variety show on June 27th, 2020 and is currently streaming on Youtube.
+PGH City Paper's Jordan Snowden authors write-up and interview with 2020k on "b" music video, addressing the visual's use of CV Dazzle makeup to obscure facial recognition software, as well as its place in Queer Art and recent Black Lives Matter protest movement.
+7 time nominee in PGH City Paper's Best of PGH 2020 for best Pop singer, best pop band or performer, best electronic band of performer, Best unsigned music artist or performer, best legacy performer, best next big thing, best podcast (for PGH Museum's Art Talk).