in partnership
Kris Orlowski and Josh Karp (known in music circles as Budo) come from very different musical backgrounds. (Image: Upstream)

Upstream Artists of the Week: Kris Orlowski & Budo

We're partnering with Upstream Music Fest + Summit to bring the Pacific Northwest a whole new style of music festival we've never seen. Once a week for the next two months we'll be profiling local artists playing at the Festival, and speakers talking at the Summit - to start getting us all pumped up! If you're not recognizing any names - we encourage you to read on anyways. One of the main goals of Upstream is raising awareness of amazing local bands - that might not be on your radio (yet) - but are worth our time and attention.

Kris Orlowski and Josh Karp (known in music circles as Budo) come from very different musical backgrounds.

"I come from more of a folk genre," said Orlowski. "I used to play with the church, I was the drum major in the marching band, and I played the saxophone. So I'm really coming at it from that traditional musical background of just picking up an instrument and starting to write songs."

Budo, on the other hand - grew up playing guitar and bass.

"[I] really fell in love with making music by way of computers," said the rapper. "I started making rap songs in my teenage years and kind of transitioned into that space and have been mostly focused in that area since."

Orlowski's indie folk music has garnered him a loyal fan base and also been featured on multiple primetime TV shows like "Grey's Anatomy", "The Tomorrow People" and "Hart of Dixie." Budo has worked as a producer with a long list of hip hop artists from Grieves to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, most notably on the "Downtown" single.

And the friendship and collaboration of Budo and Orlowski is producing some incredible music.

"For me, music is something I'm so passionate about that I usually just jump right into the music," said Orlowski. "But with Josh, I don't. We kind of have this mutual respect, and almost like, life-riffing session."

Budo jumps in... "a friendship?"

"Yeah, it's called a friendship, I think actually isn't it?" Orlowski laughs. "Our music is so personal that we believe in what we're talking about that I think it shows up in the music more because of that vibe. We've added a level of experimentation to the music that I don't think you hear very often."

The duo is particularly happy to be playing the Upstream Festival together.

" Seattle has always been the red-headed stepchild of LA, in terms of the music industry," Orlowski said. "But I think it's really awesome that Upstream, and Paul Allen, and Vulcan have really come together to say, 'hey we know there's a problem here and we're trying to come up with a solution.'"

"...And to have something that comes from here, that really is generated by you know - somebody from Seattle who has deep ties to Seattle and the Seattle music scene," adds Budo. "And for that person to be investing in this scene and investing in this city that is creating a - showcase is a terrible word - but it is something that is designed to showcase music from Seattle."

Upstream is taking place throughout Pioneer Square May 11-13. Tickets are on sale now.