SPINNING SINGLES: Kurt Riley, “Love is in My Heart”

Kurt Riley ’16  just released a new single for Valentine’s Day. “Love is in My Heart” represents the importance of love to Riley, as well as his musical inspirations. Riley’s performances feature bright letters spelling out his name, which is very similar to the way that The Killers — one of his biggest musical inspirations — tend to put a K on the stage when they perform. Additionally, just as The Killers do on holiday season, Riley has released a single today. However, this does not mean that Riley is simply following what The Killers do.

Out of this World: Kurt Riley Rocks Klarman

Playing an album live, end-to-end, can prove arduous for many artists. Rather than tailoring a set list to crescendo, climax, and resolve for a given night, the performers must trust that the same progressions that worked on the album will similarly thrill live audiences. The same challenges that can sink such a play-through, however, can also elevate a concert. A performance can offer testimony to the narrative and vision that inspired an album rather than simply offering up a smattering of tracks from an artist’s career. Kurt Riley’s Kismet proved to be a viable work to bring to Klarman Auditorium, in its entirety, on Friday night.

TEST SPIN: Kurt Riley — Kismet

Desolation, betrayal, evil and, above all else, sacrificial love feature prominently in Kurt Riley’s 2016 release, Kismet. Riley — the musical alias of Industrial and Labor Relations student Kurt Fritjofson ’16 — crafted Kismet around a narrative that draws upon grand and utterly thrilling science fiction motifs. In brief, Kismet follows King Bandele, a character whom Fritjofson often sings as and portrays in his music videos, as he travels to Earth in pursuit of his Queen, Heaven Snow. Bandele lives in a civilization that, I would argue, seems to be a reimagining of the human race’s trajectory. In place of human greed and violence, Bandele’s society is selfless, thoughtful and compassionate; Bandele’s contemplations of the duality of human cruelty and kindness drive much of the album’s tension.

Cornell Student by Day, Rock Musician by Night


Avid musician, ILR senior and Sun Staff Writer Kurt Fritjofson ’16 has been working hard this semester. Aside from finishing up his degree to graduate this spring, Fritjofson is also in the process of recording an album, Kismet, under the stage name of Kurt Riley. He is collaborating with other students, and their combined talents make for an impressive result. The Sun sat down and spoke with him about his music, his aspirations and what we can expect from him in the future.  

The Sun: What is your history as far as music production goes, and when did your interests spark? Kurt Fritjofson: I’ve been producing my own music since I was 14 years old, and I’ve had the great fortune of getting to work with many talented musicians and producers.