Zia Sun 16 Bars – Words To Live By – A Conversation with Kayohes and Diles


It’s a Tuesday afternoon, I belly up to the bar before heading home on the end of an 8 hour day, prepping and promoting events, checking emails and otherwise, and mid beer, I receive a text message. It is my buddy Diles asking if I am on the “Beer Farm,” I reply with a simple yes, and not for long, but he taps me on the shoulder before I can send the message. Diles, Co-Owner of Central Root Studios in Albuquerque isn’t only in for some suds, he is in to shoot a quick video of our bar for an upcoming listening party. Before I know it, beer number two is in front of me, and we are talking about the hustle that performing artists and artists in general go through. I am not sure if it was the thirst for beer number three, or what, but before I knew it, I asked, “hey what about answering some questions about y’all’s creative process, to pump the upcoming listening party.” Over beer number three, I pounded out questions into an email, and I had them in my inbox literally before I hit my West Side stomping grounds. The product of today’s blog are the answers to a collection of questions, posed both to Kayohes and Diles, aka Zia Sun 16 Bars MC and Producer, respectively – The duo has a Listening Party for the album this Saturday at Tractor Brewing Wells Park, 7pm, FREE 21+.

I’ve had tiny windows into the project and sneak previews of some of the songs, I could tell the vibe coming out was original and authentic, when I began thinking about what to ask, the first question was easy, I wanted to know in short, what was the album about – easy question right? Be broad, there is no wrong answer… then again, Kayohes’s reply, was the exactly right answer: ““As we were recording, the songs took on a “New Mexican” theme and before some of the songs started I would say, “Zia Sun 16 Bars.”  We decided to keep that for the name of the album.  It’s also the name for our group.  Diles on production and Me MC’ing: Zia Sun 16 Bars.  A lot of the songs talk about New Mexico.  It’s our home so we wanted to dive into the good, the bad, the beautiful, and the ugly – life and death.  The album takes on a lot of the struggles that we as Nuevo Mexicanos face.”  Amen to that – a video off the album highlights Central Ave. aka Route 66 – we here at Tractor love the story telling and familiar sights as they pass through the neighborhood that one of our Beer Farms is in. Cheers to keeping it Burque at the base of all things, gentlemen. There was simply more to talk about and so we continued with the questions.

One of the burning questions at my fingertips was how the two met, “outside of Burts’s before a beat battle we we’re both in…I knew he had skills when he played the “New Mexico” beat that ended up on Wake Self’s album and acclaimed music video. It was another year or so though before we reconnected at Central Root,” said Diles – Central Root? Now what was that? I know, but you all don’t, that Central Root happens to be a locally owned and run studio, by Colin Diles Hazlebaker of Visceral View Entertainment, and Mondo Vibrations musician Mike Gerdes. Diles runs projects in and out of Central Root on the daily, with many projects simultaneously exisiting at once. The man has a method to his madness, in building what Visceral View is known for. What is Visceral View, I asked Diles, and how does it fit into Central Root? “Visceral View is a collective that has been behind the scenes yet on the forefront of the Albuquerque artistic scene for over a decade, and Central Root is an artistic epicenter and recording studio focused on nourishing the music scene in Burque,” he said. Artistic epicenter ah? That point was hammered home in the way that Kayhoes described Central Root and its vibe while in the company of Visceral View’s Diles. “We linked up at Central Root, and recorded our first couple of songs, that’s how it all happened.  I started coming over every other weekend and we would knock out songs.  Jungle One was there one time and he has a feature on the album.  Diles organized all of the singers and the cuts for album.  DJ Jaysin did an amazing job with the cuts and Jessica Helen Lopez did an amazing job on “Central Ave,” said Kayohes.” Things seemingly just “came together.” Central Root sounds like a pretty neat place ah? This album sounds like a labor of love – New Mexico love; and, at the same time, it sounds like this duo just might be around in the Albuquerque scene for some time to come. They both spoke passionately about what the future holds.

“We plan on doing a follow up project and doing some regional runs, performing, etc.. I also have about a dozen things in the cooker including a full-length album from Reviva, The Riddims, and several other local bands as well as several personal projects with artists such as Ill Se7en, Asia Fajardo, Hakim Be, Ava Del Cielo, Arturo Salce, Jungle One, and more…” said Diles. “I’m in the process of mixing down another album that I have with Rusher.  He started a label, Misfit Music, and we are going to be working hard to get that album off the ground in the next couple of months.  Diles and I are already discussing the second project,” added Kayohes. It sounds like not only will these cats be busy on their own hustle, but collectively they won’t keep us waiting long, for another “16 Bars…” “I am addicted to making music and collaborating with brilliant artists and like to think I help them find their outlet,” said Diles. And just who is Kayohes? “I’m a fan of Hip Hop that just happens to be a 4th grade teacher.  I love music and education.  I’d like to think I’m responsible, but my ideas get me going in different directions all the time,” he said. I think we will follow him and this duo in any direction they go as they head into the “Zia Sun(set).”

Wanna check em out before you come to the LISTENING PARTY on Saturday?

Find Them Here: