January 20, 2020

SYSTEM OF A DOWN bassist Shavarsh "Shavo" Odadjian has launched a new side project called NORTH KINGSLEY. Joining him in the band are Ray Hawthorne and Saro Paparian.

Shavo announced NORTH KINGSLEY's formation in an Instagram post on Saturday (January 18). He wrote: "I am proud to announce my new project @northkingsley . Music coming soon!!! #nk2020 #systemofadown #22red @22redla #northkingsley 📸 @armenkeleshian"

Regarding how he came up with the NORTH KINGSLEY band name, Shavo told Marijuana Retail Report: "When I moved from Armenia to L.A., I moved to North Kingsley Drive. That was my street, that's where I grew up and I saw everything there. I started skateboarding there. I witnessed homelessness, the poor, you know, I noticed gangs. I learned about friendship. I saw sex there — there were prostitutes. I grew up there, so it means a lot to me. So when I say that name, that's my growth, how I became who I am, you know?"

NORTH KINGSLEY's music will be released through Shavo's 22Red label. 22Red is also the name of his southern California-based cannabis brand and lifestyle brand, which he launched in late 2018.

Odadjian spoke of the brand's symbolism in a 2019 Marijuana Retail Report interview. He said: "I was born April 22nd, I was married May 22nd, I was 22 when SYSTEM OF A DOWN got picked up… I was kind of born with 22." The "red" part of 22Red comes from Odadjian's synesthesia, a disorder which joins objects such as letters, shapes, numbers or people's names with a sensory perception such as smell, color or flavor. One day when he was brainstorming about what the brand's name could be, someone asked him, "So what color is two?", and the brand was born.

Shavo has repeatedly expressed his frustration over the lack of a new studio album from SYSTEM OF A DOWN. The band has yet to release a follow-up to "Mezmerize" and "Hypnotize", which came out in 2005.

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