Upstate New York is known for lots of things – Buffalo wings, Woodstock, its numerous SUNY colleges. But in the past decade Upstate New York has become a region flourishing with emerging indie artists, rich with creativity and vigor, and hungry to prove that artistry in the Empire State extends beyond the boroughs of NYC. David Barkie knows this all too well. Before his project Rhythm Rug got off the ground in 2013, he had already put in a decade’s worth of time in the studio, learning the nuances of engineering and making beats from renowned producers like Symbolyc One (Jay-Z, Kanye West). “I left home at the age of 18 and opened a studio storefront with a couple of friends. When the studio closed at night I would sleep on the floor. During this time I spent sleepless nights recording, writing, and making beats for other artists.” His time in the studio prepared him for Rhythm Rug, his current project that draws on an array of childhood influences -- gospel music, Earth Wind & Fire, Pink Floyd, Jackson 5, Mos Def, and Erykah Badu. Rhythm Rug’s debut single "The Giver" gently blends his alternative touch with a hip hop sway, vividly showcasing his vocal abilities and fine-tuned ear for crafting beats. “‘The Giver’ is a reminder to do good and happiness will follow,” he explains. “It also makes me look at life and see that relationships are a two way street.” Rhythm Rug is currently at work on a full-length record. Two new singles are expected to be released prior to the album’s street date.