Rafael Reyes (artist)
Kat Von D (m. 2018)
Rafael Reyes, also credited as Leafar Seyer, is an American author, artist and musician raised and credited with creating the Cholo goth genre of music, which lyrically explores the harsh realities of gang and street life over throbbing beats and swirling synthesizers.
Reyes joined the Sherman 27th Street Grant Hill Park gang when he was a teenager in order to save his father's life after a skirmish at a local market. Upon graduating high school, Reyes opened San Diego's first vegan/vegetarian Mexican restaurant, Pokéz, with his father. After running the restaurant for eighteen years, and after his father's death, he sold Pokéz to his younger brother. In 2011, he wrote and published Living Dangerously, a roman à clef about his life as a gang member, and toured California to promote the book.
Looking for a more direct way to interact with an audience, in 2011, Reyes formed his first band, Baptism of Thieves, followed by Vampire. With the break-up of those bands, he created Prayers (credited under the pseudonym Leafar Seyer) with Tijuana-born Dave Parley. He also performs solo as Nite Ritual.
Prayers released their debut album SD KILLWAVE in 2013, with two videos, "From Dog to God" and "Ready to Bleed". Prayers then released a EP entitled, GOTHIC SUMMER, in mid-2014. Prayers opened for the Cult during that band's 2014 tour.
Reyes conceived Prayers' video for the song "Gothic Summer," the title track of their first EP, released in May 2014, which won the 2015 San Diego Film Festival Award for Best Music Video. Gavin Filipiak, the video's director also won for Best Editing in the music video category.
On May 26, 2015, Prayers released the title track of the Travis Barker-produced second album, "Young Gods" as a video single, through Noisey/Vice Magazine. In the song, he references Aleister Crowley: The lyrics "do what thy will shall be the law" is an homage to the English occultist's "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law," while Crowley's Magical formula for Tetragrammaton is explicated in the song's final lines.
He also began to focus on his artwork, showing in San Diego. He has since shown in Los Angeles at Coagula Curatorial with John Fleck and John Roecker as part of the successful "Two Johns and a Whore" group show.
Reyes developed and then left Diamond Dogs, a group of retired gang members with an interest in art and music, as an outlet for young men looking for an alternative to gang life. Diamond Dogs provides outreach, emotional and artistic support in a positive environment while stressing the importance of community and family.
In January 2015, Reyes was included in a special exhibition at the LA Art Show, "Dark Progressivism: Metropolis Rising" which included important Southern Californian Chicano, Cholo and street artists. "Dark Progressivism: Metropolis Rising" was the first international showing of this uniquely Southern California genre.
On February 24, 2018, his first solo art show in several years opened at These Days, in downtown Los Angeles, dovetailing with the release of Prayers' video, "One 9 One 3".
On February 21, 2018, he married Kat Von D. The couple formally met in 2016 when Reyes asked if she would appear in a video for one of his songs. She agreed, and inspired, he wrote another song specifically for her, the electronic dance music track "Black Leather," and asked if she would add vocals to it. The track appears on the album 'Baptism of Thieves'. Von D is featured in the video for the song." On May 8, 2018, the couple announced they are expecting their first child. Although they were married in February, they held a wedding ceremony for family and friends on June 2, 2018, and announced the birth of their son Leafar Von D Reyes on December 2, 2018.
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- Juneau, Jen. "Kat Von D's Little Man Has Arrived! Beauty Guru and Husband Leafar Seyer Welcome Son Leafar". people.com. People Magazine. Retrieved 29 November 2018.