Author : Mary Tsoules
Let’s be real, going back to school after an awesome summer kind of sucks. On the other hand, great new music rules. Last Thursday night(9/5/13) kicked off TurnStyle Music Group’s Back To School Special. The series involves a collection of emerging artists from New York City’s underground music scene.
The Frizzy Blonde was on site to report on the successful series launch.
The night started off with soon-to-be-soul-star, MEKIA. We all watched, wide-eyed, as the multi-talented, four-piece ensemble created an eclectic mix of genres on stage. There’s nothing like being delightfully impressed at a live show. I arrived at the venue not knowing what MEKIA would sound like. Even the band describes itself as an “experience that will always elude description.” And it’s so true. One song had some gospel undertones, one, a bit of country, and another, some tribal drums to really get you baffled. Without any recorded songs yet, tonight was the only time you could experience this “six-layer nacho dip that is piano, violin, drums, bass, guitar, and vocals.” But keep a close eye on these guys. After a quick chat after the show, Mekia herself told me they’ll be solely focusing on recording for the next few months. That means more “nacho dip” for us. HELL YES.
Next up was string composer duo, Charly and Margaux. You might be thinking: what are classical composers doing in a line-up like this and at a venue like DROM? Or at least that’s what I was thinking. Their title sounded more like it belonged in a symphony hall or a ballet. But I was certainly mistaken/delightfully impressed, yet again. For those in the audience who knew nothing about these talented ladies, they were about to experience a real change of perspective. The violinist and violist (respectively) describe themselves as “metro-classical, cinematic chamber rock.” This will either confuse you, or, when you hear them, blow your fucking mind.
The two performed along with three other gifted Berklee College of Music alum: DJ Ginyard (bass), Andy Berman (guitar), and Justin Tyson (percussion). Charly and Margaux are a phenomenon that must be seen live. Their stage presence is remarkable. Everyone could see that the smiles on their faces and the tears in their eyes were absolutely honest. And all because they are just so insanely happy to be doing what they’re doing. The performance itself can only be described in one word: passionate. Check out this picture below capturing Charly’s heart-felt expression as she literally feels the sweet melodies.
After some more emotional pieces, they broke into Kendrick Lamar’s “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe”, for which the duo originally composed the string arrangement. They understand that their compositions are defying the status quo, and that their distinct sound may take some time for their audience to truly understand. Charly voices this in an interview back in 2012: “No one knows who we are right now, but we understand that what we want to contribute is going to take a lifetime to get across. We’re starting small and laying huge bricks in our foundation.”
Once the audience recouped from such an intense performance, it was time Frances Rose. Another duo, this time sisters Sarah Frances and Michelle Rose, took to the stage. Both were dressed the part, one in a glitter top and leather shorts, the other in a floral bodysuit and neon cap. They had everyone snapping pictures. They saved the best for last. Their hit electro-pop single, which was included on Kitsuné‘s AMERICA compilation for 2012, “Vampire” was accompanied by a dancer and all three of them broke into a choreographed dance. Being surrounded by music since they were born, these two ladies certainly know how to entertain an audience.
RIP stress, it’s been real. TECLA‘s about to get on stage and we all know what that means. LET GO. Let loose. And let that body move to the groove however it wants to. No one’s watching anyways. From the moment the audience meets her, in her amazing white silk boxing robe, they’re in love. You can catch right on to her quirky, fun personality. Her down-to-earth attitude relaxes the audience and gets everyone moving. How can we not? Her “danceable afro/funk/caribbean/tropical/pop” is insanely addicting. The coolest part? TECLA writes everything herself and it all comes from the heart. She’s inspired by her own life and musical journey. She started as a child pianist, and then soon added singing, rapping, DJing, and producing to the repertoire. After her set, an audience member described her music as “contagious”, and I completely agree. She loosens up her family of fans, new and old, by adding a “you better twerk!” and we eat it right up, busting out into another set of dance moves. After covering Robin S.‘s, “Show Me Love”, she humbly reminds the audience to “say five thank you’s every morning when you wake up.” Hell, a person can’t get more awesome than this.
So there you have it, the first show of TurnStyle Music Group’s Back To School Special. I would say it was a complete success, and I’m positive all of its attendees would agree. Does this sound like a fucking good time to you? Well, it was. So don’t miss the next one! Clementine and the Galaxy play at Pianos on Friday, September 20th. Read up on the event and get tickets here.
Stay tuned for more Back To School Special concert reviews! In the mean time, check out my Blog, Twitter and Facebook pages to hear some more cool new music.
XOXO Frizzy Blonde