The Milky Way: The Milky Way is a band of family and friends that has it's roots in the nationwide hip-hop syndicate, The VJC (formerly The Vinyl Junkies Clique). Founding member Sum tapped VJC brethren X-man, Pudge and X-ro and close cousin Computer Jay on the shoulder in late 2008 with an idea for a band. Later on, he added drinking buddy Taurus on guitar. After setting the foundation, Sum invited his wife Nzinga (Vocabutrois) and close friend Janet E. Dandrige (Lil Mis) to add a theatrical element and good balance of feminine energy to even out the testosterone. The Milky Way is a blend of veteran musicians, songwriters, beatmakers, and actors, The Milky Way is just as much a performance troupe as a band of outstandingly creative artists. They will officially arrive in the Year of the Black Water Dragon.
IAMOMNI : The prolific, globetrotting Los Angeles emcee and vocalist, IAMOMNI presents his defining work. IAMOMNI is produced by the British musical visionary, Tricky who strips the trip-hop sound he created alongside Massive Attack and Portishead and on solo albums like Maxinquaye and Pre-Millennium Tension, down to a lean, sinewy hybrid of hip-hop, rock, dubstep and new wave, all intercut with heady, atmoshperic vocals from singers Tiki Lewis and Kassia Conway. Recorded between Los Angeles and Paris, IAMOMNI also features Japan’s premier emcee Shingo2, and Suffa from Australia’s hip-hop crew Hilltop Hood, rounding out an album every bit as global as the struggle has become. As we fashion the future from the rubble of the 20th century, our hearts and minds are the frontline of the new war, and the enemy has become part of us. IAMOMNI is IAMOMNI’s call to arms for the youth to claim control of themselves, and to understand that in a world where nothing seems real, they are the only thing left that is.
At this exact moment, at countless points all across this vast planet, people are singing. Some are simply humming a melody under their breath, while others are singing loud enough for their whole building to hear them, but most are mouthing lyrics to themselves at a volume just below conversational – a sound to keep them company. Little of this seems unusual if you’re in a country whose people speak English, the language most world-famous music is written in. It’s not until you travel beyond the West, and get your first taste of a gaggle of Japanese girls savaging the words to a Mariah Carey song, or an Afghani teenager doing his best DMX impersonation, that you become accustomed to a worldwide, timeless human phenomenon: people singing songs written in languages they don’t even understand. If music is truly the universal language, then the true test of a song’s staying power is not on the radio or TV, where (some of) it is paid to be; it’s in the hearts and memories of the people all over the world, no matter what they do or don’t speak. This is the arena in which Los Angeles-based emcee and global hip-hop ambassador Omni continues to perfect his craft.
Elevaters : California genre-bending band Elevaters is the new hope for people craving unconventional hip-hop. The racially diverse group manages to push their musical experiment to new heights, all the while never loosing their populist appeal. The six-member crew’s sound is as original as it is intoxicating. Sam Golzari, Miles Ellington Gregley, and Benjamin Hall front the band with fresh verses, uplifting melodies, a dash of humor, and musicianship. Andre Morton, David Noily and Itai Shapira, drums, guitar, and bass respectively, explore grooves heard on the avenues where funk, rock, pop, and hip-hop intersect. The group’s dynamic live presentation, warm audio-production and compelling lyrical commentary on daily life will delight even the most objective and discerning ears. Amidst all the worldly challenges their music confronts, Elevaters strive to discover the hope and positivity in all of us. After years of touring and playing for packed local clubs, this underground staple is emerging as a leading voice of a new urban music movement. .. .. Elevaters have been enticing fans on the Los Angeles circuit for years with brilliant songs that uplift and tug at the heartstrings with playful dexterity. Their charismatic, touching and comedic stage performances employ deep grooves and moody melodies with sensitive arrangements in every composition. This product is extracted from a truly collaborative process. ”When we sit down and workshop a song- nothing moves forward until every individual in the group is satisfied,” says Shapira. “Everyone in the group is very honest and direct. We all listen to each other and respect the collective process.” .. .. The lush-soulful vocals, clever lyrics and shimmering keyboards of Golzari, lick laden guitar grooves of Noily, the pocket of cutting drums of Morton, the urban philosophies of Gregley, the percussion and beat box aptitude of Hall, and punchy bass of Shapira negotiate one another into dope melodic grooves that are original and pop-savvy. .. .. So how did this body of diverse artistic souls come together? Elevaters came together as students at UCLA, studying theater, music history, and ethno-musicology. One class and one teacher in particular, Art as Social Action, taught by renowned American theater director, Peter Sellars, greatly influenced the forming of what was to become Elevaters. The art as action they chose was to use their generation’s most potent medium, popular music, to empower and uplift. Morton joined the band after seeing them live minus rhythm section, and moved them from coffeehouses to at-capacity clubs and venues. Elevaters’ diversity, Black and White, Persian and Israeli, make up what could be the poster children for America’s great melting pot. Their eclectic musical influences combine Outkast, Bob Marley, The Roots, Bjork, Earth Wind & Fire, Bill Withers, Jamiroquai, Prince, The Time, Led Zeppelin, Sly & the Family Stone, Bell Biv Devoe, A Tribe Called Quest, Hendrix, Bonnie Raitt, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Wu-Tang Clan, Paul Simon, and Brazilian national-treasure Caetano Veloso