Get more with LA band, 7 Less

There’s nothing like a sweet, charming pop song to brighten your day or at least make it a little bit brighter. Add a little rock to it, and you get a certain energy with that quiet twinge of funk. This combination will addict you and draw you closer. In this genre, and with this style of rock-infused pop songs, artists can come to a happy medium and range – one that transcends the two genres gently while never fully leaving one or the other in the dark. Los Angeles-based band 7 Less embodies this combination discussed before. Their mixes of melodies and are creative yet simple and humane. Listen to them here performing their original song, “Don’t Go,” in their music video.

 

 

The group is relatively new – they only formed in the year of 2017. However, they’re already on a roll, producing songs and an EP and receiving acclaim from around the music industry. The band has been previewing their new six-track EP entitled “Two Sides of the Story” all around Los Angeles, and it even caught the attention of a Channel Islands music professor. Craig Bickel said that their song “Let’s Fall in Love” is “a lovely song with enormous potential.” Take a listen!

 

 

The three members of 7 Less have some interesting music backgrounds. Lead singer Marc Rasec picked up the guitar at age 11 and taught himself to play from music books his father gave him. From there, his music career blossomed, and he used his struggles in high school to add an emotional level to his songwriting and performing. The band’s drummer, John Htun, is the son of a well known Burmese artist named David Htun Htun. He moved out to Los Angeles in 2003 to immerse himself in the American music industry some more, and ended up meeting Rasec in 2016. The two of them teamed up for a few shows together and ultimately decided that it was a match. Since then, their band received an endorsement from Zion Cymbals for a few of their music videos and a contract for the band’s upcoming projects. Obviously, they are off to a great start as a band. Take a look at their official music video for their original song, “New Zealand.”

 

 

 

7 Less is off to a pretty much ideal and fantastic start in Los Angeles thus far, and they’re on a roll. Be sure to check out their page to see when their next gig is, so you can go and support these guys in concert. If you get the chance to see them live, you’re in for a treat.

Making his LA mark: Shea Welsh

If you want to talk about true Angeleno musicians and figureheads, Shea Welsh is quite a prototype. Though he was born in Baltimore and raised in the East Coast, he obviously found his niche in the famed music capital. First and foremost, he is a massively accomplished guitarist, having performed with members of some of the most famous bands to grace the music industry and logged countless hours in the recording studio with various artists. His ability to transcend multiple genres “keeps him at the top of many music-makers’ lists.”

 

(Pictured above mid-concert.)

 

Shea fronts an LA-grown band that performed for three years on Thursday nights at Pip’s on La Brea as a part of a residency, so it’s not hard to see that he loves to perform. He’s very involved in the Jazz world and has really dipped into that scene – he’s headlined at Jazz festivals like the Long Island Jazz & Blues festival and the Panama Jazz festival to name a few. He’s been a sideman for many groups, always being flexible in his ability to adapt and create, whether it’s with a small combo or a big-band like Paul McDonald’s. Check out Shea performing “Sancho T. Panza,” an original composition, with his band. Perhaps this will give you a sense of just how talented he is.

 

 

Not only has he made his mark on the scene as an artist, but he has also done quite a lot of work as a producer and a writer. His most recent producing project was the The Hipnotics’ debut recording along with his work helping to write and produce Michelle Coltrane’s second album. However, this isn’t all. Shea decided early to give back to the industry that shaped him through education. He is a member of the faculty at the University of Southern California’s Thorton School of Music and has written a few instructional books on Blues and Jazz. Most recently, he has opened The Shea Welsh Institute of Jazz as a branch of The Conservatory of Performing Arts over near Westwood in Los Angeles. The school is open for dedicated high school and middle school students looking for an intense experience and immersion into the study of Jazz. He will be giving these kids masterclasses in theory, performance, and repertoire, and they are bound to benefit from his experience and absolute mastery. He’s pictured below with some of his students.

 

Shea is certainly making his mark, not only on stage and in the halls, but almost most importantly, in the minds of the young. His commitment to his young students goes to show how much he truly cares about bringing out the love of music in as many people as he can. If all of this wasn’t impressive enough, there’s one more thing. In addition to all of his work with Michelle Coltrane, Shea released his own debut jazz album entitled Arrival to the world earlier in 2017. Go give this album a listen, as it will take you to a place different from all others. His unique composition will grab all listeners with intent and fury and also with the soft tenderness of the blues. Look out for Shea Welsh around Los Angeles – whether he’s performing, producing, writing or teaching. Wherever he is, he is leaving quite a stamp on this historic city.

 

 

Fly with Flights Over Phoenix

 

Talk about a music manifest destiny success story. Keith Longo had spent too much time in Boston feeling the need for a change, so he packed his bags and drove west. He had nothing but his car, his playlists, and his hunger to find his place in the music scene. Listen to his band, Flights Over Phoenix, playing their moody song, “Hypnotize.”

 

 

Longo got lucky as he could have been, and all it took was a little Craigslist-ing. He found guitarist Chris Santillo, and the two immediately hit it off. They started working on new material, practicing and jamming and writing as they saw fit. Little did they know, they were setting up what was soon going to become much more. Jordan Nuanez was just coming off some national tours when Santillo met him through a mutual friend. The drummer was in search of a permanent spot in a band, and the opportunity fell into his lap. The three of them started playing together and their chemistry was too obvious to be ignored. They got to work, and now their band is thriving; they’ve been playing together since. Listen closely and get swept away by Flights Over Phoenix’s official music video for “Middle of the World.”

 

 

 

It’s impossible to deny how good they sound together. Santillo’s lines carry each song with an upbeat yet smooth sound, never letting the speed fall and keeping a steady, twangy rhythm that’s peaceful on the ears. Nuanez’s beat is powerful and heavy but artistic, syncopated, and synchronized perfectly. He manages to tie together the voices of his counterparts and weave them into his playing, all the while making it seem effortless. Longo begins every song with his unique, confident, dimensional verse, but his voice takes a journey in each song. He begins with a simple, almost respectful voice, begging the audience to think that he does not have a strong range. Then, in the chorus, he offers his surprise in the form of a beautiful chorus, followed by rifs between him and Santillo on the guitar. The two of them sing together, while Nuanez holds down the back. The three of them support each other in sound, but manage to sustain their unique personas while playing. Listen to this last example of this undeniable chemistry, “Runaway California.”

 

 

Make sure you come see this guys if you’re in LA. Check their page for more music and any upcoming concert dates. Listening to them will make you want to get up and dance so we promise that seeing these guys live is an experience not to be missed!  

I Am Taliah – From Dallas

As mainstream culture dominates the music world, sometimes genres like R&B and Soul take an involuntary backseat to the jumpy, bouncy beats of pop music. However it’s when we hear the intersection of these genres that the instinctual head-nodding and swaying kicks in; catchy beats meet with emotional style to create a masterful combination. That’s what we can hear when we listen to Taliah Areesah Gipson, self-branded as “I Am Taliah,” a singer and songwriter stationed in Dallas, Texas.

Gipson grew up singing with her sisters and performing in many gospel choirs. She picked up the pencil to write while she was a teenager, but a moment in her life inspired a creative side and segwayed into her songwriting. After she lost one of her sisters, she used songwriting as a type of therapy, and the songs just began to flow. Gipson’s writing bloomed from therapy into a true passion. In her final year of college, she came out as a singer, and with help from friends, was able to begin performing. Since then, she has developed immensely both as an artist and a performer. Watch this quick clip of her performing “Who I Am” at a live concert in 2016.

 

Who I Am #clip2

Posted by Taliah Areesah Gipson on Friday, June 10, 2016

 

Since she broke into the songwriting world, she has been experimenting in different genres and mediums for her work. She worked on some gospel music for her brother in law, and was given the opportunity to sing background vocals on his debut album. Taliah also got out of her comfort zone a little bit, and wrote music for some other aspiring singers. Most recently, Gipson came out with Who I Am, her EP containing ten songs of varying energy and sound. They are all emotional and soulful and have enough beats to make you tap your foot along with her strong melodies and delicate background vocals. She is happy to be at this place in her journey and has had a chance to share her music with the world through the internet, as well as some notable performances. In addition to the many other performances she has done, Gipson performed at an release party for her friends’ Soul EP, as well as the House of Blues in Dallas. Watch her performing at the release party, with a long list of her Who I Am songs.

 

 

Be sure to check out Taliah’s Gigmor page, as well as her social media accounts. Also, go and head over to her Soundcloud and Youtube to be able to hear more of Gipson’s EP and other works as well. Listen for her dominant voice coming hot out of Texas, as it might very well soon be showing up at the front door steps of your own city! 

 

Watch her sentimental music video for “Official.” 

 

 

Groove with the Funk: Gussie Miller

It’s time for some jazz funk. Sit down, get ready, and tune in to this artist’s smooth bass lines, and lively horns and let fantastic vocalist Gussie Miller wrap you up in quite a mood. Listen here to his band’s upbeat and funky song, “What More Can I Say.”

 

 

Gussie Miller has been in the entertainment industry from the time he was a child. His background in music comes from his time growing up in a musical family. Early in his life he was taken under the wing of some notable studios and came to understand the workings of commercials, TV and film production. From then on, he branched into the music world. He went on tour as a background singer for some pretty famous artists, such as Cher, Lavern Baker, and Seal. His voice is on tracks with these artists, as well as others such as Marcus Miller, Gino Vannelli, and break out artists Jessica Celious and Lance Todd, among many others. Watch him here rocking out with famous actress Janelle Monae at the Lucky Strike Live in Hollywood.

 

 

If you listen to Gussie’s voice, you can just hear the years of experience he carries. His melodies are smooth, and articulate, but never boring. And check out his range – it’s pretty incredible. Many of his songs begin in slower, deeper, lower melodic lines and ascend until you don’t think that Gussie could sing any higher. His vocals drip with talent, hard work, and sheer enjoyment. You can hear him smiling in his voice while he hits high notes none of us could even imagine reaching. Most of his tracks display his sheer, natural gift and extraordinary control of his vocal chords. Listen closely to how much he commands control of pitch and places pieces of vibrato perfectly in each line. Here’s him performing “Give it All” for the NPR Music Tiny Desk Contest.

 

 

In addition to his features on multiple albums with other artists, Gussie has also had some of his music played on various TV shows and movies, such as Cop Rock, South of Sunset, Family Matters, Doogie Howser M.D., I Think I Love My Wife, and Everybody Hates Chris. Gussie, however, in all of his years as an accomplished professional musician, had not released an album until 2016. However, he finally released his album Forever Plan that year, which he recorded with “Motown engineer” Ralph Sutton, and which was produced by Mike Fennel from the Universal Music Publishing Group. The album is an amazing collection of songs, all different, but never going too far from Gussie’s distinct rock&roll/funk sound. Listen to this recording of Gussie singing “Wantin’ You,” from Forever Plan, in a live rehearsal with his band.

 

 

Gussie’s work for Forever Plan paid off. It’s now available on multiple online streaming platforms, and is for sale on many online music-selling companies such as Amazon Music, eMusic, iTunes and GooglePlay. Gussie is currently working on live shows and touring, but is excited for 2018, when he plans to release his next CD. Watch out for him around Los Angeles, check out his page, and try to see him live. Guaranteed, you will not be disappointed, and furthermore, you won’t be able to stop bouncing your head to the smooth, jazzy, funky beats he’ll glue right into your head.