Atlantis the Band: Spotlight

There’s nothing like a charismatic twin-duo to get a room grooving. Today let’s look at the jazzy R&B/Soul and Pop group stationed in Los Angeles, Atlantis the Band, led by the Merriweather twins – brothers bound not only by blood but by their simple love of music. Their voices blend smoothly with a cool dynamic; lead singer Travis Merriweather leads the group with his sweet but edgy melodies and impressive range, while his brother Rustein Merriweather  provides the the fruity rap component with his quick, magnetic, syncopated verse. Watch the band performing their own version of the Beastie Boys’ “Sabrosa” live at the Viper Room in Los Angeles. 

 

 

The band also has a pretty stacked cast in regards to instrumentation. In addition to Travis with funky bass lines and Rustein’s adeptness on the keyboard, there is some serious backup. They’re joined by the Regiment Horns – Sean Eric on trumpet, Kevin Lloyd Williams, Jr. on trombone and Leon Silva on the sax. On drums sits Grammy award-winner Lyndon Rochelle, whose drum solos captivate and will leave an awestruck audience wanting more. Takahito Mori’s guitar interludes and riffs rock the stage and fill the sound with eccentric, gleaming energy. They are also joined by Grammy nominated producer and drummer Taylor Gordon in addition to Natalie Stephenson on vocals. Watch them here performing a cover of Santana’s “Maria Maria” at Couture in Hollywood. Be sure to catch Mori’s epic guitar solo about 50 seconds in!

 

 

The band has performed at some notable venues, such as The Mint, The Peppermint Club, Sofitel Beverly Hills, Sunset Tower, and The House of Blues on Sunset. The twins have also been involved at a political level with Hillary and Bill Clinton, after being invited back during college to take part in the Clinton Global Initiative University summit. The two of them stayed connected with the Clintons and Travis even got to work on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election campaign. See lead singer Travis Merriweather showing off his vocals with “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

 

 

Atlantis the Band, thanks to the initial catapulting by the twins back in college, has emerged as a powerful band with an intense range of talent – everywhere from their emotional depth and soul to excited hip-hop beats – and their innovative interpretations and writing proves them to be very worthy of the stage. Be sure to check out their page to see and listen to more of their music. Also, although they began in Texas, their music-making happens in Los Angeles, so if you’re in the area, be sure to check on their Upcoming Gigs category so that you can hear their hearty music live! Here’s one last clip of them covering Jay Z’s “Can’t Knock The Hustle” at the House of Blues on Sunset.

 

 

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.” 

 

 

An Interview with Shana Halligan, an electronic and soulful singer

 

Gigmor sat down with up-and-coming electronic/R&B artist Shana Halligan to discuss the trajectory of her career, her writing process, her inspirations, and what’s new in the studio. Shana is an independent, electronic/R&B artist based in Los Angeles, CA. Read up on what is new with her below:

 

So, first things first, how did you learn about Gigmor. What has your experience with it been like?  

My manager turned me onto it. I was originally working with an agent who was laid off from his agency, so I had to go and look for alternatives in the meantime. Gigmor was a great way to do that, to fill extra space in my schedule with gigs nearby. I also had a publicist who recommended Gigmor. It has a good name around town, too, so I just got going on using it.

 

How did you get started in the music industry? Where did it all begin for you?

I was raised by wolves! I kid – I grew up in a family of musicians. I have been exposed to it since I could talk. I have been singing on commercials and all kinds of things like that since I was a kid, which eventually morphed into songwriting. I tried to go another route for a little while and took a detour from the music; I started working at banks or restaurants or on the music production side of things. But I eventually accepted my fate and went back to music.

What is your songwriting process like?

When I was going in-and-out of record deals, I didn’t write on my own too much. A lot of the time I was singing what others were writing for me, or songs that had already been written. But around the age of 19 things started to change for me. I started sitting down at the piano and writing on my own, and it all took off from there. I started to fall more in love with the music that I could create on my own. That’s where I started to build the craft, and get closer to the sound I wanted.  I take a lot of influence from soul and R&B, and I grew up listening to the classics like Sarah Vaughn, Billie Holiday and Grace Jones. I work to focus my music so that it does have a raw sound of something from the past with electronic undertones. I see a lot of artists doing this together: the mixing of the new and old like that. It makes it more about the vocal and the sultriness less than a huge production style.

What artists have been inspiring you recently?

Like I said, I’ve always been touched by artists like Sarah Vaughn and Billie Holiday, but more current artists that I love right now are Flume, James Blake and AlunaGeorge.  I also really look up to Marian Hill, or I love their music rather. I was touring with a French band, Morgan Kate, for a while and that was a huge inspiration for me because I tapped into the power of being a strong and sensual woman without comprising your integrity.

You can find Shana Halligan’s newest album, Back to Me, can be found here and is also available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, and Google Play. Don’t forget to check out Shana’s profile on Gigmor, here!

 

Spotlight on JayLong, LA-Based Violinist and Producer

Meet Jonathan Long AKA JayLong. Jonathan is a songwriter, vocalist, violinist, guitarist, and the frontman for the Los Angles based band Vulpes. Vulpes enjoys playing all sorts of music ranging from indie rock to R&B and hip-hop to electronic. Long has been playing violin since the age of five and does not plan on stopping any time soon. He has been playing for almost twenty years. Long also has a degree in Music Education and Music Performance from Xavier University and tends to focus on the “purpose” within music. According to Long his life is centered around that purpose.

Vulpes is actively looking to play shows so make sure to reach out to JayLong on Gigmor. They have a ton of work on the page including really great covers of massive pop hits like Drake’s “Hotline Bling” and Sam Smith & Disclosure’s “Latch”.

JayLong is a self taught producer. He taught himself how to use ProTools and is classically trained in violin as well as the art of acting– talk about multi-talented. With so many different influences, there is no wonder Long aims to create a fusion of as many genres as possible. For example, Vulpes would play live jazz while using 90’s hip-hop samples and a heavily syncopated dubstep bass in the background. Jonathan isn’t looking to find a specific sound, but instead a language that he can communicate through. He really seems like he’s going places between his smooth voice, talent on multiple instruments, and all of his production experience. Make sure to check out his Gigmor page and give him a follow!

Written by Gigmor guest blogger: Ari Kapner