Being a beginner is never easy, but every great artist started somewhere. Whether it’s making beats on Garage Band alone in your basement, busking on the streets of your town, or churning out your first rock tunes, learning your instrument as you go, your first time playing music leaves its mark on you forever. Often, these experiences become relegated to teenage photo albums – the stuff your parents break out to embarrass you in front of new girlfriends and boyfriends. But for a handful of people the memory they might call MY FIRST TIME plants a seed that blooms into a full-blown passion. Every time we at youbloom organize a new festival, we get the privilege of hearing all about these first band experiences. From the good to the horrible, they always make for a good story.
Read on for MY FIRST TIME stories from five featured artists who will be playing at the upcoming youbloomLA 2016 Music Summit and Festival.
Defacto Thezpian: ‘As a hip-hop artist, I haven’t necessarily been in a band, but I have been in a two-man duo named Cully Base (KUH – lee Base). The group, and how we affected other people, truly inspired me to be involved in music. Cully Base, and all of its experiences, taught me core values I still use to this day.’
Jazzy and creative, Defacto Thezpian’s smart brand of cross-genre hip-hop is mellow and thoughtful; smooth atmospheric instrumental samples ripple beneath incredibly spat rhymes, with a delivery that is sincere and energetic. It makes you listen and it makes you think. Absolutely one to watch. For fans of: Quasimoto, Danger Doom, Edan
Gray Tolhurst, bass, Coo Coo Birds: ‘I was in a band called Teardrop Raygun in high school. We had kind of an indie-pop sound. Our greatest moment was winning a Catholic middle school Battle of The Bands in Los Angeles. The guitarist from Extreme was the judge and for some reason he liked us. I think it was when I swung my guitar into an audience of frightened middle-schoolers that did it.’
Welcome to your new favorite garage band. Coo Coo Birds bring the fuzz and crunch with all the references to sex, drugs and rock’n’roll essential to doing justice to this timelessly rebellious musical style. They’re groovy, they’ve got swagger, and they write really great rock’n’roll tunes. You’ll love ‘em live. For fans of: The Stooges, The Black Keys, Jay Reatard
Madi Rindge, singer/songwriter: ‘The first band I was ever in was one called It’s All Relative with my cousin Allie. We literally named our band after the fact that we are relatives! We were about 14 and we wrote songs about our love for the Jonas Brothers. We also put covers up on our YouTube channel of Demi Lovato songs, Jonas Brothers songs, and anything Disney. Talk about obsessed. Sad to say that duo does not exist anymore but we both pursued music careers as artists AND write about things other than the Jonas Brothers.’
One of the most soulful voices we’ve heard in a long time, Madi Rindge serves up the perfect blend of style, substance, and vocal prowess with her sweet, soaring tones and tendency to ake things just a little bit funky. Her tracks take just the right amount of hooks and melodies from indie, dance and pop genres, making her perfect for both dancefloor and the pop charts. For fans of: Selena Gomez, Bridgit Mendler, Gabrielle Aplin
B-Rad, drums, Ambiguous Culture: ‘The first band I was ever in was called the Blenders and it was a bunch of homies I knew growing up. The guitarist’s dad was a heavy musician and guitarist and he would coach us through rehearsal. We played all the songs the dad knew and liked to play so mainly Creedence, Cheap Trick, and blues jams. We fucking killed it for being 8-10 yrs old.’
Andre Sinatra, MC, Ambiguous Culture: ‘To be honest, this is probably my first band I’ve been in with this many people. But it is definitely not my first musical venture. Prior to teaming up with Ambiguous Culture this year, I had actually been performing as a solo rapper under my alias, Andre Sinatra, along with my good friend Josh (aka DJ M-O) for 2 years. I’d rap/sing and he’d spin the beats. Our relationship was very band-like. And for the most part, it was a lot of great and fun times I will never forget.’
If you’re sleeping on Ambiguous Culture, you’re missing some of the most impressive independent hip-hop out there right now. It’s melodious and syncopated, with sick flow and understated, yet tight-as-a-drum beats. Observant and pensive, this is hip-hop for the dreamers. For fans of: Asher Roth, The Cool Kids, Kid Cudi