Tamara Dill and Joi Ross sit on the second floor of a North Philly rowhome with microphones in their hands as Alicia Keys bumps through the speakers. The two teens, collectively known as “The Queens,” both roll their heads with the music, occasionally singing along.
“Don’t be mad, it’s just a brand new kind of me,” Tamara harmonizes, soulfully sounding like she’s felt the same pain as Keys. “And it ain’t bad. I found a brand new kind of free.”
“Sing it, girl,” Joi offers.
It’s women’s appreciation week on their brand new radio show, called Playback Radio, and this is their first-ever live performance. They’ve played Etta James, Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, Miami Horror, Amy Winehouse and more. Now, the show is coming to a close.
King Britt, the internationally renowned DJ who has been sitting a few feet away from the duo, interrupts, “After the next chorus, you can say thanks for tuning in and come back next week.”
But Alicia Keys is hitting the crescendo and the girls jump to their feet, bouncing around, emoting and crooning along with Keys.
“I’ve taken one too many excuses,” they wail, “and one too many lies.”
As the song ebbs and then fades out, Joi gives a shout out to the Playback Musik crew, ending the broadcast.
“I feel like it’s the start of a new beginning,” says Tamara, a 16-year old who performs under the moniker Muzical, after they go off air.
“I feel special,” adds Joi, 16, who performs as Classi J.
“You always feel special,” Tamara teases.
“I do,” Joi concedes.
The girls pack up the Numark mixer, fold up the table and put everything in its proper spot in the modest studio that is loaded with professional equipment – Telefunken mics, Akai keyboard, Ableton Push Suite, Critter & Guitari synths and more. They collect their bags full of schoolbooks and dash out to the unpredictable streets.
“It was so perfect,” says King, who remains beaming, like a proud father.
He shakes his head, thinking about the talent he’s fostered while serving as an artist-in-residence here at The Village of Arts and Humanities.
The girls just learned how to use the DJ equipment two weeks ago.
And in a few weeks, the 10-track album that the five-member Playback Musik team wrote, recorded and produced in this studio will be released at a launch party.
“No one knows what we’ve been doing here,” King says. “When they hear the album, they are going to lose their shit.” Read more…
Philly girl GoGo Morrow headlines at the TLA on Friday and we are giving away tickets to see the show.
If you want a pair of tickets to see GoGo with Aaron Parnell Brown, Guordan Banks and Crown Bella, like us on facebook and email us at FreeJumpStuff@gmail.com (give us your name and put “I SAID GOGO” in the subject line).
If you want to play it safe and get your own tickets, find details for the show here.
Text and images by Erin Marhefka.
The hardcore kids gathered at the TLA on Sunday for a night of head banging and moshing. To many people’s dismay, the original openers, Backtrack, dropped the tour for personal reasons right before the show.
Hundredth started the show with “Carry On,” from their 2011 album Let Go. The band pumped everyone up with their classic quick rhythm and lead singer Chadwick Johnson spent a lot of time in the security pit, singing with the fans against the barricade. Read more…
The writing is on the walls.
Only on Weekends‘ basement practice space makes it easy to discern some of their greatest influences: framed album art, event posters and concert tickets from Saves the Day, Something Corporate and Brand New.
There is however, quite a bit more to say. Cherry Hill pop punkers Harry Rose, Jes Clark and Anthony Dandrea are proud to boast not only being influenced by the likes of said bands but also being produced by one of the most influential artists of the genre.
Working with Fred Mascherino, formerly of Taking Back Sunday, The Color Fred and Breaking Pangea and current Terrible Things frontman and touring lead guitarist for Say Anything, is certainly a major highlight in the band’s history. Read more…
The multi-talented Dewey Decibel (who raps as well as does illustrations) will open the show.
You can find ticket info here.
Here’s a Marian Hill video by our friends at Out of Town Films.
The room was empty, occupied only by floating jazz melodies and setting sunlight muffled by the shades. Aisha Winfield had called a friend that morning and the front section of the restaurant was hers. The texts went out around lunch time: “Can you meet me at Relish at 6:30 p.m.?”
It was a fast plan that was executed smoothly, business as usual. Winfield is the executive director of Jr. Music Executive, the program she founded in 2004, with the mission of teaching young people how to navigate the music business. In its 10th year, the non-profit organization hosts workshops, plans concerts and has worked with hundreds of students. And they have done it all without a home base.
“We have met in some pretty interesting locations,” Winfield reflects. “Churches, office spaces, art studios. It’s about practicing flexibility. I can call and say, ‘I have 10 students and we need to be able to have a meeting or a show.’”
Today, they are announcing that they will make up the date on April 21st, performing at the TLA.