Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome. See my complete profile
This week’s edition of the NYC Scene Report features a killer collaboration from Love Science Music, Shilpa Narayan, and Kaly, a fun pop tune from Cassandra Kubinski, new hip-hop from J.Monopoly, and something all the way live from The Band Called FUSE.
* What do you get when you combine the incredible production skills of Love Science Music with the phenomenal vocals of singer Shilpa Narayan, and emcee talents of Kaly? You get Love Science Music’s latest single, the very cool collaborative effort “Cloud 9.”
Lyrically, “Cloud 9” is a back and forth about a relationship, with Narayan singing, “I guess my wings ain’t enough for your love.” The music, however, gives the listener the feeling of being on cloud nine, with its dreamy, yet determined, vibe.
This isn’t the first time Love Science Music, and Shilpa Narayan have been featured here, but it’s the first time they’ve been featured together, and “Cloud 9” is also a nice introduction to New Jersey hip-hop artist Kaly. Float on with this one.
* A lot of people think networking is something that happens intentionally, at specific events, and meetings. Although that’s one way to go about things, when networking is organic it’s so much more exciting. Take, for instance, how I met NYC singer-songwriter Cassandra Kubinski. A publicist invited me to attend another artist’s show, where I met a woman who knew both the artist on stage and Cassandra, and she introduced us online.
The introduction came at the right time, as Cassandra just released her latest single, “Barcode,” which is a playful, feel good, pop tune about wanting to bag up something other then groceries.
“Barcode” will be relatable to many, and according to Cassandra, that’s the point. She says of her overarching goal for her work, “Like my songwriting and performing heroes, I want to turn songs into theatre, inspiration, escape, moments that become the soundtrack to people’s lives.”
Coincidentally, Cassandra has actually performed alongside one of her songwriting and performing heroes, none other than Billy Joel. With “Barcode,” however, you’ll be able to hear that she can also handle the spotlight all on her own.
* NYC hip-hop fans should recognize the name J.Monopoly from when the O.I.S.D. crew, which he is one fifth of, was tearing up stages throughout the city. That said, it’s been a while since we’ve heard from him on the mic. Thankfully, with “XXVI,” the wait for new music from J.Monopoly is over.
“XXVI” is personal song in which J.Monopoly explains why he hasn’t been around quite as much recently. He raps from the heart when he says he, “Disappeared from off the grid for half a year to get my life in order.”
The song is equal parts touching and triumphant, as he explains the very non-rap related battles he’s had to deal with, and the fact that although some things will never be the same, he’s still here, and by virtue of continuing to live his life when many others might have given up, he’s coming out on top. This one’s a must-hear.
* If you’re a member of NYC’s indie music community there’s a really good chance you’ve jammed with someone from The Band Called FUSE. The group, which is led by emcee Silent Knight, has been running an incredible monthly event, called The Line Up, at NYC’s Sidewalk Cafe. One of the key aspects of the night is bringing it live.
With live performance, and collaboration, being so important to the group, the band has launched a Kickstarter campaign to record a live album, and concert movie, titled Rise Together! Live!.
According to the Rise Together! Live! campaign page, “Year round we welcome rock, hip-hop, and soul in an open, positive, and creative music scene, and we forge the new sound of soul-rock. We are powered and inspired by a growing, and diverse, tribe of music-lovers – the Soul Rockas! And we are now ready to record this unique experience on a glorious live album, and concert movie, to share with the rest of the world.”
Check out this promo clip for Rise Together! Live!, and consider donating to The Band Called FUSE’s campaign, which runs through June 28th.
For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.
B-Listers are a select group of artists that were featured in my Artist Of The Week series that ran every Monday from April of '06 to April of '11. All of these artists have two things in common; extreme talent, and a flight path far too under the radar for my liking. They took on the title of B-Listers as they embraced being featured by me, Adam B. Check out the AOTW Archives for all the interviews.