Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Entertainment journalist with 20 years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, and B-movies. Part time ninja. Kicked cancer’s ass. My memoir, ChemBro, is out now!
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This week’s NYC Scene Report features an extremely funky jam from I.G.B.O., bilingual singer-songwriter JOATA showing love to the city where he grew up, indie pop artist Sophie Colette asking, “Would You Like It?,” and a lovely ukulele ballad from Janet LaBelle.
* NYC-based funk-fusion band I.G.B.O. would like to introduce you to “Dr. Tom,” who has a very unique prescription for everyone – he wants to see you dance!
I.G.B.O. started giving listeners a funky good time back in 2015 when they formed as a trio consisting of musician/composer/producers Sly5thave, Benamin, and Jypsy Jeyfree. When they hit the stage they add a three piece rhythm section to bring even more funkiness to the proceedings.
“Dr. Tom,” which features MonoNeon on bass, is off I.G.B.O.’s full length debut, ATTITUDE, and after hearing the song I’m ready to call my healthcare provider to see if he’s covered by my insurance, because I want an appointment!
* Bilingual singer-songwriter JOATA spent years making a name for himself in his home state of Connecticut before taking up residence in Brooklyn, and while he now calls NYC home, he hasn’t lost his love for CT, which can be heard on his latest single, “Born in the City (Struve).”
“Born in the City (Struve),” which features CT hip-hop legend Ceschi, is JOATA’s ode to Hartford. He explains the backstory of the song, saying, “I remember I had this Casio keyboard I had found in the trash, and one day I sat behind it with a jar of sangria, and it just came out. I’ve always been very prideful of where I’m from. While on tour I love hearing stories of others people’s hometowns. So ‘Born in the City’ is a little snippet of where I’m from.”
JOATA adds that he wants the song to inspire hometown pride in everyone. “I want my listeners to be proud of where they’re from,” he says, “I believe your environment does shape you as a person, but you also have a duty to build it. I want the song to inspire a sense of community because there’s no way I could’ve finished this song if it wasn’t for my friends around me.”
“Born in the City (Struve),” is off JOATA’s upcoming album, ¿Cómo Se Dice?, which will be released on August 30th via Panapén Records, and you can check out the video – which features Dunkin Donuts Park, home of the Hartford Yard Goats (one of the best stadiums in all of MiLB) – right here.
* Back in June I guaranteed you’d see indie pop singer-songwriter Sophie Colette in this column again, and it didn’t take long for her to make her return. Colette’s latest is “Would You Like It?,” an addictive pop tune, with a hint of an ‘80s influence, all about trying to figure out if you should tell someone your romantic feelings for them.
Colette explained the inspiration for the song, saying, “I fell in love – again. It took me a while to admit that to myself, and even longer to figure out how to handle it. It’s such a vulnerable, intense, confusing, and heart-shaking experience, compounded by the risk of rejection. What if it’s just a fabricated mind game, and completely unrequited? When should I say something, if at all? I was overwhelmed, and having conversations with myself on what to do and how to say it, and writing this song was a way to get out of my head and connect with reality. No more hiding.”
When it comes to “Would You Like It?,” I sure like it, and I think every pop music fan will, too.
* New Jersey-based artist Janet LaBelle has spanned the musical gamut over the course of her career, including being the singer and keyboard player for the punk band Avery, and playing in various indie rock bands in and around NYC. Now she’s embracing her singer-songwriter side with her latest single, “I Only See You.”
A ukulele ballad about heartbreak, “I Only See You” was self-produced by LaBelle, and recorded as a solo endeavor at her home.
The song is off LeBelle’s EP of the same name, which was released at the end of last year, and you can check out the video for “I Only See You” right here.
For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.