Together they have taken a specific approach making music for over a decade. Recently, they celebrated the release of their debut album ‘Love Is At The Core’ by their side project, Chakra Khan. DiViNCI and Love, as producer and vocalist respectively, complement each other very well for this project; after years of appreciating and helping each other’s work, they felt like this was the right time to do a collaboration.
The combination of their music aesthetic create a powerful visual, and makes for an intense visual experience. Alexandra Love decided to use her inspiration and passion for music with her skills to direct and edit this video.
The production of their debut album took between three and four months; the creation and process of their collaboration was very simple and organic. They brainstormed together on what would fit best with what they wanted to express.
“Chakra Khan represents who we are as people. It’s the cumulative result of how we’ve become more self aware over the years” Love says.
Early this year, Love wrote a song named Pulse which has been described as an anthem. Besides being hauntingly relevant, they performed the song for the first time at an LGBT venue in Orlando just hours before and less than five miles from the attack at Pulse Nightclub.
After the event, 3300 + Climbing Interns had the opportunity to sit down with DiViNCI [DV] and Alexandra Love [AL] to hear more about them while being interviewed by Maria Camacho [MC].
Maria: Who inspired you to make music?
Alexandra Love: I started playing the violin when I was 3 years old, and from that point on my parents always took me to symphonies and places where I could always do something different. That’s actually how I got into singing.
DiViNCI: I felt inspired by watching MTV Rap programs. When I saw hip-hop culture and when I heard hip-hop music, I felt like [I was] watching a magic show because everything else prior to that I kinda knew how they did it, but [hip-hop] it sounded interesting and different to what I was doing at the moment.
MC: As you guys mentioned on the panel, everything is about making connections. But, how do you make does connections? What is the first step to establish a clean, spiritual, but also business related relationship with people in the industry?
AL: At first for us, it was kinda feeling people out and see how they relate with what we are doing. Sometimes you get into a musical business relationship where things don’t work out, and then you learn from that experience and move on to keep doing your thing. We have been in control of everything, we are the bosses of our musical business. We don’t have to do things out of obligation or because someone else tell us too. So when we make movements, they are just as we want.
MC: Was it difficult to get into the music industry with this type of music that you guys produced? I meant by watching the videos and listening to the beats plus her voice, you kinda notice that this is something different. So pursuing this without following any stereotype, was it challenging for you guys as artist? What was the experience like?
AL: That’s a good question!
DV: It’s good to be different, you know? We aren’t trying to be unique, we just are. For example, when we got signed into a label, they didn’t know what to do with us. They didn’t know how to produce us because they didn’t have anyone like us before. So they didn’t have a template to follow, and the music business is a industry in which everyone follows a template.... So I think that’s the part where being different cost you something because we are about new. We are creating a new path on this industry.
MC: What was your experience in the real world after you graduated? (DiViNCI is a Full Sail Alumni in Audio Engineering,)
DV: The transition from being a student and to do what I am doing now was very easy because I was doing what I am doing now prior to coming here. Full Sail was part of my trajectory of becoming who I am now. It’s definitely all about connections. I’ve got to work with people because of people that I met during my time here at Full Sail. My advice is make connections and know how to interact with people.
MC: What do you guys take away as an experience from Chakra Khan?
DV: What I take away from this is, how easy the process of something can be when you really connect with someone else.
MC: What are your feelings on the Pulse song? And how do you feel about everything that happen just hours laters after your guys performed this song on stage for the first time?
AL: I felt in shock. As artists and musicians, sometimes we feel like we have been ahead on our time, so when that happened we felt like we met with the present moment in that time. So instead of being behind trying to make a song because something happened, and instead of being so far ahead and make this some years and years ago, it just happened on the right moment. It was the most essential moment to be meaningful to people.
By Maria Camacho
Nat’Lee is currently looking for a guitarist, a producer, and a DJ to work on her current and future projects. Nat’Lee wants to work with like-minded individuals who have a passion for music and a drive to succeed in the industry. Nat’Lee’s genre is a unique blend of acoustic pop, hip-hop, and soul. Collaborators will help to fine tune Nat’Lee’s current music and help shape the sound of her future endeavors (take a listen to some of Nat’Lee’s current music below). Candidates must be primarily based in Florida, and be willing to travel between Miami and Orlando on a regular basis. Candidates must also be able to work well with others, no divas! Bi-lingual candidates are a plus, as Nat’Lee’s music transitions between Spanish and English, but it is not required. Candidates will gain invaluable experience and connections. If you have been to a Nat’Lee show, then you know that her energy is off the charts and she is not afraid to be vulnerable. She takes her projects very seriously, and that is why we are only looking for serious inquiries. To apply, visit the link below and fill out the questionnaire. 3300 and Nat’Lee will review all applications and contact potential candidates with more information. So, what are you waiting for? Click the link!
Join the Team: http://tinyurl.com/NatLeeSearch
By Holly Walny
It was a typical Friday afternoon for Full Sail: Students were able to enjoy their last day of classes for the month, finishing up projects, finalizing their graduation plans, or, in 3300+Climbing’s case, rushing off to The Treehouse in building 4. Because tucked away behind those dark tinted windows (you know what I’m talking about) was a packed out venue full of students, faculty, and staff. And in front of them stood award winning producer Seven_12 (Ben Parris) and Red Bull Thre3style champion/Master of the Mix winner M-Squared (Michael McPherson).
A usual Full Sail Social Scene consists of various student talent performing in front of their peers while students network with each other over simple but fun games. It’s fun entertainment and there’s always a large pool of talent in which one could scout for future projects. On Friday, when the decorated producer and DJ took the stage, people flowed into the The Treehouse from the lobby to eat up the mood that they created with their music, which was infused with personal and remixed tracks of the best records in the industry spanning across different genres including pop, hip-hop, jazz, and EDM.
Everyone was bobbing their head to the beat, especially when they spun “We gET wILD.” Ben and Michael, both very much laid back off stage, dominated the atmosphere with track after track, no breaks, and the occasional nod at each other to see how the other artist was doing. The connection they have with each other and with each other’s music is a talent itself. “It’s so natural. It’s been barely a year and we don’t see each other every day. It’s a natural communication that we have with each other,” Ben explains. Michael nods. “It’s the mutual love and respect for the music.” How they feed off each other on stage is very similar to how they both feed off the audience’s mood, hence the project Mood Designers, which is one of Michael’s projects with fellow musician Natural Phil.
But it was definitely a learning experience. “I got to see the inner workings of how a record goes from zero to one hundred.” But as for his craft, “I started teaching myself on the turntables. It was all self taught.” Michael also recounts his first paid gig as a DJ while studying at Florida Atlantic University. “I would DJ in my dorm and always get in trouble by my RA. One day a fraternity brother heard me playing and invited me to play at their party for fifty bucks. I brought my entire set up to the party and rocked out for six hours straight!” Michael has definitely come a long way from playing at frat parties. He’s played in front of twenty thousand people at SXSW, toured with Kelly Rowland, and currently has an exclusive residency at NBC/Universal.
Ben and Michael met by chance. Ben went to an industry event at Bullitt Bar with Plush Studios president Ethan Curtis last year and caught Michael spinning one of his sets. “Everyone was just standing and looking at Michael like he was Drake or something,” Ben laughs, “the mashups he put together were not standard. It was musicianship.” That night, Ethan introduced the two and they eventually started hanging out at the studio, lending an ear to each other’s work. During this time, they started working on “wE gET wILD,” which received a lot of positive feedback from fans. With the success of “wE gET wILD,” talks of a music video quickly followed. “It was awesome! The whole weight of the song came forth,” Ben exclaims. Donna Davis, a graduate student in the Full Sail Film program approached Ben about putting together a creative visual for the track. Ben and Michael were immediately blown away by her creativity and work ethic. “Donna took it farther than I ever thought. She pulled her connections with Israel and Nestor and turned it into something no one was expecting. She definitely delivered."
“Ben and Michael are great examples of whom up and coming artists should emulate. They are talented professionals dedicated to their craft. It was a pleasure to work with them on this project.” - Donna Davis
Additionally, as with the relationship between Ben and Michael, there was an open and honest communication between the talent and Donna, which she says, “increased the ease of the project’s flow.” Both Michael and Ben agree. For them, it all starts with the first interaction and a spark of interest. “It stems from the relationship and tastes in music,” Michael adds. Despite all the success, the two musicians remain extremely level-headed. Ben promises that there is no defining moment that allows one to know that they’ve made it in the industry. Despite all the awards, there is still work to be done. “I’m never really satisfied with where I am. There is always something new, to correct, to explore. And that’s what keeps me hungry. If you don’t work, the mind starts to deteriorate. It’s musical deterioration. You become stagnant and get left behind.” It wasn’t all hard work and power plays from the very beginning however. The love of music came naturally. Even though Ben sometimes saw music as a chore (simply based on growing up and watching his parents’ careers take them all over the world), he always loved music and learned to appreciate the art of music through listening sessions with his father, who made sure he knew all the classics.
There is no slowing down for Ben and Michael. Their natural connection and love for the same vibe that stems from the root of music can be seen on and off the stage, which is the perfect ingredient for an all around plush experience. “Obviously, #plushlife is associated with Plush Studios. But above all the equipment, it boils down to how you feel at the studio and the music that comes from that building. The studio and the people inside of it have always treated me like I was family. When I go there, I’m not going to a studio, I’m going into the plush life.”
By Holly Walny
Eye Candy is Central Florida’s newest Top 40 cover band. But they are not just any old run-of-the-mill cover band. They bring a unique energy and life to Top 40 that just isn’t done by bands that frequent hole-in-the-wall type bars. And their take on Top 40 is just as unique as the names of the members of the band. The band consists of 6 members including, Bingo on lead vocals, Liette on lead vocals, Shak on guitar & vocals, Abel on keyboards & vocals, Po Boi on drums & vocals, and 3 on bass. Eye Candy has played at Shepard’s in Clearwater, Blue Martini in Orlando, Naples, and Tampa, and they have a regular gig at Tin Roof in Orlando. Now the band has brought their fun take on pop music to Full Sail University.
On Tuesday night, Eye Candy blew students away with their performance in the Live Venue. From current pop hits to hits from the 90s, Eye Candy had the crowd cheering and engaged during the entire concert. They started their set out with a unique rendition of “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon. From then on out, the crowd was taken on a pop journey that covered the likes of Miley Cyrus, Lauren Hill, Mariah Carey, Adele, Usher, and Sam Smith. Lead vocalists Bingo and Liette brought their “A” game as they powered through hits never missing a note.
Highlights from the set included some unique mash-ups. From beginning with “Dark Horse” by Katy Perry to leading into “She Knows” by Neyo, it was easy to tell that this band has something special. They even performed a flawless CeeLo Green and Meghan Trainor mash-up that had the crowd moving. It was clear to see that Eye Candy loves mash-ups, and they do it so well. Then lead vocalist, Liette, showed her vocal talent with an Ariana Grande medley, making it hardly recognizable if Ariana was actually in the Full Sail Live Venue or not (the girl has got some serious skills!). In fact, the whole band is amazingly talented. Drummer Po Boi put his back into every song and drum hit. His unique take on drumming, especially on “One Last Time” giving it a Cuban club vibe, was a pleasant surprise. And guitarist Shak did not sleep on his guitar solos. He absolutely blew the crowd away on solos during Guns N’ Roses “Sweet Child of Mine.”
The stage presence brought the performances to another level. During each song, Liette and Bingo maneuvered the whole stage keeping the energy consistently high. It was also easy to see the supportive relationship that the band members have with one another. They praised each other during instrumental solos, and were all smiles during the almost two hour long performance. The guys had amusing stage banter with one another, and the crowd could just tell that they were having fun. It was clear to see that the members of Eye Candy are no rookies to live performances, and it pays off. But don’t just take our word for it; you can catch Eye Candy performing all around the Central Florida area. Trust us, you won’t want to miss an Eye Candy party!
Written By Holly Walny
The Strange Trip is a rock band from Orlando that draws heavy on psychedelic, rockabilly, and blues influences. The band has been around since 2011, and consists of member, Jason Cavett, Trevor Brown, and Joe Varney. The band has been playing shows around the Central Florida area including, Backbooth, The Social, Dunedin Brewery, and Tanqueray just to name a few. On Monday April 18th, the band brought their unique rock sound to the Full Sail Live Venue.
This show was a part of the campus Show Production degree’s final project, and they pulled out all the stops. The lighting reminisced of a 60’s nightclub flashing bring colors over the band and the audience, all while hallucinogenic images played on the projection screen behind the band. The stage was set for a trippy psychedelic show and the guys did not disappoint. The Strange Trip began their set switching between songs that had blues and funk influences similar to something Stevie Wonder would have played in the early 70's. There were even blues vibes reminiscent of The John Mayer Trio, which is John Mayer's heavily blues influenced side project with partners Pino Palladino and Steve Jordan.
Towards mid-set, songs with reggae rock vibes were sprinkled in perfectly, propelling the vibe already set forth. The guys even experimented with grunge rock, with a tune that was audibly reminiscent of mid 90’s Pearl Jam. But perhaps the most surprising thing was the way lead singer Jason Cavett really showed his guitar skills on his Fender Stratocaster. This was most notable on the surf rock inspired instrumental songs towards the end of their set. The songs seemed to flow together perfectly as the band took the Full Sail Live Venue on a unique multi-genre rock journey.
The guys in The Strange Trip are able to encompass vibes of reggae, funk, ska, surf rock, blues, and alternative rock in a way not easily done. The bands ability to embody many different genres, and not seem like a mediocre garage band, is truly a one of a kind feat. The show the guys put on was the perfect thing to take away our Monday blues. You can catch the band at Tanqueray’s in Orlando at an upcoming show on May 4th. Check them out and let them take you on a strange trip.
Written by Holly Walny
This is a blog following the students' work at 3300+ Climbing.