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Aaron Abernathy

12/19/17 - Special Guest: Backbeat Underground, a DC Jazz Funk Band

Thanks to Satya and RJ from DC jazz funk band, Backbeat Underground, for hanging out with us in the studio this week!

^^Episode Audio/Post Is Live - Click Above (might need to buffer/load, refresh page if you have any issues)^^

Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice

 

FROM TODAY'S SHOW

MUSIC

  1. The Way I Love You, by Exit 10 (Blues, Jazz)
  2. She Don't Love Me(Like I Do), by Backbeat Underground f/ Aaron Abernathy (Funk, Jazz)
    -----------------------
    -Interview Break-
    -----------------------
  3. Angels, by Time Is Fire (Rock)
  4. Bad Girl (Live), by Black Alley (Rock, Hip Hop)
  5. Winter Wonderland, by The Harry Bells (World, Calypso)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


ANNOUNCEMENTS

BACKBEAT UNDERGROUND SIGNED WITH FT KNOX RECORDING!

THE LISTEN LOCAL FIRST HOLIDAY PLAYLIST!
We collaborated with the team over at Listen Local First and put together a holiday playlist of exclusively DC region artist’s holiday music.  It’s about 4 hours long!  Finally, a way to celebrate the holidays without those same old tired Holiday Tunes!  It will play at local businesses as well as events around town for the holidays.  We hope you’ll use it at your get togethers as well!  
www.dcmusicrocks.com/playlists

SHIRTS (XMAS GIFT IDEA)!
(Last time we’ll share this, promise!) DC Music Rocks T-shirts and Long Sleeve Shirts are up on our website and available through Amazon, they make a great gift idea for your musician friends and family for the holidays!
http://www.dcmusicrocks.com/shirts

SPONSOR PROGRAM LAUNCHED!
It’s a great opportunity for local businesses wanting to connect specifically with the local DMV music crowd!  If you have ideas on who would make great sponsors, please do reach out to us!
http://www.dcmusicrocks.com/sponsor


NEW MUSIC

Backbeat Underground announced their new release with Aaron Abernathy which we played on the show!  Hope you'll go pick up a copy!

Our ‘2017 New Releases by DC Artists’ Spotify Playlist:
https://open.spotify.com/user/dcmusicrocks/playlist/24KrZD9KlUE2yC3eT2oBUI


THIS 2 WEEK'S LOCAL DC SHOWS TO SEE

http://www.dcmusicrocks.com/local-music-calendar

Dec 22 Fri
Yellow Dubmarine & The Loving Paupers @ Hamilton Live by Metro Center (in NW DC)

Dec 23 Sat
Hayley Fahey Band for ‘A Derwood Christmas’ at Outta The Way Cafe in Derwood Md

Dec 27 Wed
Run Come See @ The Kennedy Center Millenium Stage near Foggy Bottom (in NW DC)

Dec 28 Thu
Broke Royals & Owen Danoff @ (The Brand New) Union Stage (Grand Opening) in The Wharf (in SW DC)
Aztec Sun @ Gypsy Sally’s in Georgetown (in NW DC)

Dec 29 Fri
Rocknoceros, The Duskwhales, Milo in the Doldrums @ Union Stage in The Wharf (in SW DC)

Dec 30 Sat
Wings Denied, Technicians, Calm & Crisis @ Rock N Roll Hotel on H St (in NE DC)

Dec 31 Sun
Too many to choose! Check them all out! http://www.dcmusicrocks.com/local-music-calendar
Caustic Casanova, Lionize, Thievery Corporation, The Beanstalk Library, Dangerous Curves, Sub-Radio, Higher Education, Run Come See, 19th St Band, Black Alley, Vintage#18

Jan 2 Tues
Venn @ Milkboy Arthouse in College Park, MD

Jan 4 Thu
Cinema Hearts @ Comet Ping Pong up on Connecticut (in NW DC)

Backbeat Underground Upcoming Show to See - Feb 5, Millenium Stage at the Kennedy Center!  Mark Your Calendar!


Patreon

Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  We're giving away shirts, access to our private facebook group, and more!  We also intend to set aside 10% to contribute directly in the DC Local Music Scene through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward!

HUGE shoutout to our current Patrons! 
--Daniel Warren Hill  --David Mohl



Backbeat Underground

VIDEO - BIO - LINKS - TRANSCRIPT

Backbeat Undergound's Bio:

14962745_1802874949996859_4958183472571230529_n.jpg

Born in the depths of subterranean groove gatherings, Backbeat Underground is a Washington, DC based instrumental funk group with soul jazz influences. Bringing their years of collective experience in the DC and NYC music scenes, the band delivers tight, energetic sets steeped in fresh improvisation and head-bopping, booty-shaking pockets. 

Bandleader Satya Thallam is also one half of the production duo Astronaut Jones which recently completed the original score for the series "Superhuman" now premiering Season 2.

Website
Facebook
Instagram
Soundcloud
Bandcamp
Spotify
iTunes
Twitter
Youtube

Backbeat Underground pic.jpg

INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

Brian:     Backbeat Underground featuring Aaron Abernathy and the track is, 'She don't love me like I do' and that's the single that they released and holy smokes guys! It's so freaking good, man!

Satya:     Thank you sir.

Brian:     There's all the good feels that are happening with that thing.

Satya:     We recorded it live as a band and I hope that comes across. It's not stacked up isolated instruments and parts.

Brian:     Everybody together. [crosstalk 00:00:30] And Aaron singing at the same time?

Satya:     I think we may have kind of [crosstalk 00:00:33]dubbed him layer by layer, but he's singing along in the booth with us so we can- [crosstalk 00:00:36]

Brian:     Yeah. Scratch vocal track or something. Holy smokes, guys. Amazing. Well, let me give a proper introduction here. So on DC Music Rocks we're shining a spotlight on the great songs, artists and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene. And born in the depths of subterranean groove gatherings, Backbeat Underground is a Washington, D.C. based instrumental funk group with soul jazz influences. The band delivers tight, energetic sets steeped in fresh improvisation and head bopping, booty shaking beats. So it's so good. I first came across these guys when I had Andy Cerutti from Fort Knox Recording was one of the guests on the show and he turned me on to you guys, and I've been such a fan. So thank you for being here, guys.

Satya:     Also, we gotta say, thank you for having us on, but also thank you for doing this. For doing the show and putting D.C., and Virginia, Maryland and D&V, because it is an amazing scene and I think people, especially that come from other parts of the country, they think of D.C. in one way and I don't think that's accurate. And I think you know what I mean.

Brian:     Right.

RJ:     Yeah.

Satya:     They see one version of it on TV and all the noise... but there's an amazing culture happening- [crosstalk 00:01:54]

RJ:     Because our arts scene is somewhat underground really.

Brian:     That's true.

RJ:     But big shout outs to you-

Brian:     Well we're bringing it out from underground absolutely and I'm glad you guys came out from underground too with those subterranean groove gatherings we were talking about. Before I go on introduce yourselves to the folks because they can hear you. So tell them your name and what you play with Backbeat Underground and say where Backbeat Underground came from.

Satya:     This is Satya. I play sax and percussion and do a lot of the writing in Backbeat Underground.

RJ:     My name is RJ and I rumpa-tum-tum on the drums.

Brian:     I'm sorry. How does that go?

RJ:     Rumpa-tum-tums.

Brian:     Oh god, it's so good.

RJ:     Happy Holidays.

Brian:     I love it. And Backbeat Underground: how did it start? Where did it come from?

Satya:     So at George Washington University they have these rehearsal rooms- I don't even know if most people, even the people that go there, know about it, but there's a cafeteria, like a mall food court in one of the buildings and off to the side there's these music rehearsal rooms and they have instruments and speakers and microphones you can use. And one of our partners in the band, John, plays guitar and was going to school there. If you're a student you can use it for free or for a pretty nominal fee so we started- there was no intent. We would do Grant Green covers and Meters tunes and jam sessions that we kind of knew.

     And from there we thought there's kind of a sound, we kind of thought of ourselves as a- you know those like crate digging DJs who find those break beats and go through- like down the street here there's the CD Cellar. They try to find those hidden sort of drum, funky breaks? We thought of ourselves as like a live version of that. Like what if that was a live band that was doing it? But not the original band that was doing it, but anyway... And I think the name came out of that because these groups are literally underground. You wouldn't know they're there. No one can hear them. They're kind of like "in the dark no one can hear you scream." Like that kind of thing that's like that weird thing where-

Brian:     You just became a horror movie. No no no.

Satya:     So I think that the band came out of those- there was no intent. We just got together to play. And then the name was- I think the band rejected every idea that I had. And at some point I just became like "whatever. Whatever you guys want to do. That's fine." So I think the Underground was sort of a nod to that.

Brian:     Underground was a nod, and then the backbeat gives it to that kind of funk and soul and some of the stuff you're going on [crosstalk 00:04:34]

Satya:     Yeah it's kind of literal. I don't love the name. I'll be honest with you. It's just-

RJ:     You're engaged to it at this point.

Satya:     I guess.

Brian:     I was gonna say at this point you've come a long way

Satya:     Divorce would be so expensive at this point. We've got kids and everything. Man, we stayed together for the kids, but you know when the kids are out of the house I guess.

RJ:     As soon as they hit 18.

Brian:     Yeah, once they've gone off to college they might have a [inaudible 00:05:02]

Satya:     Yeah, get a one bedroom in the city, visit my songs on the weekend, like I don't know.

Brian:     Oh, this is so good.

Satya:     I don't know. Let's do it. Let's get weird.

Brian:     What's the... what's your D.C. region connection then? You started at Foggybottom. Is everybody from here or what's the connection to this region?

RJ:     Well, I'm from Sterling, born and raised.

Satya:     That's RJ.

RJ:     Oh yeah, RJ, sorry. I'm from Sterling. Shout out Park View High school. Patriot pride. But no here, so that's where I'm from. Currently live in Arlington and all of us currently live in or near- we're all in Arlington now right?

Satya:     Yeah, I think so. [crosstalk 00:05:46] Yeah, I mean RJ's a native and I love it because we always like word thing about the city and how things have changed over time. The rest of us are from all over. Two of us are from New York City. Just kind of all over.

Brian:     And where are you from? Are you one of the ones from New York City?

Satya:     Yeah, I'm from New York, and I've been here about eleven, twelve years.

Brian:     Nice.

Satya:     I feel like official Washingtonian coming on WERA.

Brian:     There you go, right? This is legit local stuff man. Absolutely. You'll be on multiple local stations and podcasts and all over the local scene. I love it. Now, talk about you guys on the personal side. So outside of this whole music thing, are there hobbies? What do you do with your free time?

RJ:     I love live music so I'm very grateful for this [inaudible 00:06:36] and then I just- If I'm not on the stage I try to be in front of the stage somewhere. And that takes a lot of my time.

Satya:     RJ, you love museums and art installations.

RJ:     Oh yeah, I forgot about that. I'm somewhat of a-

Satya:     It's kinda low key, but he's kind of a slut for art.

RJ:     I'm into the D.C. arts, not just music I guess. I'm in all the pop-up exhibits, all the pop-up whatever.

Brian:     Have you been to one recently? What's most recent?

Satya:     Arctic House? [crosstalk 00:07:09]

RJ:     Yeah, I went to Arctic House not that long ago. I know coming up I'm going to the miracle on whatever street that is- the pop-up, the Christmas bar?

Satya:     On 7th street.

Brian:     Yeah

RJ:     Yeah. 7th. Yeah.

Brian:     Nice. What about you Satya?

Satya:     Same. I try to be around musicians and my friends are kind of broken up between musicians and folks in the service industry and restaurant industry so "everyone's a little bit of a foodie these days", but I-

Brian:     I hope they sound just like that when you talk about it too- [crosstalk 00:07:44]

Satya:     It just sounds so basic at this point when someone says like, "I'm really into- I'm a foodie." It just sounds so basic.

RJ:     Yeah.

Satya:     But a lot of my friends work in the wine industry, distributors and stuff like that so I like to think that I'm- I get kind of pedantic about music. "You've got to listen to this. Here's why this important. Check this out." But it's a reverse for things like that: food and wine. I just love being around them and they tell me and they say, "This is good." And I say, "Okay, it's good. I'll drink it. I don't have an opinion. [crosstalk 00:08:13] I'll just absorb it.

Brian:     I wish I could reach out to all those people and say, "Listen to D.C. Music rocks so that I can tell you about the local music scene-

Satya:     Yeah

Brian:     Because that's almost the idea right? We're presenting this in a way that people who don't know anything about it, they can just listen. I'll share it with you. We just- it's so good.

Satya:     Yeah, hopefully they're receptive. [crosstalk 00:08:30]

Brian:     Yeah. Now what about the biggest success moment that comes to mind for you guys when you think on Backbeat Underground?

RJ:     For me that would be playing on Lincoln Theater.

Satya:     Oh, that's right.

RJ:     Yeah. That was amazing because like-

Brian:     When was that?

Satya:     September last-

RJ:     2016.

Satya:     2016, so a little over a year ago.

RJ:     It was the D.C. Arts Music Festival.

Satya:     It was Labor Day, 2016, or Labor Day weekend. Around that. I totally forgot about that, not that it's not important. I mean it's a historic venue. That was- I think that theater, Lincoln Theater, was around during the heyday of Black Broadway.

RJ:     Yeah, it was. Yeah, yeah.

Satya:     One of the few venues that are still around from the pre-riots and even before that, the Duke Ellington era. So it was cool just standing on that stage. The crowd was great. The sound was amazing. I think a future accomplishment that I'm proud of preemptively is we're gonna be playing at the Kennedy Center this upcoming February.

Brian:     That's right. February 5th, which is gonna be big too.

Satya:     You've had a lot of artists here play the Millennium Stage, but it's just a cool thing to be able to say you've played at the Kennedy Center. The last thing I would say, I think it's not a single thing, but there's this event that happens every year in May for the last four or five years called Fun Parade and it takes place, usually in the first or second weekend of May on U Street and if you haven't been they close down the whole street. And it's not just a parade. There are literally fifties, hundreds of bands, all over. It's kind of like South by Southwest but just way more colorful

RJ:     And one day.

Satya:     Like less square. And we've played it every year, and that's just- Every year I look forward to that because it is people bring it. People bring it.

RJ:     They dance.

Satya:     They dance. They're there all day. Even last year it rained and no one cared. They just went out and they loved it. It's free too, so-

Brian:     Yeah. Check that one out. Now, my favorite question to ask: If you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

RJ:     Man, perfect your craft, whatever it is. Whether it's playing drums, whether it's singing, whether it's drawing, whatever. Perfect your craft and just always be ready and open to the ways of the world because you never know what can happen.

Satya:     Yeah man. This is how I do good. A couple years ago I made the concerted effort to always say yes. Just say yes because every opportunity will have some part of it where you think, "Well that's not quite right. That's not the people that I wanna play with," or "that's not that great of a venue." The worst case scenario if you accept a gig or a jam session is you got to play some music and at the end of it you go on to the next thing.

     I actually met RJ that way. We did- it would take a long time to explain the gig, but it was a mutual friend and the gig was fine, but afterwards we were packing up and we had the room for a little bit and we just spontaneously started jamming. And we were like, "Well this is great." And he made sure as we were packing up to say, "Seriously, if you got something call me." We'll do it. And it was maybe a couple years later actually, but I did. But I remembered him. I remembered how open he was and just his energy and spirit and, just say yes.

RJ:     Yeah.

Brian:     I've caught myself doing that lately when sometimes you're looking at it like, "No," and shame on

Satya:     Yeah, you get around town and-

Brian:     Shame on me for- cause yes. Say yes, man. You got opportunities, [crosstalk 00:12:16] and that's true outside of music too or whatever it is that you're doing, say yes to these opportunities. Don't say no. Now, for folks who want to find out more about the cool things happening with Backbeat Underground where's the best place to go?

Satya:     The website is Backbeatunderground.com, but you can search us out on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. It's all Backbeat Underground. You'll find us.

Brian:     Backbeat Underground. Very awesome. And now, if you wanna be guests on this show you gotta bring good music with you and these guys have definitely come through. I've never heard this band until you guys brought them up and I love that we have them. So tell us what you have first here guys.

Satya:     This is Angels by Time is Fire.

11/21/17 - 2017 New Releases All Music Episode

Next week we have Lisa W. and Clare Z. from Pearl Street Warehouse for coming on the show!

^^Episode Audio/Post Is Live - Click Above (might need to buffer/load, refresh page if you have any issues)^^

Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice

 

FROM TODAY'S SHOW

MUSIC

  1. Daily Prayer, by Aaron Abernathy (Hip Hop/R&B)
  2. Inside Out, by Staunton (Rock/Hard Rock)
  3. Product Of Hip Hop, by Area 301 (Hip Hop/R&B)
  4. Crash, by Billy Winn (Pop/Dance)
  5. New, by Rent Party (Rock/Alternative Rock)
  6. Armageddon, by Derek Evry (Rock/Alternative Rock)
  7. The Crown, by Bencoolen (Rock/Pop)
  8. Ponle Fin, by Elena & Los Fulanos (Latin/World)
  9. Fine (feat Eros), by Jen Miller (Indie/Pop)
  10. Train Of Thought, by Timberbrooke (Rock, Hard Rock)
  11. Fire, by Hayley Fahey (Rock/Indie Rock)
  12. Or So It Seemed, by Sara Curtin (Indie/Folk)
  13. Cow, by Caustic Casanova (Hard Rock/Psychedelic Metal)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-

Happy Thanksgiving, from all of us at DC Music Rocks!


Patreon

Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  We're giving away shirts, access to our private facebook group, and more!  We also intend to set aside 10% to contribute directly in the DC Local Music Scene through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward!

HUGE shoutout to our current Patrons! 
--Daniel Warren Hill  --David Mohl


11-21-17 All Music Social B4.jpg

8/22/17 - Special Guests: Joe & Alisha of Songbyrd Music House

Thanks Joe Lapan and Alisha Edmonson - co founders of Songbyrd Media House - for coming by the studio this week!

^^Episode Audio/Post Is Live - Click Above (might take time to buffer/load, refresh page if you have any issues)^^

Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice

FROM TODAY'S SHOW

MUSIC

  1. Tell Me Why, by Hayley Fahey (Rock/Indie Rock)
  2. War, by G.U.M.P (Hip Hop/Alternative Rock)
  3. Hannah, by Handsome Hound (Folk/Folk Rock)
  4. Climax: Moonshine, by Names (Rock/Psychedlic Rock)
  5. Locked, by Thaylobleu (Hard Rock/Punk Rock)
  6. Son of Larry, by Aaron Abernathy (R&B/Soul)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-

ANNOUNCEMENTS

We’re hosting a show at the 9:30 Club on Saturday 9/2!  Ever since our humble beginnings, we’ve dreamed of sharing the incredible music from the DC local region in a venue that is fitting for the incredible talent these musicians have.  Please come!  If you know someone who would be interested in this, would you share it with them too?  Or share it with them in general?  If we draw a good crowd, the 9:30 Club has said they’ll let us make this a regular thing, and we’d love to get more great local artists on that caliber of stage.  We really appreciate your help!  We love supporting this DC local music scene!

930club facebook event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/233306840525249/

930club ticket website:
http://www.930.com/event/1546598-dc-music-rocks-festival-washington/

Playlist of the great artists which will be featured at the show!
https://open.spotify.com/user/dcmusicrocks/playlist/6NA7boFgtB5hUpDPDdD7BQ

NEW RELEASES

Music:
FuzzQueen - Ribbons and Flowers (Single)
Lionize - Fire in Athena (Single)
Exnations - Never About The Money (Single)

Video:
Carolyn Malachi - Sky (official music video)
https://youtu.be/Luh3k75rCEM

THIS WEEK'S LOCAL DC SHOWS TO SEE 

There's so many!  Visit our Local Music Calendar to see the full list!  These are just the few we discussed on the show to get you started.

Fri Aug 25
Vintage#18 @ Blackwall Hitch in Alexandria, VA
The Woodshedders @ Hill Country BBQ in Chinatown in NW DC

Sat Aug 26
Christos DC @ Jammin Java in Vienna, VA
The Cowards Choir @ Iota Club and Cafe in Clarendon in Arlington, VA
Handsome Hound @ Black Cat on 14th&U in NW DC

Sun Aug 27
Sol Roots @ JoJo Bar on U St in NW DC

Wed Aug 30
Ms Fridrich, Beanstalk Library, Rachel Levitin @ DC9 on U St in NW DC



Joe & Alisha, Songbyrd Music House Co-Founders

VIDEO - BIO - LINKS - TRANSCRIPT

BIOS:

Joe & Alisha.JPG
DC Music Rocks Joe Lapan Songbyrd Media House Pic

Joe Lapan is a real estate attorney and professional by background, but always had a passion for music and its power to connect and unify people and to provide the perfect entry point for exploration of culture and history.  Joe had always been the guy who made mix tapes, camped out for new album releases and hosted informal "listening parties" with his friends.  Joe also has a passion for small business in the District of Columbia. Around 2010, Joe began writing a business plan for a place that might bring these experiences into the "commercial" world as a sort of music comparable to the sports bar, or a "re-imagined" record store. Joe primarily runs business affairs, marketing and what he likes to call "alternative events" for Songbyrd. Alternative events encompass all those things that aren't live music shows, such as label partnerships, listeningparties, in-store events etc. Joe is the Washington DC point man for Classic Album Sundays, a worldwide album celebration platform, and has appeared on numerous podcasts and other media outlets to discuss music.
 

DC Music Rocks Songbyrd Media House Pic

Alisha Edmonson is a trained architect, designer and bar/restaurant operations manager and has 10+ years of relevant experience. She has an interdisciplinary background in construction, finance and architecture/design, as well as years of experience as a bartender and manager. Alisha began her career in the field of design and construction but she was raised around small business, with her family owning and running a coffee
roaster in Oregon. While attending graduate school in DC she begin bartending at L Enfant Café in Adams Morgan and quickly become one of the
managers. She eventually moved on to bigger places including H Street Country Club and Right Proper Brewery. In each of these places she both
worked on the floor and managed. In addition to working in the bar/restaurant industry she has been doing contract work as a event designer and
manager for large events in both Arizona and Oregon, most notably, What The Festival in Duffer Oregon, an event consisting of roughly 5,000 people
and numerous DJs and other acts. Ms. Edmonson is the Managing Member of the Songbyrd ownership and also the General Manager and is backed
by an investment team with substantial business and creative experience

Links

Website: : www.songbyrddc.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SongbyrdDC

Twitter & Instagram: @songbyrddc

DC Music Rocks Songbyrd Media House promo pics
DC Music Rocks Songbyrd Media House pic

INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

Brian:     On DC Music Rocks, We're shining a spotlight on the great songs and incredible people, like Joe and Alisha from Songbyrd, here in the DC regions' local music scene. Alisha is a trained architect, designer, and bar restaurant operations manager. She has an interdisciplinary background in construction, finance, and architecture design, as well as years of experience as a bartender and a manager. She is the managing member of Songbyrd on the ownership team and is also the general manager of the venue, so this is Alisha.

    I also have Joe, who is a real estate attorney by background but always has a passion for music and a power to connect and unify people. Joe's always been the guy who made mix tapes, camped out for new album releases, and hosted informal listening parties with his friends. Around 2010, he began to write a business plan for a place that might bring these kind of experiences into the commercial world. Songbyrd, which is like a sports bar for music or a re-imagined music store, is what he created. Joe primarily runs business affairs, marketing, and what he likes to call alternative or non-musical events for Songbyrd.

 I first ran into these folks at some of the conferences around town for local music, and I've been to the venue I can't even count on fingers and toes the number of times. It's such a great place. It is a treat to have you here. Thanks for being here, you guys.

Alisha:     Thanks for inviting us.

Joe:     Cheers.

Brian:     Tell us about ... We baited them earlier with it, but tell us about the name "Songbyrd." Where does that come from?

Alisha:     Well, we originally had some other names for this place, but when we found the space, it was a nightclub and it wasn't what we were looking for, but it had this really amazing music history. It was called The Showboat for years from the '50s to the '70s, and the house band was Charlie Byrd's band, and he and his manager owned and ran it. It just kind of spoke to us when we found out the history of it. Charlie Byrd and Stan Getz played there almost every night doing jazz samba that was just really special.

Brian:     That's cool. And so it became in honor of Byrd it was Songbyrd.

Alisha:     Yeah, a little homage to DC music history.

Joe:     Yeah, and for those who don't know, Charlie Byrd, not to be mistaken with Charlie Parker, who was nicknamed Bird. Charlie Byrd is the famous jazz guitarist originally from Maryland, spent his life and career in Maryland and DC, recorded Jazz Samba, one of the greatest selling and greatest jazz albums of all time, based on a fusion of American jazz and Brazilian samba. He did a lot of democracy work and State Department work with Brazil and recorded that album at the All Souls Church just up the street from us in Adams Morgan.

Brian:     So much history there. All right, so that's where Songbyrd ... I've always wondered. Man, that's awesome. Now, what about ... Now it's a lot of work to start a venue. How did you guys meet, and how did Songbyrd the venue come together?

Alisha:     Well, I moved here for grad school in 2009, and I started bartending for brunch just for some extra money and to meet people that didn't want to talk about policy, and I met Joe. That's where we met.

Brian:     Was he a customer or was he ...

Alisha:     He was a customer, yeah.

Brian:     And you started talking music?

Alisha:     Yeah, we started talking ... Well, eventually we started talking music. We started talking about the loss of listening to music, not listening to your radio or on an mp3, but really listening to an album start to finish with your friends and community.

Brian:     I don't think hardly anybody does that anymore, actually. They're not even putting albums out half the time. It's just singles. So that's true.

Joe:     Yeah, but I think more and more people are, and I see it, and we see it with some of the stuff we're doing. But yeah, that's definitely one of our focuses, to bring back that experience.

Brian:     I've seen ... Does that kind of go into the listening parties? I've seen something that you guys do listening parties, right?

Alisha:     We do several different types of listening parties, actually.

Brian:     Tell me more.

Joe:     So yeah, again, the basic idea being let's get together. You go to see a movie, but why don't you go listen to that album and enjoy it with people, maybe learn something, maybe focus on it in a different kind of way or just make a day out of it, make an experience, make an afternoon out of it. So we host a monthly event through Classic Album Sundays, which is kind of a worldwide listening party platform. In fact, going to those events in other cities kind of helped inspire me as well. But that is very focused. You're going to have presenters talking about the album. We bring in special audio file grade turntables and equipment for that event. We have that at our venue, so it's kind of more quiet and focused.

     Then we do other stuff, like you're referring to. On Fridays a lot of times we'll partner with labels based on their new music that's coming out and just throw kind of a fun something different from the regular Friday happy hour where you're going to hear the new music with your friends.

Brian:     Wow. So many cool things happening. There's always ... It's a lot of fun to follow your social media, too, because there's always all kinds of, it's like, "Oh, that's different. Oh, okay." I mean, you definitely win the award for making it interesting and exciting. The music world is so interesting and exciting now. I think you guys do a great job with that.

Joe:     Thanks, man.

Brian:     So that's nice.

Joe:     Yeah, it's a whole world, for sure.

Brian:     And what is your connections to DC? You came for grad school, Alisha.

Alisha:     Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Brian:     And Joe, have you always been here, or when did you get here?

Joe:     Yeah, it's funny, you mentioned that artist from Derwood earlier. I'm from Rockville, Maryland.

Brian:     There you go.

Joe:     So I grew up in the area, kind of always been in the area.

Brian:     Are you actually like a "local" because you've been here your whole life?

Joe:     For sure, definitely.

Brian:     Wow.

Joe:     Red line, inside the Beltway, all that.

Brian:     There it is. That breed is almost ... Although I feel like it's getting more common now, but I feel like it used to be really rare to meet somebody who is actually from the area. I don't know, maybe that's just me.

Joe:     I mean, we're probably still the minority, but it's funny because I see a lot of people from DC and around DC doing really cool things in DC, I think because we already kind of knew the place. So we had a little bit of a leg-up on newcomers who still have to kind of map it out.

Brian:     What about you guys on the personal side, outside of Songbyrd. What are your ... Do you have hobbies? What else is there to life for you guys?

Alisha:     I mean, I wish I said I had a lot hobbies.

Brian:     I know that's a lot to ask, because you probably put a lot into Songbyrd.

Alisha:     I mean, we're just going on our two-year anniversary for the venue. Before the venue, I painted. I love building furniture and just kind of a designer. Anything that has to do with art.

Brian:     Wow, so a lot of work with your hands.

Alisha:     A lot of, yeah, I love ...

Brian:     And now you've totally switched gears. Do you do anymore of that sometimes?

Alisha:     Well, we're always redesigning the space just a little bit for other things.

Brian:     So you have a living canvas now in Songbyrd. I see.

Alisha:     I have a living canvas in Songbyrd. And then I guess we've got a puppy, so that's like kind of living and breathing for this little puppy called Fife dog.

Brian:     And what kind of puppy is he?

Alisha:     She is a ...

Brian:     She.

Alisha:     Fife's a girl. She is a border collie/miniature schnauzer. She's a rescue puppy.

Brian:     Got it. What fun. And what about you, Joe?

Joe:     I do have a whole lot of things that I do. I mean, we share our puppy, so Fife keeps us busy for sure. But yeah, man, I'm into music, of course. Go to shows, spend a lot of time keeping up with new music. But I'm into all types of things. I play a lot of different sports. Still play hardball. Still play baseball, hardball, at age 39. It's a local league.

Brian:     I'm impressed.

Joe:     So I come home with some bruises every once in a while. But yeah, man, just I'm a believer in trying to stay young in the mind, you know?

Brian:     Got it. And now one of my favorite questions that I always love to ask is if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Joe:     Gosh, for the music scene specifically?

Brian:     I'll leave that up to you, actually. However you want to answer.

Joe:     Well, I'll start that off by saying be careful with giving advice, first of all.

Brian:     All right, you got that out of the way. Now give some. Go ahead.

Joe:     You know, just follow your passion. Follow your dreams. In DC music, if you're an artist, you're already doing that. But keep doing it and just write, stick to it, but failure to plan is planning to fail, so use that dream as your fuel to get into the details as well, so there's some advice.

Brian:     Excellent.

Alisha:     And my advice would be similar, but make choices and own them.

Brian:     Own them. All right. Follow them through. You did it. You made the choice. Now follow it through. Do it. I really like that too. That's a really good one. For those folks who want to know, want to follow what you're doing and find out more about Songbyrd, tell me again, where's the best place to go?

Joe:     The best place to go is, I would say, our website, www.songbyrddc.com, Byrd with a Y, because remember Charlie Byrd spelled it with a Y.

Brian:     Yes, we know that now. Yes.

Joe:     That's right. And yeah, @songbyrddc on socials. So yeah, like you said, we're out there on socials. We try to keep engaged and keep talking about ourselves and keeping people informed.

Alisha:     Our website's really comprehensive. All of our records are on there. If you want to know what we have in stock, you can click on a little link and it'll show you everything up to 24 hours in advance, and our menus, our listings, any kind of special event that we have going on, not just local music and stuff, but ...

Brian:     Thorough. Really thorough.

April 25, 2017 - Special Guest: Dior Ashley Brown

Thanks to the incredible, Ms. Dior Ashley Brown for swinging by this week!

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Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice

FROM TODAY'S SHOW

MUSIC

  1. War Paint by JDVBBS  (Pop/R&B)
  2. W Street Clean by Dior Ashley Brown (Hip-Hop/ Funk)
  3. Natural by Colie Aziza (Jazz/Soul)
  4. Djinnie by SoundProof Genie (R&B/Neo Soul)
  5. Keeping my eyes on you by Nia Simmons, Aaron AB Abernathy, Dior Ashley Brown (R&B/ Soul)

ANNOUNCEMENTS

**During this episode, Dior couldn't remember the name of the boy band from way back that was on her sleeping bag as a kid, she remembered after the show, it was New Kids On The Block!**

DC Music Summit - Saturday 4/29  -  http://www.dcmusicsummit.org/

Music Venue Acre 121 is closing - Last Day, Saturday 4/29 - I’m gonna miss that stage, that staff, and those Barbecue Wings!  What will you miss?  Last night will feature rockin cover band, The Perfectionists

Funk Parade
Day fair, parade, and music festival // U St. // 12noon-10pm // Sat May 6th
70,000+ attended last year
They have an App this year for smartphones
https://www.funkparade.com

NEW RELEASES

The Duskwhales - Sorrowful Mysteries

Den-Mate - Entropii

Lookout Gang - Shadow Chasers

THIS WEEK'S LOCAL DC SHOWS TO SEE

Go to DCMusicRocks.com and check out the local music calendar to see the full list we have of all the great upcoming local shows.  There’s so many good ones all over the region, here’s my highlights from the calendar for the week.

Fri 4/28
Turtle Recall   @ O’Sullivan’s   IN Arlington, VA

Sat 4/29
JDVBBS   @ Dr Clock’s Nowhere Bar   IN DC
Black Masala   @ Caddies On Cordell   IN Bethesda, MD
Sub-Radio   @ Sauf Haus   IN DC

Wed 5/3
JDVBBS   @ Iota Club & Cafe   in Arlington, VA

Thurs 5/4
Lookout Gang & District Skypunch   @ RNR Hotel   in DC
Tempercrush   @ Evening Star Cafe   in DelRay, VA

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-



DIOR ASHLEY BROWN

VIDEO - BIO - LINKS - TRANSCRIPT

Bio:

DCMusicRocks-Dior-Ashley-Brown

Dior Ashley Brown is a Performing Artist, Entrepreneur, and Co-Founder of REformance Art. Her disciplines include Hip-Hop Emcee, Actor, Poet, and Host. She is a graduate of Duke Ellington School of the Performing Arts and University of Maryland College, Park Theatre Arts Programs. Destined for Greatness Performance Arts Coach to formerly incarcerated Youth at the "Level Up" Program. Co-Founder and Organizer of the "First Annual DC Music Summit." She is a Proud of St. Augustine Young Adult Association, at St. Augustine Church. Celebrity Interviewer for the Legendary and Historic Howard Theatre to Include: De La Soul, Marsha Ambrosius, Curren$y, Charlie Murphy, Eric Roberson, Gregory Porter, Raheem DeVaughn and others. A recent Co-Host to the "BoxCutters Podcast," broadcasting at One Love Massive Studios, alongside Nicky Chinito and DJ Chalant. And performs live all over the DMV and beyond as "Dior Ashley Brown & The dAb Band," She is a lover of life, community curator, and a driven humanitarian.

Dior is a passionate in creating ways to inform and involve her community. Her most recent accomplishments include: Paneling the "Diggin' DC" Hip Hop Theatre Festival at The Arc Theatre, Subversive Artists Hip Hop Panel and first two years of "The Annual Black Theatre Symposium" At University of Maryland, College Park; debuting in the theatre production "It's What We Do," directed by Pamela Nice a play based on IDF soldiers testimonies in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict as part of the 2015 Capital Fringe Festival, Hosting the 2015 & 2016 Annual Ward 7 Business and Community Festivals; Co-Organizing, Co-Hosting, Co-Creating and Co-Curating "The Accelerate with Google First Annual DC Music Summit 2016," traveling to SXSW 2016 in Austin, Texas to one of the largest music conferences in the country in which she raised money to be an Ambassador for the arts collective Mousai House and DC creative community, Panelist at the Building the Music Capital Conference, and has most recently invited to panel the 2017 “Sounds of the City” D.C. Music Arts and Interactive Festival.

 

Links: 

www.diorashleybrown.com

https://www.facebook.com/DiorAshleyBrownMusic/

https://soundcloud.com/diorashleybrown

https://www.youtube.com/user/MizzDABisBAD

https://twitter.com/Diorashleybrown

https://www.instagram.com/diorashleybrown/

 

INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

Brian:    Dior Ashley Brown is a performing artist, entrepreneur, and co-founder of REformance Art.

Dior A. B.:       Yes.

Brian:    She is a hiphop emcee, an actor, a poet, and a host in the DC area. She is a graduate or Duke Ellington School of the Performing Arts.

Dior A. B.:       Whoop whoop.

Brian:    And the University of Maryland's Theater Arts Program.

Dior A. B.:       Go Terps.

Brian:    So aside from performing live all over the DMV and beyond as Dior Ashley Brown and the dAb Band, some of her inspiring work with the DC art scene includes working with formerly incarcerated youth at the Level Up Program and rubbing elbows with the stars as a celebrity interviewer for the legendary and historic Howard Theater.

    She is a lover of life, community curator, a driven humanitarian and a passionate. She is passionate about creating ways to inform and involve her community.

Dior A. B.:       Indeed, indeed.

Brian:    I first came across this amazing woman when I was at the Building the Music Capital Summit last year. She just had some really cool things to say. That presence, every time I've seen her, she's got that presence on stage that is just kind of magnetic. It's an honor and it's with great pleasure that I get to formally introduce Dior Ashley Brown.

Dior A. B.:       Thank you so much for having me, that was beautiful.

Brian:    Thank you for being here. Talk about, where did the dAb Band come from? Did it start as just you and then it was a band? How did that happen?

Dior A. B.:       It did start as just me, Dior Ashley Brown, and then the whole dAB band came out. I was like, those are my initials; my boy was like, "You've been dabbing Dior." A shout out to Primary Element for that one. The band, we were jamming for about a year or two at the MOUSAi House and at the 411 Arts Collective. Some of my classmates came and started vibing, I'd been out and doing their respective things. We kind of came together and starting doing this funky thing, and started collaborating.

Brian:    Yeah, okay and it came together as the band. Now for those who don't know, you mentioned those places; the 411 Arts Collective. What were those things in case they don't know what that is?

Dior A. B.:       Yeah. 411 New York Avenue Northeast, we were inside of an artist loft, a huge building that had about 50 or more artists actually in the space. Then we would have about 200-300 more artists coming inside and out of that space. Unfortunately we were pushed out by a $15 million contract for another boutique hotel, which is right next to a hotel. That's what happened, that's the story behind 411.

Brian:    These are the glory days, back in the day. Now I brought up a lot of things when I was introducing you. When you think about the main things that you're involved in, when you're describing yourself, because I brought up a lot; what comes to mind when you're saying that? Who is Dior Ashley Brown to you when you're thinking about it?

Dior A. B.:       That's a great question. I feel like I'm this creative community curator, this historian in a sense that's trying to hold on to the pieces of DC and making sure that the community that I'm from is acknowledged and still represented or still being told. My granddaddy had a bike shop on 14th Street, on the corner right there and my church is St. Augustine. We were right there on 14 and V, we grew up over there riding our bikes all the time, going to The Carryout, getting mumbo sauce and wings and french fries.

     It's just crazy how DC has changed, but we want to make sure to cultivate a lot of the businesses and community that existed before. I feel like that's what I'm trying to do.

Brian:    Got it, community curator. That's that one, I dig it. Now I brought up, how did you get involved in, there was the underprivileged youth I talked about and also the Howard Theater. How did those two things come about?

Dior A. B.:       Honestly, everything that I'm in has really been organic. I've been the type of artist that wants to submerge in my creativity and my talents, and I had to in a way to pay the bills. I had to really attach myself to other things and I was like, "Wow." I ended up having a good time in it and just fully being in those moments. It would strengthen a lot of those tools. Friends would be like, "Dior, you would be an awesome teacher. Why don't you try working out in this program?"

      At the time, those were the jobs that we could get during the recession. There were a lot of opportunities to work with kids and I ended up really loving it. I've been doing it for maybe five or six years with these formerly incarcerated youth doing one on ones, taking them outside of their peripheral that they knew and taking them to the museums, and having them work on my shows as being part of my event staff. They got that one on one opportunity.

Brian:    Got it, that's cool. The Howard Theater?

Dior A. B.:       My friends were like, "Yo, will you come and host?", and I said yeah. I've never interviewed and I was super nervous about interviewing. I think my first one was Lyfe Jennings and that was a tough interview.

Brian:    For those who don't know Lyfe Jennings, who's Lyfe Jennings?

Dior A. B.:       Lyfe Jennings is an R&B hip hop artist. He's definitely dope, he's been out for years. I actually also interviewed the late and great Charlie Murphy.

Brian:    Wow, Charlie Murphy.

Dior A. B.:       Yeah, Charlie Murphy is something else.

Brian:    Good gracious. Now talk about you outside of these things. You're involved in a lot of these things, so on the personal side; you got any hobbies? What do you do outside of work per se?

Dior A. B.:       You know, that's a really good question. One of my things, I do binge watch. I'm in love with-

Brian:    Binge watch? Share with us.

Dior A. B.:       Oh my God, Netflix.

Brian:    What does that mean? What's the latest?

Dior A. B.:       I'm all over Netflix Marvel comics. Oh my gosh, I started off with Luke Cage but then I got into Jessica Jones. I was calling people like, "Did you know that this was connected?" People were like, "That's been there for years." I'm like, "Oh, wow." I'm super into it, Jessica Jones, Daredevil. I love it.

Brian:    That's amazing.

Dior A. B.:       Yeah, I'm a binge watcher.

Brian:    Okay, so binge watcher. Check it out, if you want to know what's happening on Netflix, talk to Dior when it's not busy. When it's busy, that's why it's binge watching because there isn't always time.

Dior A. B.:       Yeah. House of Cards.

Brian:    When there is time; oh yeah, let's do it.

Dior A. B.:       Absolutely.

Brian:    I dig it. This kind of cool career that's evolved doing all kinds of things in the community, what comes to mind as the biggest success moment so far when you think back?

Dior A. B.:       Oh wow, that's a great question. I'll be moving through a lot of things, I have to take more time to celebrate those things and celebrate with my peers, those movements. When you're in a high impact city that's changing like DC, you're just moving, moving, moving.

     Right now I would say to even do the DC Music Summit again. The first time I did it, it was just that I wanted to bring resources to my community. Then 500 people registered and about 300 showed up. I was like, "Oh my God."

     To just do it a second year and get even more support just from the community, and 8th Street Corridor, and the CD government; I'm like "Wow." It is a lot of energy, oh my gosh. I'm doing it 24 hours, 7 days a week just organizing this thing. I will tell you that it's so fulfilling, it's so fulfilling.

Brian:    That's wild. The music summit is the success story that comes to mind?

Dior A. B.:       Yeah, absolutely.

Brian:    That's really cool. I hope folks are able to join you for that one because I'm looking forward to being there, that's for sure. It's all my favorite people in one room

Dior A. B.:       That's what I'm saying.

Brian:    Everybody's getting together, it's like a big party.

Dior A. B.:       Bringing the community together.

Brian:    If you don't know, local music is a great way to meet people. Some people talk about DC as being unfriendly or it's hard to meet people. One of the things that is amazing is if you go check out these local music scenes or you go the DC Music Summit, you start to see these same faces. Then everybody becomes familiar and you make new friends. It's an awesome thing.

Dior A. B.:       We gotta blow up DC, we got to have the music scene on fire. People need to know that DC is where it's at.

Brian:    That's what I'm working on with the show too. I don't think people understand just how incredible this local music scene is, it's unreal.

Dior A. B.:       It's something else.

Brian:    Unreal. What do you have in your music collection that might surprise us?

Dior A. B.:       Oh my goodness, that is a good question. That would surprise you? I've been currently listening to Keke Palmer. She's got a song, what is that song called? I've been playing it on repeat, I should know. I've been listening to Keke Palmer. I listen to a lot of alternative. There's a song, the song is called "Frozen Creek".

Brian:    Frozen Creek?

Dior A. B.:       What is their name?

Brian:    I can't place it.

Dior A. B.:       I listen to absolutely everything so I don't know what's really going to surprise ... Oh, Jason Aldean, I've been listening-

Brian:    I was going to say, country and all that stuff too? Aldean?

Dior A. B.:       I listen to country.

Brian:    Get out of here, that's awesome.

Dior A. B.:       I've been listening to a little bit of everything. I'm like, "Yo, people are going to think I'm crazy." If you listen to my iPod, you're bound to hear anything come out of that. Don't judge me.

Brian:    If they pull up next to you at a stop light in your car, they just might get the most random stuff and see you rocking out to it.

Dior A. B.:       Absolutely.

Brian:    I love it.

Dior A. B.:       I love music, man.

Brian:    What are your earliest memories with music? You say you're loving it, where did it start? Go back to that for us.

Dior A. B.:       My father. My father, he sings. I was singing when I was really, really young. My earliest memory, I remember doing a school play at St. Augustine. This was when my parents were overseas, both of them served in Desert Storm. I remember having to sing the song "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot". I remember singing it and then everybody coming to me later like, "You have such a grownup voice. It's powerful and that was beautiful."

Brian:    How old were you at that time?

Dior A. B.:       I was in second or third grade.

Brian:    Wow.

Dior A. B.:       My teacher was Sister Stevens and she did not play.

Brian:    Sister Stevens, huh?

Dior A. B.:       Sister Stevens did not play. I remember that, I remember second or third grade. I also remember listening to Whitney Houston and then my parents just having to listen to "I will always" over and over. I used to love singing, through the house and in my room just on full belt.

Brian:    Nice. What were those artists when you came up? You've got Whitney Houston, any that stick out in your mind that were?

Dior A. B.:       Oh yeah. Tevin Campbell, telling my age. I loved Tevin Campbell, "Brown Eyed Girl". What else was I listening to? SWV, Xscape, oh my God. I loved SWV, "Get Weak". When I got that CD, I screamed. My mother had it sitting in the kitchen, I was like "Ahh". She thought something was wrong with me, I flipped out.

   Oh my God, I used to listen to ... Who were the boys? The Backstreet, not Backstreet?

Brian:    Boys II Men?

Dior A. B.:       No. Yeah, Boys II Men of course, definitely. Before NSYNC though, there was another group, I had their sleeping bag. Oh my God, I just told that on the radio. I used to listen to all of that stuff. Color Me Badd.

Brian:    You've got to think about it, what's the one you had the sleeping bag of? That's what I want to know, what was it?

Dior A. B.:       I know. It was a boy band and I'm trying to remember what they were called. It was before Backstreet.

Brian:    Before Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees? Then it was, I'm going back. I can't believe we're talking about this on DC Music Rocks. We'll cut that off. Email Dior later and she can look up, because I want to know what the sleeping bag was. We'll follow up with that, I'll see if I can add that in the notes for the show later. You can find out what that sleeping bag was.

Dior A. B.:       Early memories of music.

Brian:    That's it, earliest memories of music. Now, talk about when you started performing then. Where did that begin?

Dior A. B.:       Like I was telling you, a little bit in elementary school. I remember singing with my father too, we did a song, it was an Aladdin song. I remember that for an event that the military base was having.

     It was elementary school and then middle school, I had a really tough teacher who was just very serious about my acting skills and wanted me to speak on my voice. When I think about the direction he was giving me when I was in fourth or fifth grade, I started doing one woman plays when I was a kid because I had a serious teacher. I started really young, like grade school.

Brian:    It was acting, or singing, or was it everything?

Dior A. B.:       Acting. It's crazy but acting and singing have always been parallel in my, since I was a kid. In Germany they had little rec centers on base, so these rec centers would have an acting coach. Nobody would be in there, so I was like the only kid that took the class. Then I would have that class.

Brian:    It's always been that? Was there a time where you went and thought you were going to have a different career path or it's really always been acting, and singing, and community organizing?

Dior A. B.:       Yeah. I think the only other job that I ever wanted was to be a lawyer. I was watching movies and the lawyers were just so convincing.

Brian:    It looked so great in the movies, doesn't it?

Dior A. B.:       Yeah. I just knew I was going to win the case. That was the only other job that I saw. Everything else was always arts, always arts driven. When we lived in Germany, I had the nickname Schauspieler, which is a show player. My godparents named me that when I was a kid. I was going to be an artist, I felt it, I always felt it.

Brian:    You've talked about a lot of places; you said you lived on base, you mentioned Germany. Where all did you live? It was all over the place?

Dior A. B.:       Back and forth overseas to Germany, like two different times. In the Midwest, I lived in Colorado, Texas, and back and forth to DC.

Brian:    Got it, that's cool. One of my favorite questions that I always love to ask is; if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Dior A. B.:       I know it's cliché, but go as hard as possible at what really hits your soul. Not in someone else's dream, not something that you know was confused through media. Just something, whatever speaks to your spirit, just trust it and go hard. You're going to have plenty of opposition because it's so outside the norm. Go super, super passionate at your dreams, at all costs.

Brian:    You said "Speaks to your spirit", how's it that one? How do you know that's it?

Dior A. B.:       When it brings you joy, when you can't wait to get up in the morning. When it can keep you at a desk or on a phone for hours. You're passionately going and making sure that you add it into your life every day, that is to me is what you need to do.

Brian:    That is the one.

Dior A. B.:       Yeah.

Brian:    Go after it and don't quit.

Dior A. B.:       Yeah. You know, you might like to skateboard and you should skateboard. You know what I'm saying? Go hard.

Brian:    They definitely do.

Dior A. B.:       Yes.

Brian:    One last thing, for those folks listening who want to find out more about you and all the cool things that you're doing, where do they go?

Dior A. B.:       Diorashleybrown.com. That website, that's my website. I try my best out here, go to diorashleybrown.com. I try to put as much as possible on there. My handles are @DiorAshleyBrown, Snapchat is BAshleyD, that's my little secret Snapchat.

Brian:    Got it, secret Snapchat. Which one are you on the most, Instagram?

Dior A. B.:       Yeah, Instagram. I love Instagram.

Brian:    Instagram's the one. All right, that's where it's at. Check her out. You had mentioned that there's something exciting, the Box Cutters Podcast. Talk about that real quick?

Dior A. B.:       Two guys, Nicky Shinito and DJ Chalant and I'm dabbing to love. We have a podcast that we do on Sundays. We try to go outside the box, so it's called The Box Cutters Podcast. We're broadcasting right now at One Love Massive Studios. We're having a launch on Sunday, it's going to be free, super laid back and chill. I'm going to perform.

Brian:    You say a launch, does that mean like it's a live show but then it gets put out as a podcast?

Dior A. B.:       It is a recorded podcast and we put it out on iTunes. When you come to the launch, you'll find out how to get a hold of it.

Brian:    Nice.

February 28, 2017 - Special Guest: Chris Naoum of Listen Local First

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FROM TODAY'S SHOW

NEWS

New Workout Music Playlist!  Visit our Find-Browse Music Page!

Washington City Paper’s “Best of DC” poll close this week!  Go vote for your favorite local original band.

Funk Parade Kick Off Party!  3/16, Tropicalia Lounge on U St, 7-10pm

MUSIC

  1. On and On - Run Come See (Folk/Americana) 
  2. Ctrl - My French Roommate (Indie/Dance-Punk)
  3. Untitled - Julie Outrage (Rock/Psychedelic Soul)
  4. Batonebo - Odetta Hartman (Indie/Folk)
  5. DC Touring Company - Turtle Recall (Rock)
  6. I See You - Aaron Abernathy (R&B/Soul)
  7. Intro/Outro music by Fellowcraft (Hard Rock/Blues)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-



Chris Naoum

Video - Bio - Photos - Links

Bio

DC Music Rocks Chris Naoum (3)

Chris Naoum is the Founder of Listen Local First. Listen Local First DC (LLF) is a local music initiative devoted to building awareness and creating opportunities for local musicians to raise the profile of DC’s local music scene. LLF was born out of a collaboration with Think Local First DC and seeks to partner with local musicians, arts organizations, venues, businesses and local government to create new avenues for local music exploration. LLF co organizes two of the district’s largest all local music festivals, Kingman Island Bluegrass and Folk Festival and Funk Parade.  LLF plans to launch the Fair Trade Music DC initiative in 2017 and has been working with a number of local government agencies and officials to establish a permanent DC Local Music Taskforce to advocate for musician specific interests within the broader Creative Economy. 

DC Music Rocks Chris Naoum (2)

Chris Naoum is a telecom attorney with background in copyright and media law and policy.  Chris has advocated on behalf of the independent music community for the past 7 years focusing on artist development and policy reform that benefits the local creative economy. 

 

Links

Listen Local First

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ListenLocalFirst/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/listenlocaldc

Funk Parade

Official Website: https://www.funkparade.com/

Facebook: ttps://www.facebook.com/thefunkparade/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FunkParade

DC Music Rocks Chris Naoum
 

Interview Transcript

Brian:     Chris Naoum is the founder of Listen Local First, it's a local music initiative devoted to building awareness and creating opportunities for local musicians to raise the profile of D.C.'s local music scene. I agree with this motivation so much. Apparently, Listen Local First was born out of a collaboration with Think Local First D.C., and it seeks to partner with local musicians, art organizations, venues, businesses, and local government to create new avenues for local music exploration. Listen Local First, it co-organizes to of the district's largest all music, all local music festivals, which you heard about both of these in the intro.

                  We've got Kingman Island Bluegrass and Folk Festival and the Funk Parade, which, by the way, if you're in D.C., I hope you've attended both of these, and if you haven't, put it on your bucket list, your D.C. bucket list. Incredible examples of awesome D.C. music. Listen Local First has been working with a number of local government agencies and officials to establish a permanent D.C. local music taskforce to advocate for musicians' specific interests within the broader creative economy. Chris Naoum, himself, is a telecom attorney with a background in copyright and media law and policy. He's advocated on behalf of the independent music community for the past seven years, focusing on artist development and policy reform that benefits the local creative economy. Having said all that, Chris, it's such a treat having you here, man. Thanks for being here.

Chris:     Thank you. I should've given you a shorter blurb.

Brian:     Why? It was such a good blurb, I didn't want to leave anything out. It's so good. Tell us about Listen Local First. How did this come about? What's that story?

Chris:     I was actually thinking about this on the way over here and it's something I rarely say is Listen Local First came out of the fact that I was new to D.C., nine years ago, and I loved sharing new experiences, sharing new music with people, with friends, and sort of, I guess, it really comes out of my need and interest to share. I had been working for an organization called the Future of Music Coalition, doing a lot of music policy work, a lot of advocacy on behalf of the independent music community and got to know so many D.C. artists and I knew about all their shows, I know about when they were playing, where they were playing, all sorts of genres of musicians.

                  I thought that if there's a way I can help get that word out or help create the connections that can help these artists make new fans, then I can do something to help out the local music community. I had all these young professionals and people in the city I knew at the time that were all potential fans that I felt that needed to know about these bands. Really, it was just the simple wanting to share, and then it's grown over the past five years.

Brian:     Wow, and I love what it's grown into, because I first heard about you, it was back in, I think, 2014, somebody was saying, "I became a part of the local music scene as a musician" and they were saying, "God, Listen Local First, this is where you find it all." Your name's definitely gotten out there in the community and it's a treat to have you here, especially with all the stuff you've been doing for the scene. Now, tell us about how did you ... Have you just always been a music fan? Are you a musician as well? What's your music connection in your life?

Chris:     Yeah, I've been a music fan. I love music. I had a brief stint one year when I sang acapella in high school, but don't hold that against me.

Brian:     An acapella? You heard it here first, guys. Acapella singer, I love it.

Chris:     That's the only musical thing I've ever done. I think I took piano lessons, I did take piano lessons as a little kid, but I wasn't very good. This was, it was my finding out ... It's really the joy that music brings to me, and love music was something that was so great and it's something that I feel you have all these amazing local artists here and I just wanted to get to know them, I wanted to know about their work, I wanted to know their story, I wanted to see their music, I wanted to see like the journey they took on their musical career. It's all this interesting story and I love hearing and learning stories and every band has their story and it's a business and it's just ...

Brian:     In the intro I talked about how you were getting into policy and stuff now, where did it go from really loving local music and connecting people to local music, where did it turn into the policy and working with the government, all that stuff? How did that happen?

Chris:     Right, so at the beginning what we were doing with Listen Local First, we were creating playlists, featuring artists each month or every two months, eight to 10 artists and new bands, new albums that were being released, and we were partnering with local businesses and creating playlists and signing waivers and having the business pay fees and we were basically operating as our own performance rights organization and sort of paying out artists from what these local businesses that were playing the music streams. We were doing something called Local Music Wednesdays, where all those businesses would stream those albums on those days and so we were doing that and having showcases every month and it was very, very time consuming. That lasted for about, at that pace, for about a year and a half and then I started working on larger festivals and larger events, because as a time commitment that was something that I can put more time in, I work after work, I can do that and I can do at night or on the weekends.

                  Then when festival season was off, I felt that the way, the right thing to fill the time was working on ways to help the local music community. What are the issues? I understand policy, I understand the different parts of the local government, how can I take that knowledge and help connect artists with the people that can make a change, that can make a difference? I met so many people that have done great work here in D.C. and across the country advocating for their local music community that I felt that this was something that if I can help and if I can give information and get people together to give them this information so they can make changes for themselves, that's something I wanted to do, when I had the free time.

Brian:     It's incredible what you've been able to accomplish in what seems like such a short time too. Now, when you think of accomplishments then, like the biggest success moment, what comes to mind?

Chris:     There are a lot of accomplishments that we still need to take, especially in the policy world. I'd say, personally, for me it's pulling off a funk parade.

Brian:     Talk about that actually. Pulling off a funk parade, say more on that.

Chris:     I worked for a couple large events and festivals and I started working with the Kingman Island Bluegrass Festival and helping book the bands, reach out to sponsors, bring in vendors, sort of working on the production side. I was approached by my co-founder, Justin Rood, and he said, "Hey, I have this dream, U Street is such a historic corridor, there's so much music, there's so much history, there's so much sound. I love to dance. I love all these bands, these local bands. I had this vision of this parade, with horns and George Clinton in front roaring down U Street. Then I woke up and I decided why is there not a funk parade?" Of course, he somehow got in touch with me and I said, "Oh yeah. Yeah, we can do a festival. Let's do a funk parade," and no one had any clue what a funk parade, and this is Justin's story too, the best thing about funk parade-

Brian:     I love that this came out of a dream, really?

Chris:     It totally came out of a dream.

Brian:     Oh man, I love it.

Chris:     No one had any clue and Justin says this all the time, the best thing about funk parade is no one knew what funk parade was, so we could've done anything.

Brian:     This sounds like something out of the Fight Club. The only rule about fight club is you don't talk about fight club. Well, the only thing about funk parade is that nobody knows what funk parade is.

Chris:     No one knew what a funk parade was. I think that's the best line that Justin shares, and that's kind of what we need to keep on doing every year is as it, we're now in our fourth year and so people expect certain things, but kind of our goal is to just mix everything up, mess it all up, throw it up and try to do something that where they show up the day of it'll be different. I don't want them to expect this is going to happen here, this going to be here. Even though there's something to that when you do it over and over again, but how can we add more spectacle? What can we add that's new that people don't expect this year?

Brian:     The only thing that's in common is the funk? Everything else [crosstalk 00:09:24].

Chris:     It now has a structure, but, yes, there's new music, new activations, new themes every year, so, yeah.

Brian:     Well, now what about you outside of this stuff? We've got funk parade and you've got this Listen Local First Thing, so when you're not doing that stuff who's Chris? What does he do?

Chris:     I think it's all the same now. I don't know if there is a me outside of that. No, I have a day job. I work as a telecom attorney for a small telecom company. I do FCC regulatory work and spectrum management, which, is really, I mean to most of you that's extremely boring, but this is I've just been lucky and I've been blessed with the work that I do with my business and they allow me to work on these projects. I have flexible schedule. I mean I can work, take the evenings and thanks to my wife, too, obviously, she is the-

Brian:     All right, shout out to the amazing woman in your life by the way. To your wife, thank you for letting him come on the show and let me borrow him for about an hour or two, this is-

Chris:     And letting me work very late nights a couple of times a week to work on sending out emails and making sure lineups are set. Yeah, so this time of a year my life is the festivals, really, and specifically funk parade. I like to take long trips and travel and just, I don't know, relax, play tennis, who knows outside of that?

Brian:     Relax and play ... I love that. I love that collection: travel, relax, and play tennis. That's a great [crosstalk 00:10:56], it goes together.

Chris:     That makes me sound way too D.C. I haven't actually played tennis in two years, so if anyone out there wants to play.

Brian:     Traveling, are you like foreign travel, domestic travel? What does travel mean?

Chris:     Yeah, we took an awesome trip this past year. My whole family, I'm Romanian, and so we went with my brother and his wife and my wife and my parents and we took a trip to the motherland. Took a two week trip.

Brian:     That's amazing.

Chris:     It was our one year wedding anniversary. I slammed my wife in a van with her whole family and said, "Here you go, here's your anniversary. It's our one year wedding anniversary, let's go spend two weeks in a van with your in-laws."

Brian:     Is that what they do with the Romania heritage? Is that what it is? On your anniversary you get to lock her in the van with everybody.

Chris:     Yeah.

Brian:     Oh my God, Chris, I love it. That's amazing. I realize with all the music you do, what's something in your music collection that might surprise us?

Chris:     To my closest friends it's not a surprise, but I'm a kid that grew up on The Beatles and my parents' Beatles records, and I have all of their original records at my place. Obviously, I went through the period where I listened to all of the pop music growing up and it was the Nirvana and the Green Day at the time, which was what everyone was listening to throughout middle school, but then I had this realization about the Grateful Dead and the Grateful Dead was my gateway into music.

Brian:     Wow, the Grateful Dead.

Chris:     Yeah.

Brian:     All right.

Chris:     What they had done, and I'd listened to some from dad and through friends and so that was really such a big moment for me in getting into music and what they were able to do with their music. I hadn't heard anything like it at the time.

Brian:     Wow. All right. Well, I got two more for you, two more questions I'm curious about. One is you'd mentioned like music policy and the D.C. cultural plan, can you talk a little bit about that?

Chris:     Sure. What's going on right now is the city has been in the process of collecting data from the music community on how they're going to spend money and how they're going to direct policies over the next couple of year toward growing the cultural community. What we did, we had a conference back in October, and you were at that conference, the whole idea was to bring people from the music community together to talk in a one day panel or a one day conference focused on different aspects of music policy, everything from housing to media outlets and issues with different genres of music being lost and jazz and go-go and sort of how the city is addressing these different genres. The cultural plan is happening now. It's still happening, they're still collecting data.

                  My biggest interest, and what Listen Local First is trying to do, is find a way to sort of communicate to these different agencies. We want to put together this taskforce, like you mentioned before, it's a way for artists to go to get centralized information about the government to address concerns with different aspects of the government and how we can get all these different facets of the government communicating about music the correct way. The other day someone from some organization made some comment and it was published where it said D.C. used to be a sleepy music town and now we've got these amazing acts performing, these big headline festivals or headline these big festivals, and D.C. was never a sleepy music town.

Brian:     Thank you for correcting that.

Chris:     Yeah, and it's just communicating that to people within the different agencies. Let's say the Office of Planning, obviously, Arts and Humanities, getting the mayor's office onboard, talking to everyone from police to traffic, when they're working, when they're giving out permits for events, like how are we thinking about our music scene, because how we think about it is sort of what we project upon it. That's really a big part of the work I'm doing right now that's outside of the festival planning.

Brian:     Wow, and it's so good. It's encouraging for me, as a musician, to hear that there's folks in their advocating for this, because often times when you think about the government meetings there's a total void from actually listening to the community, even though I know that's not true and they allow comment and stuff, but it's reassuring to me that you're there, so thanks for doing what you're doing on that front.

Chris:     Well and it's not even me, it's you. It's bringing together the people that want to have a voice and that have a strong voice to give, to explain to these people. I had a number of events this summer where I brought people over to my house, from now on you're going on that list, you're going to be invited to all those.

Brian:     We'll keep in touch. Thank you, sir.

Chris:     It's really getting the musicians themselves and organizing them to sort of meet with the correct people, so if I'm that middleman then I'll take that.

Brian:     That's awesome. All right. If folks are interested in finding out more about you and Listen Local First, what are the resources, where do they go to find out what you're doing and what's going on with Listen Local First?

Chris:     You can think of Listen Local First as an umbrella. I mean I like to share stuff that's going on. On our Facebook page you can check out Listen Local First, on Facebook. You can check out Listen Local D.C. on Twitter, Listen Local D.C. on Instagram. Really, we're not doing regular shows as Listen Local First, we're not doing regular events or playlists, but we are posting about advocacy, we have a list there, we're trying to send information and distribute information to people. You can find out about the festivals by going to, you can go to funkparade.com, Funk Parade on Facebook, Funk Parade on Twitter, and I think it's D.C. Funk Parade on Instagram. That's really the main festival I work on now. I was working on the bluegrass festival, I'm not currently with them, though I did help book that festival and I think the festival's going to be awesome, so you guys should check it out. It's kingmanislandbluegrass.com, I think that's the website. Kingman Island Bluegrass and Folk Festival, you can Google that.

February 14, 2017 - Special Guest: Miles Ryan of 7DrumCity

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FROM TODAY'S SHOW

NEWS

THAT playlist - you read that right, for those moments when you're together with that someone special, it's THAT playlist!  DC artists have produced incredible music for just those types of love moments, and we're happy to have put them all together for you.  Check it out HERE, or on our Find-Browse Music Page!

MUSIC

  1. All Right - Carolyn Malachi (Jazz/R&B)
  2. Perfection - Kenny Sway (Pop/R&B)
  3. Favorite Girl - Aaron Abernathy (R&B/Soul)
  4. Set You Free - Aztec Sun (Funk/Soul)
  5. Sunflower Eyes - Lookout Gang (Rock/Soul)
  6. Freeze - Prinze George (Indie/Indie Electronic)
  7. You Get The Wiser - Menage a Garage (Punk/Punk Pop)
  8. Intro/Outro music by Fellowcraft (Hard Rock/Blues)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-



Miles Ryan

Video - Bio - Photos - Links

Bio

DC Music Rocks Miles Ryan

7DrumCity is a music studio on North Capitol Street NW that offers drum lessons band practice space, and community events. The synergy of these things has created a hub and community space for musicians to meet, hang, learn, and even perform in a cozy environment. Our 100 drum students and several dozen core bands that practice here have created a thriving place to grow! 

DC Music Rocks Miles Ryan (3)

 

We just opened our new studio at 1506 North Capitol Street NW featuring 3 floors and a 2-story carriage house in the back. 3800 square feet, 9 rooms, and enough space to host a music festival. We grew from just 2 students in the owner Miles’ living room in 2011 to our beloved music studio on U street for 3 years, and as of January 31st, our new North Cap studio! Come see what it’s all about at our Grand Opening Festival on February 25th from 2-10pm, featuring 22 bands, art display, short films, giveaways, food, and beer. 

 

 

Links

Official Website: http://www.7drumlessons.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/7DrumCity/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/7DrumCity

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/7drumcity

DC Music Rocks Miles Ryan (2)
 

Interview Transcript

Brian:     Miles Ryan is the creator and owner 7DrumCity. 7DrumCity, which opened in 2011, is a music studio on North Capitol Street Northwest that offers drum lessons, band practice space, and community events. It's become a hub for musicians to meet, hang, learn, and even perform in a cozy environment. Hosting more than a hundred drum students and several dozen core bands that practice at 7DrumCity regularly. They just opened their new studio at 1506 North Capitol Street, featuring three floors and a two story carriage house in the back. So it's 3,800 square feet total. Nine rooms in total and enough space to host a music festival.

                  So with that, listeners, I first met Miles through the Flash Band program and 7Drum, his studio ... I went and took lessons there, and I've gotten to know the guy. And I am so excited that I get to introduce him to you because he is such a cool member of the scene that it's a treat to have him on the show. So it's with great pleasure that I introduce Miles Ryan. Say hi man. Thanks for being here.

Miles:    It a treat to be here too. I [crosstalk 00:01:11] love you, just to get that out of the way.

Brian:     (Laughter) It is that special Valentines time of [crosstalk 00:01:15] the year so I love you too, man. Let's keep it going with the love. I love it. And speaking of love, you love drums. So how did 7DrumCity, or 7Drum Lessons ... It's had different names over the time, but how did this whole idea come about? How did it start?

Miles:    Well the idea ... Man, I thought this would be an easy question, but ... I originally just wanted to make some money on the side teaching drum lessons. I used to be in the solar energy industry and I was living in Boston. And I got laid off. And that was in May 2010. Around then I was hanging out with some entrepreneur friends and-

Brian:     Good friends, by the way. Entrepreneur friends are great friends to have.

Miles:    Yeah, good to hang out with those kind of people.

Brian:     Absolutely.

Miles:    But they were pretty influential for me. Also I was dating a woman who lived down here and she's a jazz singer. Another music entrepreneur herself.

Brian:     Awesome.

Miles:    Lena Seikaly(sp?), actually. But you should check out some of her music sometime.

Brian:     Okay.

Miles:    I came down to D.C. and then I basically started a website. Wanted to teach drum lessons. My friend Chris Williams, who went to Babson College, was sort of begging me for lessons. [crosstalk 00:02:43] And I was like, "All right, fine. I'll teach you a lesson." And I was like, "This is actually kind of awesome." I like teaching. I forgot I used to tutor Spanish and Italian in high school and college and that kind of thing.

Brian:     Now where did the name "7Drum" come from?

Miles:    Well, Seven ... It was originally called "7DrumLessons" because I wanted to show up more in the search engines because it was a clear name, drum lessons. [crosstalk 00:03:18] But something identity, maybe, of something ... I've thought a lot about it, but seven is about the chakras, the seven chakras of the human body.

Brian:     Really? No way. It comes from the chakras? [crosstalk 00:03:31] I love it. Miles, I had no idea, man. There you go. It's all about the chakras on Valentine's. But it's also all about the drums. There it is.

Miles:    So for those of you who don't know, there's seven ... The chakra system, which is basically an eastern based thing ... But it's now sort of just different energy centers of the body. They represent different emotions or energy that you can experience. And I though that it was kind of a cool way of categorizing the experience of being human and all that.

Brian:     Seven chakras. Love it. And is that a personal ... Are you big into the chakras or you familiar with it and you-

Miles:    I'm familiar with it. My mom talked to me about it. She's a reiki master which is where you ... I don't know. I don't really get it necessarily. [crosstalk 00:04:29] But you lie down and they clear your chakras of blockages or something. It's really cool. I don't know. Have you ever done that?

Brian:     I haven't tried before, but I've heard a lot of good things about it. So I'm a pretty open minded guy. I'd give it a shot. It sounds awesome. And I love the fact that that somehow stemmed into the name of this great thing. And so now tell us about this new location now. When did you move in? When did it open?

Miles:    Well let me just explain ... Maybe just get to that point first, I guess. I just started off ... Again I was just gonna do it on the side as I was looking for another job. And then people kept signing up. I realized that there wasn't anything else. So basically I brought my drum kit from high school into my living room. Somebody signed up. That was so amazing. It was like, I got an e-mail that someone signed up. I was like a stranger [crosstalk 00:05:25]

Brian:     That you didn't know. [inaudible 00:05:25] no longer was your friends. It was somebody else.

Miles:    Oh yeah.

Brian:     What a cool thing.

Miles:    Yeah, and he ended up taking lessons like four years, [crosstalk 00:05:32] which is awesome. Anyway, I was in my living room for three years, and then found a space on U Street. Got a three year lease there and that's where everything kind of blossomed. You made it sound like, the way you're describing it, that this is a new studio starting from zero. But we've actually already had about a hundred drum students and all these bands and stuff that preexisted. So our lease was up at the other spot so we moved to this new place. It was kind of tough to leave our beloved, yellow building. [crosstalk 00:06:09] But I--

Brian:     Where about in D.C. is this one located. You said on North Capitol Street.

Miles:    Yeah, North Capitol Street. So if you stand in the middle of North Capitol there is a ... Just watch for the cars, but-

Brian:     Don't stand in the middle of Capitol, for reference.

Miles:    Anyway, if you peak out you can see the Capitol Building It's kind of cool. It's like up on hill and then it's like right where North Capitol hits Florida Ave which goes straight over to U Street.

Brian:     Got it. Which is near ... What metro stop is that near?

Miles:    It's near the NoMa metro stop. So it's one block up from NoMa, basically.

Brian:     That's cool. So what about you outside of drums? We know that you ... We're pretty clear you've drums and you got a drum lesson place that's turned into a drum studio. What about you outside of those things?

Miles:    Well, it is Valentine's Day.

Brian:     Excellent.

Miles:    I'll start with what I should start with which is my amazing girlfriend [inaudible 00:07:08][crosstalk 00:07:09] Just gotta shout it out.

Brian:     Shout out to the love. The lady in his life. Yup, I love it. Okay.

Miles:    Amazing woman.

Brian:     Awesome. Happy Valentine's Day.

Miles:    Spend time with her. That's number one thing.

Brian:     Got it. Okay. Time with her.

Miles:    Check that off the list.

Brian:     Oh no. There's no checking. That one's in there automatically 'cause she's that awesome. So props to the woman in you life, man. Awesome.

Miles:    Thanks to ... I'm just gonna shout out to Bumble. Bumble's awesome.

Brian:     (Laughter) Yes, shout out to Bumble. I love it.

Miles:    It's been-

Brian:     Yes.

Miles:    Five months since that story. So you know, Valentine's Day theme.

Brian:     Okay, I dig it. Absolutely.

Miles:    Miles' personal life.

Brian:     All right, so out side of your life now, is there there more? What else? There's a dog, right?

Miles:    Yeah, there is a dog. You must know me or something.

Brian:     Yeah, I do. It's like I've seen you before. I've been buggin' you. Whatever. So, then, who's the dog? Tell us about the dog.

Miles:    Well my dog, his name is Remo, which is also a brand of drum head.

Brian:     Ah, so that's where the name comes from. A dog named Remo. Remo drum heads. Very good heads, by the way.

Miles:    He's a black lab/pointer mix. And so he's really cute in my biased opinion. He usually can be found at the studio. Very chill, relaxed dog for a three year old.

Brian:     Cool man.

Miles:    Oh no, go ahead.

Brian:     I was just gonna ask, what about the personal life? And I'm just curious. And I'm gonna ask you another question which is biggest success moment that comes to mind when you think about 7Drum. What comes to mind?

Miles:    Well, I mean that first student, was honestly still like a very emotional moment. His name was Mitch. He's awesome.[inaudible 00:09:03]

Brian:     And you got ... This was when you were still in your living room or hadn't even got the drum set yet?

Miles:    Hadn't even moved to D.C. yet. That was in December.

Brian:     Wow.

Miles:    Made the website and everything.

Brian:     Awesome.

Miles:    But anyway, that was cool. And then I guess another big thing was hitting a hundred students. Active enrolled students, which was like I think last fall.

Miles:    I just sort of had that number. It's a nice number. But of course that number is always sort of going up and down if someone's away for the summer. Then you're like, "Well do you count that?"

Brian:     No, we're counting it. A hundred students, [crosstalk 00:09:48] that amazing. That's amazing. I love it. Now, one of my favorite questions to ask is, "If you had one piece of advice to offer, what would it be?"

Miles:    Well, I prepared for this question but it was hard to pick one.

Brian:     All right, we'll start with one. What d'you got?

Miles:    I mean, I'd say visualize what you want.

Brian:     Say more.

Miles:    Spend time-

Brian:     In your head? Is it a vision board?

Miles:    Yeah, in your head. Thinking about what it is that you want to see happen. And it will happen. You have to ... And this is what big thing that helped me get to where we're at is just trying to set goals, you know. Working backwards from where you decide you want to get to.

Brian:     Sure. So are you at your vision? This place on North Capitol? What's your vision like in your head?

Miles:    Well right now I just want to take over the world. But-

Brian:     Got it. Okay.

Miles:    No, no, no. That's exaggeration. But honestly, well right now, you're asking my goals right now?

Brian:     Well you said you have a vision. So what was your vision before you got to here? Were you envisioning where you're at now? Did it look different in your head?

Miles:    No, when I started I didn't start this studio, or community, or business because I was trying to have a big 4,000 square foot studio. I just wanted to ... My vision was I thought people were working too hard in general and too stressed out and not having balanced enough lives. So I wanted to try to help people live more balanced, fulfilling lives.

Brian:     Got it.

Miles:    And I think that music should be like sports. Everyone has some sort of exercise that they like. Everyone should have some kind of music or artistic thing that they like, which I think most people do. But I don't know if it's already unacceptable, or something to be like, "No, I don't do any exercise."

Brian:     Got it.

Miles:    But what about ... We gotta get everyone going on music and feeling those vibes and-

Brian:     I agree. Well all right. So we'll get people going. And now I want to get to the amazing tracks that you brought us, but I do want you to share with folks what's the website. If they want to find out more about 7DrumCity, where do they go?

Miles:    7DrumCity.com