San Diego Duo, Vokab Kompany, use their music as a source of healing for both themselves and all of their listeners. In celebration of the recent release of ‘Small Viktories’, I caught up with the guys for a fun chat about developing their skillsets throughout quarantine, the importance of being a good person, being on the right side of history and more.
Congrats on the release of your new LP, ‘Small Viktories’. Tell us about the creation process and what your intention was behind this release.
Robbie – Been a long time in the making for this one. Respectfully Burkey and I have been working on our side projects too, (check Red Giant Project & B3k). However, we’ve been at this for over a decade having put out a total of 6 albums in addition to the collaborations with so many of our favorite artists! Needless to say, we have been needing to put this out! Our last album, The Good Kompany Album, had a total of 15 songs on it. While this one only has 9, it feels full of story and substance. It’s definitely a viktory for us! Can’t wait to play this live. We will be streaming a show July 24th at 6:30 PM – – Tune in here.
I know that the Coronavirus has been really impactful on all, yet tell us the lowdown on how you have been utilizing all of your time in quarantine.
Both Burkey and I have been practicing our craft and developing more musical skills. I have been learning Logic Pro and he’s been learning guitar. We’ve also been getting that outdoor exercise building gardens, hanging with our families and trying to be better people and lead by example during all this crazy stuff.
Showcasing the human in you, what is a challenging thought that you had recently and were able to overcome over time?
Robbie – With all wild shit that’s going on, it’s now more important than ever to make sure you are a good person to all! Whether that’s protesting for civil and human rights, or staying in your house wearing a bubble suit, do it and do it fucking right! Let’s set the new gold standard of being a quality human. No matter what race you are, don’t be a part of the divide. Be a part of the connect. Be a part of the change. And be a part of the support.
What is your perception of the digital world that we live in and social media culture?
Robbie – It’s a necessary evil! But for real if you’re not using it to learn, you’re lost. Granted there is a bunch of bullshit out there however, there’s also a bunch of great information and tools we can better ourselves with. Also, be nice to the computers. One day they’ll own us.
No career path or amount of followers negates the fact that you are a human being that has feelings. Tell us about some parts of you beyond being a musician that you take pride in.
Burkey – Being a parent drives me in all aspects of my life, from how I perform, to how I create music. It becomes the driving force of how I navigate my relationships in the music industry, as well. Being an educator also impacts how I view myself and others. For example, I don’t like writing songs that I wouldn’t play in front of my children, students or parents. I’ve found that if I keep them in mind when responding to most situations in my life, I can be more accountable for my actions. At least this is the mantra I’m striving for.
If you could sit down and have a conversation with someone who has guided you through your journey as an artist, who would you choose and why?
Mrs. Keurac. She taught me how to play trumpet through middle school. But then I quit! I would tell her, don’t let me QUIT! Also, I would go back to my 20 year old self and say, don’t throw out all your hip hop tapes, dummy! I had such a nice collection.
Going back to when you were 12-years-old, if you were stuck at home then as we are now, what would your 12-year-old self be doing?
Burkey – I would be playing hoop all day errrrrday!
Robbie – I would be riding my bike as far as I could go without getting in trouble by my moms!
Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?
WE FUCKING LOVE YOU! Thank you for hanging in there with us for so long. Stoked you guys are celebrating this record with us! #SmallViktories! Can’t wait to play for you again soon.
New Orleans Musical Group, Tank and the Bangas, brought their ‘Green Balloon’ Tour to Detroit and it was a delight for all to observe such an idiosyncratic bunch of musicians come together for the sole purpose of sharing their love of music. Touring the globe and finding success throughout emitting their own version of Funk and Jazz, Tank and the Bangas is a group that is bound to last.
Italian Funk Collective, The Black City, are an idiosyncratic group of musicians that have morphed their obscure thoughts into a creatively detailed bundle of music throughout their latest full-length album release, ‘Wake Up. The Funk’. Here’s our track-by-track thoughts.
Kicking off with the first and title track, ‘Wake Up. The Funk’, the guys jump in with ease akin to instrumentals of Grateful Dead which invigorates the minds of listeners as they travel down a journey of lyrical simplicity that is pleasing to the soul. The second track, “Stone Free”, is full of groove that will make you move as vocals that soothe the spirit gift listeners with a ticket to the other side and a place to glide through lyrics that pour forward the yearning for love. “Hour of the Beasties” is the third track that kicks up the pace with a fun Jungle instrumental that is mixed with Electronic which leads into a full-blown eclectic mix that sounds akin to a track by Red Hot Chili Peppers. The fourth track, “Cage”, slows it down into a lyrical exploration of freedom from internal incarceration that is accompanied by awareness of one’s personal freedom to embody their truest self at all times. “Be Quiet” is the fifth track that is full of mindfulness as the guys venture through the highs and lows of the experience of silence and the lack of sensory which could lead a mind either into inspiration or depravity.
The sixth track, “Original Sound”, begins with a Low-Fi ease that trickles into vocals that mimic the likes of Tricky as lyrics that speak of the power of vibrations spill forward and inspire listeners to reach toward peace. “Shadow Wake” is the seventh track that begins with a beautiful intro instrumental that showcases the dynamic group of talent that is The Black City as lyrics that speak of attempting to awaken from a long slumber leads listeners down under. The eighth track, “Goosebumps (Remix)”, begins with a bold proclamation of love that is warm to pleasant as funky instrumentals leave listeners spinning in a web of romanticism and sin. Closing out with “Funky Time (Remix)”, the guys close with lyrics that remind listeners that taking the high road is always the way to go.
If you’re a fan of fellow musicians such as Grateful Dead, Red Hot Chili Peppers and lyrics similar to Rage Against The Machine, then keep an eye on the ride ahead for The Black City on Soundcloud.
Coming together with the intent of creative release and uniting all walks of life through music is the name of the game for Funk and Soul Group, Rose Ann Dimalanta Trio. Having recently released their latest album, ‘It’s Time’, there’s a lot to celebrate for the multi-talented trio. Here’s our track-by-track thoughts.
Kicking off with the first track, “Forever Day By Day”, an eclectic array of instrumentals that represent the synergy amongst the three leads a listener into a place of total immersion in the lyrical trajectory that is present, mindful and meaningful. The second track, “10 Miles to Empty”, slows it down into a sensual burst of longing as Lead Vocalist, Rose Ann Dimalanta, eases the mind with her serene vocal style that is abounding with wisdom and strength. “Dinner For One” is the third track that is a lyrical slice of awareness when it comes to each human beings ability to create the version of themselves that will serve toward a life of wellness. The fourth track, “Seven Days”, begins with the feeling of an Alicia Keys track back in her ‘The Diary of Alicia Keys’ days as lightly drawn out instrumentals serve to emerge a bright, open and easy inner space within listeners.
“Happily’s Never After” is the fifth track and album highlight that instrumentally grooves and aligns with the lyrical journey into the moment which leads to the most mollifying glimpses of happiness and pleasure. The sixth track, “Measure of A Man”, gracefully enters a locked inner chamber and challenges the release of rapid thoughts that hinder the maturation of a dear interpersonal connection. The eighth track, “Latin Soul”, is a vibrant burst of instrumental mystery and edge that creeps and crawls into the hearts of multicultural human beings swinging on the dance floor. “Miles” is the tenth track that is an intimate array of feelings that sprout as the song gently carries listeners into a place of mental clarity while Rose Ann lyrically examines her journey of Motherhood and more. The eleventh track, “No Goodbyein”, leaves one floating as the trio lead all into a place of assurance when it comes to the blooming of a deep soul connection. “Mad Run” is the twelfth track that mimics the ethereal energy of Sade in her ‘Stronger Than Pride’ days as Rose Ann lyrically travels through the rush that she has encountered through collision with one of her life’s most beautiful partners. Closing out with “That’s All”, Rose Ann solidifies her belief that the love that she shares with another is a key component of what makes her feel fulfilled in this massive world.
Rose Ann Dimalanta Trio has created an Adult Contemporary work of soul that leads the mind toward the release of control. If you’re a fan of fellow musicians such as Sade, Seal and then keep an eye on the ride ahead for Rose Ann Dimalanta Trio on Soundcloud.