#WeKeepTheAnswers: A Review of A Talent Showcase in NY

This Thursday, your girl attended a Champagne Social hosted by Next2Shine.com, which brings different artists in a room full of music executives, writers, and general fans of music to showcase the talents of rising artists. So, I wanted to share a little review of my experience at the soiree and the featured talents. First, my experience with the @Next2Shine Champagne Social was actually quite wonderful. It was a free event with just a required RSVP. While some would consider the drinks and food at the chose location to be expensive, the general atmosphere was not as bourgeoisie as one would expect at a talent showcase that serviced some of the most powerful people in the music and media industry.

Now for the talent…I was completely blown away. City of the Sun, which consists of two guitarists and one percussionist, opened with their set. The instrumental magic that oozed out of their performance was reminiscent of the music I heard on the streets of Spain with a mix of funky bluegrass. The only thing lacking from @CityoftheSun was a vocal component. After searching online, I found some instances of one guitarist singing. While their stardom potential maybe questioned because of the instrumental agenda that they stick with, those young men’s magnetic energy is enough to keep them entertaining people for life. Just ask the drunken music executives who couldn’t help, but to dance off beat to their infectious music.

The next artist that took over the intimate stage at was Samantha Johnson. The curly-haired beauty took things to the next level when she was accompanied by a five person band for her performance. Side Note: Her keyboardist is actor Chaz Lamar Shepherd. Do you remember the film, Set It Off? Chaz was Jada Pinkett-Smith’s brother who lied about going to college and had his life cut short by cops who confused him with a bank robber, but I digress. @SamanthaTheBomb and her band’s performance was very polished and professional, as the Massachusetts native effortlessly glided through different rifts and octaves throughout each song. Johnson, who covered everyone from Whitney Houston to Patti Labelle, had a powerful voice to musically embody the divas, even down to their exact ad-libs! However, I would have appreciated hearing some original music, in order to see how she would individualize her strong voice.

The final performers were Clyde Lawrence, Gracie Lawrence, and their band (I’m a bit confused about the actual name of the group). I must admit, when they approached the stage in their casual outfits and baseball caps they had me thinking that they were going to throw off the soulful-energetic feel that was previously established, but I was happily proven wrong. Along with an interesting cover of Britney Spears’ “Toxic,” they performed some great original music that does not do itself justice unless you hear it live! @ClydeLMusic‘s voice and performance style reminded me of a lower-registered Jamiroquai, from the “Virtual Insanity-era” and it was refreshing. However, it was his sister Gracie who stole the show. Appearing to stand just a little bit over 5’4, Gracie had people on their feet with her rich belting that sounded like a love child of a Teena Marie and Joss Stone. I look forward to seeing how Clyde and Gracie refine their brand.

Let us know what other events we need to be covering and check out my #cheapandriodstruggle photos of the event below!

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