After weeks of social media buzz amongst musicians and music lovers, the highly anticipated unveiling of VoodooHoney Records is slated for Saturday, December 10 at Company Brewing in Riverwest. The newly-formed record label represents a roster of musicians and artists who have all made their mark in Milwaukee this past year.
VoodooHoney’s inaugural event will feature some of the city’s most engaging musicians and Spoken Word artists:
Although they are classically trained musicians, Monique and Chauntee Ross, the real-life sisters of SistaStrings, share their first love of gospel music. Their sound is a soulful blend of their eclectic musical backgrounds.
Known as a “songwriter, mantra constructor/conductor,” Lord Fredd33’s powerful lyrics collide with the graceful anger of his stage movements to challenge audiences’ thoughts on race and equality in America.
Klassik’s fusion of Hip-Hop and Jazz maintains a positive message fueled by influences as diverse as Stevie Wonder and John Coltrane on up to Kanye West and Pharrell Williams. In 2012, he was named “Solo Artist of the Year” by 88.9 Radio Milwaukee, then in 2013 the Wisconsin Area Music Industry award him the “Rap/Hip Hop Artist of the Year” award. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel named him one of the “Top Ten Artists to Watch” in 2014. Awards and critical accolades aside, Klassik has vowed to make his greatest personal and musical influence – his late father Robin Abston – proud. Seeing Klassik perform live, hearing his stunning vocal range and heartfelt lyrics, is proof that his father has been honored well.
B-Free’s debut solo album, “Ode 2 a Luv Affair,” was released to critical acclaim this year. It was nominated for five awards from Radio Milwaukee 88.9, including Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Solo Artist of the Year, Music Video of the Year and Independent Release of the Year.
Poet Kavon Cortez-Jones has been called Milwaukee’s “Black Bob Dylan” and the “poeticized Jimi Hendrix.” He’s a teaching artist at The Milwaukee Repertory Theater and has self-published a homage to his hometown in the book “Club Noir.”
Brit Nicole is currently a Community Health Ambassador at United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County and she has a long-standing commitment to working with youth in her community.
The Truth, the newest group in this roster, calls itself a “local four-piece funk, soul, and alternative R&B” group formed by Chris G. (Christopher DeAngelo Gilbert) and Saxophonist/Producer Jay Anderson. They’re joined by Bo Triplex (Bo Triplex and His Beautiful Band), on bass. Bo is known for his high-energy baselines, infectious smile and his work with the popular group New Age Narcissism (NAN). Chris Gee’s dapper sense of fashion and dance moves have taken him to Los Angeles where he was a regular on Nickelodeon’s show “Yo Gabba Gabba.” Back in Milwaukee, he’s a consummate performer and fellow member of NAN. The Truth’s keyboardist, Curtis Crump, Jr., has strong connections to gospel music and brings a background in both traditional and contemporary Jazz to the new band.
VoodooHoney Records is the dreamchild of musician and Black American Arts Curator Jay Anderson. The company aims to become a central hub serving Milwaukee artists and creativity-driven industries. By fostering and promoting new work in music, the written and spoken word, visual media, fashion and other arts-related business, VoodooHoney is creating a web of connections throughout the city.
Anderson has drawn together a host of Milwaukee’s creative innovators and supporters, including promoter David Ravel, artist Reginald Baylor and Digital Director for Radio 88.9’s Tarik Moody as Artistic Directors and writer Brooke Maroldi as the company’s Chief Editor. Musicians in VoodooHoney’s roster include Britney Freeman-Farr (B-Free), Kellen Abston (Klassik), Christian Strehlow of Noh Life, all as Associate Producers.
Jay Anderson – Founder and Executive Producer
Brooke Maroldi – Chief Editor
David Ravel – Artistic Director
Reginald Baylor – Artistic Director
Tarik Moody – Artistic Director/ Digital Distribution
Danny Zelonky – Associate Recording Engineer
TImothy Russell – Associate Recording Engineer
Jeremy Thomas – Mobile Recording Engineer/Soundman
Rachel Hughes – Graphic designer
Jenny Vanderheiden – Graphic Designer
Jamie Breiwick – Graphic Designer
Weston Ritch – Chief photographer
Mahdi Gransberry – Associate Photographer
Rob Randolph – Associate Photographer
Emry Birsky – videographer
Chris Siegel – videographer
Sane Crew – Videography
Markus Sherman – Writer
Britney Freeman-Farr – Vocal Coach/Associate Producer
Christain Strehlow – Associate Producer
Kellen Abston – Associate Producer
Quinten Farr – In-House Director of Bands
Christopher DeAngelo Gilbert – In-House Choreographer/Director of Fashion
VoodooHoney Records’ Unveiling Party takes place from 10:30 pm on Saturday, December 10 to 2:30 am on December 11 at Company Brewing, 735 East Center Street.
– Brooke Maroldi
for VoodooHoney Records
“Jazz?” is a compilation of one-off recordings composed mostly by Anderson, a kind of tour de force reminiscent of Prince’s early albums because Anderson plays most of the parts. The tracks range from watery, poetic contemplations of “Death” to raw expressions of anger and frustration depicted in “A Night in Milwaukee.” This track mixes Jordan Lee’s samplings of news reports of recent police shootings of a young Black man in Sherman Park with a frenetic version of Dizzy Gillespie’s “Night in Tunisia” played by Anderson’s jazz trio Stomata.
There’s a darkness here, even with the seemingly cheerfully titled song “The Pomegranate,” which the musician introduces simply by saying, “This is Jay Anderson and this is how I feel about the pomegranate.” Here he plays both clarinet and piano, offering up a saturnine reflection that illustrates Anderson’s respect for the spaces between the notes. “Hashish” brings back the “I cannot die” refrain of the first track with Anderson playing all the instruments in an exoctic Middle Eastern-inspired exploration of altered states.
“Off the Grid” is the most traditional uptempo Jazz/House cut on the album. A collaboration between Anderson and Christian Strehlow of NOH Life Collective, the track combines house music where Strehlow produced the beats with Anderson’s live saxophone. The last track, incredibly titled “The Superpsychedelicalization of Hypersexuality in Stasis Existence,” is reminiscent of a 1930s soundtrack to a film noir film where the character is lost, hallucinating and moved to explore the excesses of human experience. Anderson played all the parts: bass, drums, piano, alto saxophone, soprano sax, baritone sax, flute and bass clarinet. Inspired by Charles Mingus, Anderson says it’s about “being in the middle of a super strong psychedelic trance when you feel like you’re getting ripped apart.”
“Jazz!” was produced, mixed and mastered by Kiran Vee (Q the Sun), Anderson’s bandmate in the popular group New Age Narcissism. Kellen “Klassik” Abston produced “Death” in his studio, recording Anderson’s original poem which was inspired by Fela Kuti’s quote, “I cannot die, for I have death in my pouch.”
Happy release day everyone! “Coronation” is now here!
Below you can check out the EP in its entirety, courtesy of Milwaukee Record. You can also watch “Atlantis & the Lost Lands,” the second of three live videos from our Summer Soulstice performance.
“Coronation” is also available on all major platforms, apple music, Spotify, Tidal, Amazon music, Itunes, google play, etc!
Arte Para Todos is a special yearly event where local bands play local venues and 100% of the money goes to school funding for art programs, the title in English is “art for everyone”
I Play in so many of the Milwaukee bands that i actually ended up playing 6 shows that weekend with Stomata,Lex Allen, New Boyz Club, New Age Narcissism, Lorde freddee and my band Foreign Goods Closed out the event on sunday night, it was a great experience and Andrew feller from 414 Milwaukee had these great shots!