Vinyl Press: Version Blog-o-sphere

Spring Showdown: Artist Bios

Posted in music, UNC by baileyholman on March 23, 2010

Get to know the five finalists performing in Saturday’s showcase in their artist bios, written by the Vinyl Records Apples Course.

And take a listen:

Carolina Blues                                                                                                                                                                                                             A mix of soul-licked blues and classic blues-rock makes Carolina Blues, Chapel Hill’s own quartet, a contemporary classic blues-rock group that will get anyone dancing on their feet. 

With dynamic beats and the recent release of their debut album Highway 61, the Carolina Blues deliver a fresh new sound to the UNC music scene. Written in the home of the blues, Highway 61 in the Mississippi delta, the group takes a creative outlook on exploring the blues and bringing it to a wider audience.  The Carolina Blues will be featured in Vinyl Records Showdown, the yearly campus-wide concert that five bands compete in for a record deal on March 27,2010 at the Student Union Cabaret at 9:00 pm. The winner is decided by the students so support your fellow Tar Heels!

The Carolina Blues consists of four Phi Delta Theta brothers; Hudson Vincent on guitar, Ryan Watts on drums, Lucian Crokett on bass, and Kenneth Barshop as front man on guitar and vocals. Being influenced by the best such as the John Mayer Trio, Jimmy Hendrix, and B.B. King, the band culminates a wide array of music together to make their own. 

Yielded with American Fender Stratocasters, the dedicated dual guitarists play heart wrenching chords and self gratuitous guitar solos that take the live experience to the next level. Enthusiasm is contagious and that’s why a unique live show from the Carolina Blues will get the entire audience involved. You can catch these guys at charity and Greek events such as the Phi Mu Cookout on 3/25 and Slugfest on 4/25.

Sikz Pointz                                                                                                                                                                                                           Growing up in a musical family in the Bronx, Sikz Points, also known as Eric Berman, was always surrounded by music. He has been honing his craft as a hip-hop musician since the 7th grade. He began that journey in order to “get out his emotions”, but he has since progressed into a serious, committed musician. He is influenced by everything from the soul music of Sam Cooke and Motown to the socially-conscious hip-hop of Nas. The dedication with which he has pursued his work has led him to work with producers affiliated with Sony Records.

Sikz Pointz seeks a pure hip-hop sound. He strives for the listenability of his work, while staying true to the art form and way of life that is hip-hop. A Sophomore Business major with an emphasis in Entrepreneurial Studies at UNC, he hopes to set up his own record label after graduation.

Sam Khoujinian                                                                                                                                                                                                Genre: Indie/folk/jazz
Graduation Year: 2013
Influences: M. Ward, Andrew Bird
Hometown: Miami, FL
Music industry experience: As a prior member of Miami based indie group, Group Mentality, Sam has an album on itunes, Strawberry, prouduced by University of Miami’s Gary Lindsey.

A long hike through the bright folds of Sam Khoujinian’s brain is what you get when you listen to his music. This Miami local has been fine-tuning his musical talent since the young age of eight years old.  Ten years of piano and a year and a half of guitar practice later, Khoujinian has been able to produce a C.D. in Miami and is now ready to start fresh at Chapel Hill. With an acoustic guitar and colorful metaphors, this aspiring folk-jazz-indie artist is well-equipped to both stimulate your mind and tantalize your feet.  He is set to hit the stage, along with four other artists, on March 27th during Vinyl Record’s Spring Showdown. The winner of this event will be signed to the label. So come and support the young local UNC talent!!

Animal Alphabet                                                                                                                                                                                                    The name Animal Alphabet may sound like a children’s storybook, but it is far from it. Animal Alphabet is composed of Simon McGorman, Emma Dunlap-Grube, Catherine Steele, and Marc Allen, is a new band whose music can be classified as cathartic dirge alternative, an interesting and eclectic twist from your average band. The band is one of five finalists to compete for a record label with Vinyl Records. Simon and Emma teamed up two years ago, and within the last year Catherine and Marc added to the dynamic of the group to create a talented orchestral quartet. Simon, the guitar/ keyboardist/primary singer/ songwriter for the band, has a voice comparable to Radiohead’s Thom Yorke. Marc plays percussion and accentuates the music with rhythm and beat. Emma and Catherine contribute to the music by adding the orchestral stringed aspect to the unique sound of Animal Alphabet.

When writing songs, one little phrase can inspire songwriter Simon to craft an entire song in one sitting, while the other members of the band often help with the refining process of the song. One of the band’s most defining moments was when they all came together while “jamming”, and started experimenting with a variety of harmonies and lyrics to eventually write an original song. 

Animal Alphabet has been influenced by a variety of music, from Radiohead to the Beach Boys to twentieth century classical music. Animal Alphabet’s sound is unique, defined by the intricate vocal harmonies, electronica influences, and liberal song arrangements. The lyrics of Animal Alphabet invite a listener to interpret the song as they wish and creates a mood for self-reflection.

Robert Sapp                                                                                                                                                                                                          Robert Sapp is a UNC French Literature graduate student from North Alabama. Having frequently attended Bluegrass conventions as well as Folk Tune performances, Robert has always been an avid fan of folk music. He began playing the acoustic guitar at the age of 16 and since then has written several songs self accompanied by the guitar.

While finishing his undergraduate studies in Alabama, Robert recorded many of his songs with a professional music producer. In addition, he also performed regularly at bars and coffee shops in Birmingham and discovered a passion of sharing his art with the local people.  “There is nothing that beats a warm audience with whom you can share your songs”, the humble artist remarks.

After arriving in Chapel Hill for graduate studies, Sapp focused his main concentration on French Literature and temporarily “put [his] musical pursuits on the backburner”. However, Robert has occasionally performed at Jack Sprat’s Open Mic, and would love more opportunities to evolve as a musician.

Sapp’s future plans include continuing to teach French Literature in addition to devoting portions of his time to music. Although Sapp enjoys his concentration of graduate studies, he admits his greater dream of performing as a musician. “I wouldn’t do it for the money or attention”, the artist explains, “but just to use the little I have to make someone else’s day better.”

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