By Alex Kantarelis
Worcester has a hip-hop pioneer and his name is Dizzy Dizasta. The local hip-hop artist, booking agent, and musical entrepreneur is about to release his new mix tape called The Official Dizasta Volume 1. This release will feature a slew of artists who are at the top of their game, including Sean Price, Terminology, and Buddha Monk.
The Worcester native got his start winning rap battles at Clark University and quickly made a name for himself in the local scene. From there, the transition into the studio was easy, and he began recording tracks with local legend Larry Cheeba. Motivated by his own love for hip-hop, he began setting up shows in Worcester, bringing in a different hip-hop icon every week. But to him, being just a Worcester artist wasn’t enough. He hit the road, and landed shows as far away as Seattle, and Florida.
Hip-hop is truly a way of life for Dizasta, who spends his non-studio time doing promotions and booking a variety of shows all over New England. Representing the label Str8Up Ent., he has always been driven to make his shows the biggest and the best possible.
Dizasta has ties with Wu Tang and is the first general of the Dirty Clanzmen, a Wu Tang tribute, and has been featured on many Wu Tang-endorsed mix tapes. “[Wu Tang] influenced me to keep my music conscious, and to keep staying real,” he said. He credits them for inspiring him to push the envelope further in his own song writing. “I have my own style, I grew up listening to many different artists, but [Wu Tang] keep me wanting to seek more knowledge and wanting to seek more wisdom,” he said, adding that “I want to make music that makes people sit down and think.”
Dizasta’s positive mental attitude and unbelievable work ethic have carried him this far, so be sure to check out the new mix tape when it’s out, and drop by his release show June 2nd for a free copy.
Check him out on Facebook, or drop his name into Google to find more info.
Kung Fu Grip
By Jason Savio
It’s not easy being a cover band. It seems like they’re a dime a dozen and trying to separate yourself from the pack can be can be like trying to steal a banana from a gorilla. Said gorilla is bound to become displeased with your sudden surge of bravery and pound you back into obscure submission.
Luckily for Kung Fu Grip ~ a local cover band ~ this isn’t Planet Of The Apes. KFG is moving full steam ahead with creating their own niche, snagging a nomination for Best Up And Comers by the 2012 Worcester Music Awards along the way. Of course, it always helps when your lead singer is nominated for Sexiest Musician, too.
Fronted by Renee Poirier on vocals, KFG immediately sets itself apart from most other cover acts by having a female lead singer. “After playing together for a year or so, and a band name change, we were in the search for a new lead singer, which lead to Renee taking the role with confidence,” says lead guitarist Nick Cosenza. Guitarist Sean O’Connell, bassist Don Barry, and drummer Dave Erickson round out the ensemble.
KFG, like all cover bands, face the similar task of putting their own spin on well-known classics, but Cosenza doesn’t allow it to intimidate and instead takes a cue from a trusted source: “My dad brought me up on Jimi Hendrix,” he explains, “and his version of ‘All Along the Watchtower’ just showed me that covering a song doesn’t mean you can’t be creative with it and make it your own.”
With a hot singer and talented group of musicians, KFG is rewriting what it means to be a cover band.
“We’re a younger, edgier, and talented band with lots of energy,” adds Poirier, “We draw the crowd in with our fresh sound and vibe.”
Catch the band on 5/12 at Tammany Hall and check them out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Kung-Fu-Grip/52613475755.
By Jason Savio
Just in time for the long and hazy summer afternoons is Fitchburg’s comes Sun Sister. A melting pot of angst and mellow weariness, Sun Sister delivers a smooth and jagged sonic wave caught in a glass bottle.
The members of Sun Sister, including singer Stacy Baird, first met at school where they all studied astrology before deciding to start a band together. “We can’t name drop the school, if you want to call it that,” says Baird, “It was less dropping out and more running away. We foresaw a different path laid out ahead of us and a common vision had risen in us all.”
Less than a year old, Sun Sister has recorded some of their self-described “dreamy and gazy” sound on tape for their first EP, Rich American White Kidz.
“It’s a play on the stereotype,” explains Baird of the album title, “None of us comes from money. It seems like these days, it’s less ‘Age of Aquarius’ and more ‘The Age of Trustafarians.’ Certain freedoms and expression go along with each one of those words and together they certainly paint a picture.”
That picture fits neatly into the weary backdrop of the Shoe-Gaze formula the band resembles, but Baird doesn’t like to be marginalized, “I guess you might call us more Nu-Gaze/Dream-Pop or maybe just Dream-Gaze,” she says. “Any title makes us feel cornered. We pull influence from everywhere.”
When asked what kind of film their music would best fit, Baird responds “An erotic French film meets a slasher beach party.” Given the surf guitar vibe of tracks like “Blonde” that craftily glaze over a darker, cynical tone hidden underneath, this is a spot-on depiction, helping set Sun Sister up to be the sleeper hit of the summer.
May 18th ~ Fitchburg Artistree
May 4th ~ P.A.’s Lounge
June 15th ~ Ralph’s Diner
Photo by Ashley Labossiere, edited by Jen Cote
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