The Battle of the Boroughs- Bronx is a week away! As I’ve mentioned many times, it’s been one of my favorite events to attend since I began the blog. Our borough has so many wonderful, talented musicians that we probably pass in our daily travels and Battle of the Boroughs gives us a chance to hear them and see them perform. Stef Lebaux is one of those people. Like a mixologist of sound, she blends unique sounds together and pairs them with her hauntingly beautiful voice and clever lyrics. Learn more about her below in this month’s Spotlight!
Are you originally from the Bronx? If so, where? Do you feel that the Bronx inspires your work?
I grew up in the Morris Park area of the Bronx. I went to Boston to attend Emerson College and graduated with a degree in audio engineering and a minor in broadcast journalism, I also took music and engineering classes at Berklee College of Music. After that, I went to Los Angeles to work at Indie 103.1FM (an awesome indie station with tons of celebrity Djs). I worked as a producer, audio engineer and on-air personality. The city you grow up in definitely shapes who you are. No matter what city I’ve lived in, I’ve always been a New Yorker, and knew I wanted to come back some day. Being away from my family and friends in the Bronx inspired a lot of the emotion behind my newest EP release “Terrors”, and since returning to the Bronx, I feel rejuvenated and inspired to take my career in new directions.
Are there are people or things that influence your music?
I’m very inspired by the music I grew up listening to. There was always music on in the house, whether it was my parents listening to the Beatles, Coltrane and Ella Fitzgerald on vinyl, my father playing acoustic guitar, or my sister listening to Trip Hop and Grunge. I fell in love with the Trip Hop genre- bands like Portishead, Fiona Apple and Radiohead are huge inspirations to me. As an electronic artist, I love to mesh the edgy nostalgic 90′s style with the energy of modern EDM. I use ProTools as an instrument to create and manipulate all the audio in my songs.
Tell us a bit about your decision to try out for Battle of the Boroughs and how you are preparing for it.
I have a huge appreciation for stations such as WNYC that facilitate the growth of independent artists. As a proud Bronx resident, I was excited to submit to represent my borough in such an awesome event! My long term boyfriend and incredibly driven upright bassist Jon LaTona is a huge inspiration to me, and we have been rehearsing as often as possible. I’ve also teamed up with the amazing vocal coach I worked with growing up to polish up on technique and stage presence. I’ve been performing at open mics around the Bronx, promoting on Facebook and twitter, and also started a YouTube channel doing covers (or as I like to call them, creative interpretations) of popular songs to get my name out there!
What are your top three favorite places in the Bronx?
My favorite place is my home studio in Morris Park. As a singer, songwriter, audio engineer, and producer, having my own space in a quiet centrally located neighborhood is amazing and I can’t imagine life without it! I’ve recently discovered An Beal Bocht in Riverdale. It’s an amazing and very welcoming environment for artists to gather- and I hope to become an open mic regular there. Last but not least, The Bronx Botanical Gardens. My mother worked and studied there when I was growing up, and not only do I have some great memories, but it’s a beautiful place to walk around when you need a bit of nature in the city.
What’s next for your after Battle of the Boroughs?
I’m in the process of conceptualizing and creating music videos for the songs on my EP “Terrors”. Beyond that, I already have enough songs for a second album, and am very excited to move into the production stage for it! I won’t completely disappear into the studio though- I’m going to keep covering songs on my new Youtube channel, as well as performing around NYC. I’m currently working on two different sides of my live performance, a full setup with a DJ and electronic drummer to perform the full soundscape of my electronic tracks, as well as an acoustic setup with just me on vocals and Jon on upright bass. It takes a village to make an artist successful, and I’ve been wearing a lot of hats in order to move my career forward. As an independent artist, my biggest goals are to keep creating music that I love, and to search for fans to share it with.
Collaboration is a beautiful thing, you guys. The Bronx Bloggers – a collective of bloggers who write about the wonderfulness that is the Bronx , of which I am very grateful to be a part of- came together for our very first event – Brews N Bloggers at Gun Hill Brewery. Hosted this past Tuesday, March 18, we were able to walk around the Brewery and sample some beer before its big opening Saturday. The staff was so helpful at helping a non-beer drinker such as myself select a beer. Considering that most beer tastes like what I’d imagine piss to taste like – it says a lot that I was able to down a pint of their Gun Hill Gold without a problem. Our food sponsors, Tosca and Pretzel Crisps provided amazing food for us to nosh on with our beer and made for a great evening of networking. I personally loved Tosca’s fried zucchini and Pretzel’ Crisps buffalo flavor. The Bronx Chronicle also donated money toward some illustrious raffle prizes from Gun Hill Brewery. I won a Gun Hill Brewery hoodie – perfect for this crazy up and down weather we’ve been having. Check out some photos of the event below and be sure to stop by Gun Hill Brewery yourself for a tour and some brew.
No plans this weekend? Problem solved! Check out this awesome event that’s happening at one of my favorite places in the Bronx – the Andrew Freedman House! And it’s FREE!
On Saturday, March 22nd, 2014 at 6:00pm, at The Andrew Freedman Home in the Bronx: 1125 Grand Concourse.
BombaYo will be honoring the sacrifice and contributions of ethnic Africans to the music, art, language, and heritage
that have become instrumental to Puerto Rican culture on the island and the Caribbean.
Performing Live will be:
Las Perlas de BombaYo– is a collective of adult women that have been committed to the BombaYo community workshops. The
workshops have been based on the “Consciousness of Bomba” a cultural journey of awareness through song, drum and dance.
The Andrew Freedman Youth Conga Symphony– is a group of young people directed by Jose Ortiz aka Dr. Drum, that are
dedicated to using the power of the conga drum to inspire change and bring awareness of world music to their NYC
BombaYo– is a youth project dedicated to preserving the rich Afro Puerto Rican tradition of Bomba. The group emerges
from the streets and schoolyards of the Bronx, where salsa and hip-hop were born. Under the direction of Jose Ortiz aka
Dr.Drum and Melinda Gonzalez, BombaYo’s members bring new energy to a centuries-old Afro Puerto Rican music and dance tradition.
Be sure to join us for a night of traditional Afro-Caribbean rhythms and a touch of Latin Jazz with a mix of Afro-beat.
For more information about this event, go to www.bombayo.org
of BombaYo on Facebook.
Mark your calendars! Tuesday, March 18, 2014 the Bronx Bloggers have teamed up to bring you an awesome night of beer tasting at the new Gun Hill Brewery & a chance to mingle with a bunch of Bronx bloggers. Pretzel Crisps and Tosca are sponsoring the event, so there will be tasty food to munch on as well (who doesn’t love free food?)
Check out the flier below for details!
If interested, please email me at Lisa@thebronxsocialite.com.
Hope to see you there!
It’s Armory Week again! An excellent opportunity to learn about new, local artists and check out some innovative artwork around the city.
Read below to find out about Fusion NY and what Bronx artist Lady K Fever is doing for Armory Week!
From The West Harlem Arts Fund:
Soho, NY… FUƧION NY which will be held for one day at the Four Point Sheraton Hotel in Soho, is an engaged, curator-driven platform for exhibitions through the lens of curators and artists of color. The show will explore what it takes to live and express oneself as a full human being. According to Fusion NY Producer Savona Bailey-McClain, “Technology has not only changed our lives forever but also the relevancy of human endeavor. All facets of our life have been affected and how we relate to one another. The show will look at ways where we can re- integrate our humanity creatively that includes are desires, individual tastes and environment.”
Participating in FUSION NY is Bronx-based artist Lady K-Fever. LADY K-FEVER is an Inter- disciplinary Artist, Curator, Social activist, Photographer/Journalist, who was born and raised in Canada. She now lives in The Bronx. She began her career in the 1990’s on the streets as a skateboarder in Vancouver, Canada. In 1993, she was invited to create an installation with Riot Grrlz for ‘Artropolis 93′ and was performing with House of Venus. She studied Theatre and Film with Director Mel Tuck- Austin at Gastown Actor’s Studio and graduated in 1999. In 2003, she became the first Canadian female invited to paint at the legendary Graffiti Hall of Fame in East Harlem, NY as part of the First female production and put down NYC graffiti crews KD & TDS. Her art, journalism and photography have been published in the New York times, New York Post, Daily News and in the magazines: Studio (Harlem), Mass Appeal (Brooklyn), Backspin (Germany), and Trace (international) among others, and her graffiti work is featured in the books Graffiti Women: Street Art from Five Continents, and Burning New York: Graffiti NYC, and We B Girlz (New York), all published in 2006. She curated HISTORY IN THE MAKING II&III (2005-06), curaturing over 60 graffiti writers/artists from around the world at Aurora Gallery, NY and Made From Love at The Bronx Museum of the Arts’ project space.
In 2010, she co-founded the SAME DIFFERENCE Artist Collective with Artist Carmen Julia Hernandez. In 2011, she collaborated with Nicolas Dumit Estevez for the exhibition Born Again: A Lebanese-Dominican Dominican York is born again as a Bronxite and Eight Artist Respond at Longwood Art Gallery and was in residence internationally at The Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art, creating community based public murals and a solo exhibition. In 2012, she contributed to The Point’s CDC’s installation room and to the social project Activity Committee during the exhibition This Side of Paradise, curated by No Longer Empty at the Andrew Freedman Home in the South Bronx. Her work is currently featured in the exhibition ‘ Bronx Lab-Style Wars’ at The Bronx Museum of the Arts and with “Courturemonials” a new collaborative living art/fashion project with artist Mary A Valverde, this project focused on creating a new diologue about Domestic Violence. ‘Courturemonials’ has been exhibited in ‘Model’ – Art in Odd places 2012 festival, NY. As an Education/Creation Facilitator, She is a multiple recipient of the Arts-in-Education Grant from The Bronx Council on the Arts (2007-2009). She currently works with The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Museum of Arts and Design, El Museo del Barrio, The Studio Museum in Harlem and The Laundromat Project as well as many other community based organizations/projects.
Other artists participating in Fusion NY include: Ina Archer, Brian Convery, Kenly Dillard, Dan Ericson, Diane Dwyer, Scherezade Garcia, Chris Harris, Yasmin Hernandez, Ariel Jackson, Shani Peters, Adrienne Reynolds, Joshua Reynolds, Jamel Shabazz, Shiro, Diane Smith, Madeline Schwartzman, and Toccarra A. Holmes Thomas.
In honor of my News 12 appearance (working on getting video for those that may have missed it), I’ve decided to do a soft launch of the online store – meaning, this is not the full set of designs, but I wanted to make the current designs available for you to purchase.
Currently, the featured neighborhoods are: Hunts Point, Castle Hill, Bedford Park, Pelham Bay, Morris Park, and Mott Haven. There’s also an I love the Bronx tote available as well.
I’ll be adding more neighborhoods within the coming weeks. Enjoy!
As mentioned in my previous post , I’ve been busy making some Bronx neighborhood totes for you guys. I was interviewed by News 12 about them, which you can check out at 5:30. Tell your friends, tell your enemies, tell the guy you’re sitting next to on the train.
P.S. Shout to News 12 reporter Alex Plasencia for being so cool.