The Spotlight: Stef Lebaux

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!

 

Stef_Lebaux_Terrors Album Cover_1400

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.

 

You can keep up with Stef online on Facebook, Cdbaby, Youtube and Twitter! Be sure to catch her on The Greene Space & WNYC’s Battle of the Boroughs: The Bronx this Friday, April 4!

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Fifth Annual Battle of the Boroughs Line Up!

It’s that time of year again- time for The Greene Space at WNYC and WQXR’s Battle of the Boroughs. I had such a great time last year (you can read about my experiences here and here) and I know you will, too! The Manhattan battle was last week, but you can catch videos of the performances online. Make sure you buy your tickets early because they sell out FAST!

Below, find the line-up and information about the contest:

The Greene Space at WNYC and WQXR Announces the Fifth Annual

 “BATTLE OF THE BOROUGHS”

 

Top Prize in Annual City-Wide Competition to Discover NYC’s Best Emerging Musical Talent Includes Guest Artist Appearance at Amateur Night at The Apollo

Series Kicks Off with the MANHATTAN BATTLE

on Friday, February 7 at 7pm

 

This year’s contestants drew from over 400 submissions that yielded a broad range of top performers from Staten Island, Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx and Manhattan. From Arabian-influenced metal and gypsy/cabaret to rock-reggae and an all-woman drum circle, the 60 musical acts that have been chosen as finalists span all genres and capture the energy of New York City’s music scene. These musicians represent their boroughs, their neighborhoods, and the distinctive cultures that make New York City what it is.

 

Beginning with the Manhattan Battle on Friday, February 7, followed by other borough-specific battles throughout the spring, these musicians will compete in Borough Battles at The Greene Space, WNYC and WQXR’s intimate and acoustically-superior street-level performance venue. The borough winners will go on to the final showdown, The Ultimate Battle, on Friday, June 27. The winners will be selected through votes from both the live studio audience and the online audience watching via live webcast. Voting will be available online at www.wnyc.org/thegreenespace and via mobile phone by texting vote codes to 69866. Every Battle will be emceed by award-winning WQXR hostTERRANCE MCKNIGHT.

 

“It’s exciting that after five years, The Greene Space’s “Battle of the Boroughs” continues to attract such a high caliber of artists,” said McKnight. “In no other city is there such a high volume and range of undiscovered talent making great music in bars and basements, on the streets and in small clubs. Public radio has always been an avenue to finding new music. The Greene Space is thrilled to open its doors and showcase the best of the best live – in the space and online – giving these hardworking musicians a broader audience than they’ve often ever known.” 

 

This year, insightful commentary will be provided by musicians, singers, industry executives, and WNYC and WQXR staffers, including:

 

  • Helga Davis, Q2 Music contributing host, singer and featured performer in Philip Glass’ “Einstein on the Beach”
  • Alicia Olatuja, Soloist with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir since 2007, and has performed often with artists such as Christian McBride, Chaka Khan and Bebe Winans.
  • Nick Sansano, Producer who has worked with Public Enemy, Ice Cube, and more
  • Bob Power, Producer who has worked with Erykah Badu, India.Arie, Miles Davis, and more
  • Tamar-Kali, Hardcore-Soul Queen
  • Eren Cannata, Producer, Singer/Songwriter
  • LaRonda Davis, President of The Black Rock Coalition
  • Lindsay Cook, A&R Executive at RCA Records

 

The last act standing at the final battle will win an exclusive concert at The Greene Space with live video webcast, a four-hour professional, multi-track recording session, a gift certificate to Tekserve for $2,500, a professional photo shoot, a produced music video and a guest artist appearance at Amateur Night at The Apollo.

 

Audiences can support their borough and hear an eclectic mix of innovative talent from all across NYC during the following Battles in The Greene Space:

  

Friday, February 7:  MANHATTAN

Joe Stone—Country/Blues

Matt Panayides Group—Jazz

Preachermann and The Revival—Atomic Soul

AYoinotion—Hip-Hop/R&B/Neo-Soul/Jazz

Léla Sophia—Indie /Pop

Visions—World Music

TriBeCaStan—World Music/Jazz/Americana

5j Barrow – Folk/Indie Rock

Sun Looks Down—Dream-Pop and Psychedelic Indie Rock

Julie Hill and Element Ensemble – Chamber Pop

Jeremiah Birnbaum—Rock

MARTiNA—Singer/songwriter 

 

Friday, March 7: QUEENS

Tati Ana–Electronic Rock

MONECO—Cumbia

Annika—Singer/songwriter 

Born of Scars—Hard Rock

Nick Moran—Funky Blues

85thHip Hop

Tarantinos NYC—Spanish

Jeneen Terrana—Folk Rock

Jim Wilson’s Ticket—Rock

Hypocrite and Slanderer—Rock

Jessica Rowboat—Singer/songwriter

Chris Shamkin—Singer/songwriter 

 

Friday, April 4: THE BRONX

August Hill—Hip Hop

Flowfreequan—Hip Hop

Park After Dark—Rock

Nando Griffiths and Pure Fyah—Reggae

Boggie—Pop/Rock

Stef Lebaux—Electronic/Trip hop

Bob Gaulke—Pop

Gary Novikoff & Angels in the ChamberFolk Pop

Tatiana—R&B/Pop

Royal Khaoz—Reggae/Rock

The Brian Durieux Project—R&B/Soul

Yurby– Alternative folk Rock/blues

 

Friday, May 2:   STATEN ISLAND

Tom Cintula & The Buffalo 24—Acoustic Pop/Rock

Leila Hegazy—Singer/songwriter 

Aerial Marie—Alternative Pop-Rock

Mike Fuego—Hip Hop

Giga Herbs–Mystical-Mythical-Indie-Space-Rock

Audiometry—Instrumental

Canvas Radio—Acoustic Folk Rock

Sara J—Pop/Folk

Polarity–Metalcore

Frank Schiazza—Soul Pop

Rising Sun All Stars—Soul/Hip Hop

 

Friday, June 6:   BROOKLYN

The Debutante Hour—New Soul/Pop

Michelle Amador—Americana

Werewitch—Alternative

Heylady—Funk/Soul

Orphan Jane—Gypsy/Cabaret

The Hue-man Ethnic Movement—Hip Hop

Dear Comrade—Indie Rock

Batala NYC—Drum Circle

Pontus—Progressive Rock

Flying Home—Swing

Roberto De Parana—Bossa Nova

The Harmonica Lewinskies*–Blues Rock/Funk/Dad Rock

Aabaraki—Alt-Soul

 

Friday, June 27:     THE ULTIMATE BATTLE

Winners from Each Borough Compete for the Grand Prize

 

 

ALL BATTLES

Where: The Greene Space at WNYC and WQXR

44 Charlton Street (at Varick Street)

New York, NY 10014

Tickets:         Tickets for all events are on sale now at www.thegreenespace.org/battle2014

One Borough: $15 ticket; $30 ticket includes open wine and beer bar.

 

All Borough Badges$125 for VIP admission to all six battles with open bar.

 

Official Website: www.thegreenespace.org/battle2014

 

 

New York Public Radio is New York’s premier public radio franchise, comprising WNYCWQXRThe Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, and New Jersey Public Radio, as well as www.wnyc.orgwww.wqxr.org,www.thegreenespace.org and www.njpublicradio.org. As America’s most listened-to AM/FM news and talk public radio stations, reaching 1.1 million listeners every week, WNYC extends New York City’s cultural riches to the entire country on-air and online, and presents the best national offerings from networks National Public Radio, Public Radio International, American Public Media, and the British Broadcasting Company. WQXR is New York City’s sole 24-hour classical music station, presenting new and landmark classical recordings as well as live concerts from the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, among other New York City venues, immersing listeners in the city’s rich musical life. In addition to its audio content, WNYC and WQXR produce content for live, radio and web audiences from The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, the station’s street-level multipurpose, multiplatform broadcast studio and performance space. New Jersey Public Radio extends WNYC reach and service more deeply into New Jersey. For more information about New York Public Radio, visit www.nypublicradio.org.