#WomenCrush Showcases Manhattan’s Hidden Talent

By Rhiannon Levengood, Photos By Paula Araujo

As a movement against the male-driven world we live in, Ashley Kervabon has created and launched an organization of women that supports and promotes female artists in the music industry. #WomenCrush–aptly named after the hashtag “WomenCrushWednesday”–gives up and coming musicians a chance to showcase their talents in a comfortable environment.

#WomenCrush originated in Portland, Oregon, where its founder resides, but has gained the attention of local media outlets in major cities across the States including Los Angeles, Nashville, and even New York City. Every month in Portland, Ashley hosts a showcase for a handful of musicians to perform in, and she’s recently started a showcase in New York City as well. The very first east coast showcase was on May 20, 2017 and exhibited three artists alongside Ashley herself.

In a small nook in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Katie Zaccardi was the very first woman to take the stage at Rockwood Music Hall. Accompanied by a solo guitarist and her trusty ukulele, Zaccardi set the vibe with an angelic voice and an acoustic set of her own songs. In the midst, she performed a flawless moody cover of the Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

Next to take the stage was Jackie Paladino, whose music is soulful and poppy. Supported by a single guitarist, she performed her original songs with glass of wine in her hand and her soul as vulnerable as her bare feet, giving the illusion of a young and endeavoring Amy Winehouse. Her set mellowed out and won the hearts of the growing crowd.

Kiirstin Marilyn was the third artist in the lineup, and by far the most energetic of the four as she dominated the tiny stage. With a dubstep backing track, lead guitarist, and powerful political message, she bewitched the crowd both on and off the stage.

And finally, #WomenCrush founder Ashley Kervabon herself took the stage, sitting at the baby grand piano with a tattered song book and her heart on the ivory keys. She brought the audience back down with sincere and personal songs, both in English and Spanish, bringing the New York City showcase to a well-rounded close.

The #WomenCrush NYC showcase was enthralling from start to finish. For those interested in becoming part of the movement, there are links down below! The ladies at #WomenCrush are welcoming, empowering, and open to help women get started in the music industry.

 

For more on #WomenCrush check out these links:
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For more on Katie Zaccardi:
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For more on Jackie Paladino:
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For more on Kiirstin Marilyn:
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For more on Ashley Kervabon:
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Civil Youth Dive Deep in ‘Conversations’

By Paula Araujo

Philly natives Civil Youth have been preparing for the release of their third full length album,
Conversations, out today, May 19. Mike Kepko is lead vocals, Dan Chapman plays guitar, and Evan Seeburger joined as drummer after producing their second record.

Civil Youth played their first live show in March of 2015. Since then, they’ve been continuously touring. A typical week for the group consists of 40 hours of conducting business online and on top of that, they manage 20 hours of rehearsal. All that hard work surely paid off as they found themselves opening to a sold out crowd for Twenty One Pilots.

Lately, they’ve been hard at work on their new material. This brand new album really captures the essence and sound the group has been after. With an eclectic range of music fusing rock, rap, and electronic, it makes for a captivating record. When talking about the concept and title of this album, Mike shares a rather extraordinary anecdote:
Lying in the back of our van one tour, the windows start to fog. Everyone is asleep besides me [Mike]. I sit up to realize there has been a word written in the fog against the windows. I squint, but everything is a blur. The next thing I realize there’s demons surrounding the van. Face to face we stare at each other. “What do you want?” Before an answer comes, the faces start to morph and I’m staring at myself. I scream to leave, but I only hear laughter. The word written in the fog is “Conversations.” The demons vanish and I’m sitting up, heavily breathing. I try to go back to sleep, but I’m lying awake as the sound of footsteps circle my ears. That night we begin writing a new record. An era that describes conversations we’ve had with our past & future selves. People we wish we were, or people we want to be.”

At its core, Civil Youth is a band about the fans. They’re incredibly proud of their fanbase. They’re well aware they wouldn’t be anywhere without them. They collectively agree that the most rewarding thing is, “Being able to say we have saved a life from what we’ve created. Nothing will top that.” They also shared that ultimately they hope the one message listeners take away from their music is that, “They’re never alone and they’re not the only ones who feel this way. We want others to see what we’ve been through so they can relate.”

Stay up to date on Civil Youth be checking out the links below:
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Faulker Embraces New Territory

By Paula Araujo

Faulker is shaking things up from coast to coast. The band is made up of members hailing from NYC and California, where they formed.  It’s no surprise they’re currently in the running for MACY’s Rising Star contest in which they could open for the iconic iHeartRadio Music Festival this September. Earlier this year, they released a riveting track titled “Keep Your Enemies Closer.” This song has created quite a buzz as it features rapper Royce Da 5’9” on the track which he also co-wrote, and legendary Wu-Tang Clan member, RZA as producer. With these roots from another genre, it truly makes the track stand out and successfully brings both worlds together.

Faulker’s bassist Dimitri Farougias shares on the creation of this particular song, “There is a strong element of retribution in our EP REVANCHIST and ‘Keep Your Enemies Closer,’ is a big part of that. Heavily influenced by our love of hip hop and with Royce Da 5’9″ dropping an amazing verse on it, you can say it was a lot of fun putting it together.” Currently his favorite album is Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. which hasn’t stopped flowing through his headphones since its release.

When it comes to making new music, Dimitri has discovered his flaws and maybe should have taken another approach, sharing, “A lot of times, I hear back a song we released and always think of something I could have done better.” Ultimately though, he loves the fact that there are infinite ways to tackle the process of creating a song. “It is a different journey every time with endless possibilities, but we have to make it finite. Putting together all the parts each member brings to the table to serve a piece of music is quite magical.”

Since “Keep Your Enemies Closer” really pushed the group creatively, they are always welcome to new approaches when it comes to new music. “[We’re] still curious to go down the rabbit hole and see where it goes. Like I said, every song is its own little journey and we are always ready to find out what’s on the other side. The love for the craft is there so no matter what happens with a track, we just keep going.”

This particular passion and drive is what makes Faulker not your typical band. Their sound is truly unique, and the music is filled with passion. Dimitri recalls his first live performance at 13, sharing, “[The] same fire I felt running through my veins that day, still runs today every time I play.” The best advice Dimitri has been given, and advises others is one he carries close with him to this day, “To stay resilient and hungry. To believe in themselves first before anyone else does and that’s also the best advice we were given.”

Looking ahead, fans can expect the release of an album and a tour. Dimitri hopes fans will take “whatever they need from it or whatever they can find in it” and as always, the goal for Faulker is to reach and perform in front of as many people as possible.

Vote for Faulker as Macy’s Rising Star here!

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