Music Premiere: "Vibe" with Fly By Midnight in our Exclusive Interview

 
Slavo (L) and Justin Bryte (R) of Fly By Midnight.

Slavo (L) and Justin Bryte (R) of Fly By Midnight.

It was a warm Wednesday night last week and as we walked the streets of New York City, the Lower West Side was alive and buzzing with the promise of a good time. We were heading to the swanky Soho House, known for it's vintage decadence, beautifully constructed menus, and mixologists with enough flair to shake a room and enough talent to pour a drink you'd never forget. New York-based, Retro-Pop duo, Fly By Midnight was hosting a secret show at The Vinyl Room and we were the last lucky few to get a glimpse of their musical energy in action. 

The stage was blue-lit, warm, and set up for an hour and a half of music that would soon capture a performance few could forget. Fly By Midnights' Justin Bryte and Slavo even having just touched down from a London tour one day prior were full of excitement and absolutely ready to not only embrace the mics, but showcase their brand new single: "Vibe". With electricity in the air and the crowd buzzing, the duo leaped onstage and got to work showing those in attendance the results of their hard work.

With Justin on the keys and Slavo on guitar, their vibrant sounds merged perfectly as their combined vocals told stories of young love, the pitfalls of modern dating, and how exciting it is finding that special vibe with someone new. The audience couldn't help dancing to every single track; a live showcase turned into a full party once the retro-pop team jumped off-stage and sang among the crowd. In all, Fly By Midnight is a brilliant duo that not only commands a stage but also make their passion for music shine brightly in each track. From the retro head-bobbing beats, catchy pop hooks, and lyrics that anyone can relate to, we can all agree that these guys will undoubtedly make a mark in music.

Before you run off to listen to their latest track, "Vibe", read our interview below with Justin and Slavo to get an exclusive inside look into their inspiration behind the music, touring advice for artists, and most importantly, who their favorite super heroes are.

Slavo (L) and Justin Bryte (R) of Fly By Midnight.

Slavo (L) and Justin Bryte (R) of Fly By Midnight.

- How did you both get into music and how did Fly By Midnight start?

J: Fly By Midnight has really been a culmination of both of our journeys building our craft as artists. I started off in a theatrical background. I was cast in plays like Pippin, Crazy For You and a handful of others. Mid high school years I had uploaded my first YouTube cover that caught way more attention than I had expected. From there I began listening to all genres of music and really fell in love with songwriting. It's always been to me about continuing to grow and learn more and that's the best part of Fly By Midnight. We're constantly pushing each other to be better and take our music in new & exciting directions.

S: I began playing guitar when I was 10 years old and made it an immediate goal to become good enough to play in my older brothers band. After about a year of playing my Fender Squire Strat non stop he let me join one of their band practices and I fell in love. I moved to New York from Florida (my hometown) about 4 years ago on my 19th birthday to pursue an engineering/producer apprenticeship at Chung King Studios. After that program ended, I needed a new reason to stay in NY and I found that in Fly By Midnight.  

- What were some of your favorite collaborations early on?

J: I think one of the best collaborations still has to be our cover of "We Don't Talk Anymore" with Nicole Medoro & Nicolette Mare. We had filmed it right before hopping on a flight to perform in China. The video was super simple & we genuinely had fun shooting it. I think that genuineness is what really sells these days and was a huge factor behind it performing as well as it did.

S: My favorite collab was probably the one we did before Fly By Midnight was technically a thing. The cover we did of “I Really Like You” by Carly Rae Jepsen was a lot of fun and laid the groundwork for what was to come of this duo. That collab was pivotal to surfacing the potential of our combined creativity.

Slavo on Guitar at Soho House. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Slavo on Guitar at Soho House. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

- What drew you to cover Charlie Puths' “We Don't Talk Anymore”, did you expect it to go viral?

J: We didn't expect it to go viral at all. Even the song choice was a bit out of the box for us being that it wasn't a single at the time. Slavo and I just thought it was the strongest song on his album so we brought in the girls and just vibed out.

S: That was early on in the Fly By Midnight project if I’m not mistaken and at that time I don’t think we had any expectations. Starting a new project requires a lot of trial and error to discover what excites you and what excites your audience and this was one of those where we discovered something special.

- What’s life like being on tour? Do you have any advice for artists looking to hit the road?

J: It's been such a fun ride. We love meeting new and old fans alike. Whether it's acoustic sessions at colleges or full blown festivals. My advice would be to always make it a point to meet as many people as you can after the shows. Take the time to make that connection. It's gone a really long way for us.

S: It’s one thing to make music that people enjoy, but when you get to physically see people react to something you’ve created night after night in unfamiliar places it’s truly special. I would second what Justin said. There’s nothing like making genuine human interaction with new fans/friends.

Justin on vocals at Soho House. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Justin on vocals at Soho House. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

- Who are your favorite artists today?

J: I've been really digging the throwback sounds of Computer Games & Fickle Friends. Imagine Dragons new album was so dope as well!

S: With music being so accessible I feel like my “favorite” artist is constantly changing. Right now I would say I’m really into Khalid and Thomas Rhett’s new album.

- If you could perform in any city or country, where would it be and why?

J: We definitely want to tour the whole world, but knowing how strong our influence is in the Philippines & Hong Kong  that would be on another level. We get so many comments from overseas and to meet those fans would be super rewarding.

S: I’ve always wanted to go to Australia. I know getting there would be brutal, but it’s always been on the top of my list. We actually have a cool little following down there as well.

Justin (L) and Slavo (R) onstage at The Vinyl Room. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Justin (L) and Slavo (R) onstage at The Vinyl Room. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

- Who's your favorite superhero? What's better: DC or Marvel Comics?

S: I’ve never been big into superheros, but I’ll have to go with Batman. I think it’s dope how he doesn’t technically have any powers, but he still manages to kick a**. With that being said I suppose I’m team DC.

J: Well I’m obsessed with superheros so it’s hard to just choose one. I’d say Marvel wise definitely Spiderman. I actually dressed up in a full costume to see the latest movie in theaters (geek alert). DC wise, probably Shazam. Love the idea of this young boy becoming this super powerful man by saying one word. I can’t choose one, ah!

- Can you tell us about your inspiration behind your latest track, “Vibe”?

S: “Vibe” was a track inspired by the word itself. The chorus and the concept came pretty easy, to be honest the verse and the pre chorus required the most effort. Once we had it all finished in front of us though, we knew it was something different and special for us.

J: It’s a song purely about attraction. The fun adventure of exploring feelings for someone new.

 

- What can we expect from Fly By Midnight in the future?

S: We’re constantly writing/producing/touring and building our platform. One thing we’ve always wanted to release was a body of work. Whether it be an EP or a full length album. Right now it’s all about timing, but that’s definitely in our near future.

J: I second that. Slavo & I are obsessed with creating and taking as much new material as we can on the road. We want to give the world a body of work that is Fly By Midnight. It’s only the beginning and that’s truly the exciting part.

 

Listen to the latest single "Vibe" now and be sure to follow them below!

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Bruce Sudano Examines Music, Society & Politics at The Cutting Room

 
Bruce Sudano on stage at The Cutting Room.

Bruce Sudano on stage at The Cutting Room.

Bruce Sudano performed his record release show this month at The Cutting Room in New York City for his new album “21st Century World". In front of a full crowd at the renowned midtown venue, Sudano guided us through his journey of love, reflection and acceptance, while also brilliantly examining the societal, political and emotional facets we endure today.

A prolific singer-songwriter and instrumentalist, Bruce Sudano has had a distinguished career co-writing songs for Michael Jackson, Jermaine Jackson, Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire and his late wife, the Grammy-awarding winning and generation-defining artist, Donna Summer.

For music enthusiasts out there (including you hardcore disco fans), Sudano managed most of Donna Summer’s career and co-wrote some of her biggest hits including “Bad Girls”. Sudano was also one of the founding members of late 60’s pop-rock band Alive N’ Kickin’ and late 70’s doo-wop/soul band Brooklyn Dreams. Alive N’ Kickin earned a Billboard Hot 100 spot with their record “Tighter, Tighter,” as well as Brooklyn Dreams with their song “Music, Harmony and Rhythm".

Bruce Sudano performing "Your World Now" during his album-release show at The Cutting Room.

Bruce Sudano performing "Your World Now" during his album-release show at The Cutting Room.

Just coming off a European tour with emerging New York rock band, Hollis Brown, Sudano’s masterful performance was an inspiring, bold and informative excursion into the human element of today’s social and political challenges. The veteran musician’s distinct range of sound, beautifully coiled melodies and visionary storytelling illustrated Sudano’s brilliance on stage and the meticulous artistry he provides in his music.

As opposed to the jazz, pop and soulful elements portrayed in previous solo works, Sudano’s recent masterpiece provides listeners with components of American rock & roll, folk and activist song-writing that merge the lines between music and politics. Since the untimely passing on his late wife, Sudano’s music has increasingly gone into the fabrics of adulthood and the issues surrounding our society through his personal experiences.

In a direct testament to Sudano’s versatility and reach as an artist, we witnessed the singer-songwriter’s adaptive lyricism and precise compositions in his songs “Your World Now” and “It Ain’t Cool". Sudano’s intuitive arrangements gave off indie-folk and rock elements that enhanced a collection of voluminous beats, sassy strings and fine narratives. His passion and confident eloquence were illustrated beautifully in these performances as he sat intimately close to us, singing the memoirs of our time.

Bruce Sudano performs "21st Century World" at The Cutting Room

Bruce Sudano performs "21st Century World" at The Cutting Room

His songs “True Believer” and “Common Sense” exemplify Sudano’s strength as a vivid storyteller and a measured songwriter. His take on the meaning of Christianity in “True Believer” are presented with still folk harmonies and revealing Americana vibes. In “Common Sense", Sudano provides a softer piece coupled with a smoldering outrage that calls for us to wake up and understand the responsibilities within our fragile society.

One of the more memorable segments of the evening featured Mike Montali, lead singer of New York rock band Hollis Brown and producer of Sudano’s “21st Century World” album, who performed over Sudano’s cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Talkin’ Bout a Revolution". As the crowd majestically clapped their hands, Montali and Sudano delivered a resounding performance that was filled with a communal and defiant sound.

Bruce Sudano (far-left) and Mike Montali (right) performing Tracy Chapman's "Talkin' Bout a Revolution" at The Cutting Room.

Bruce Sudano (far-left) and Mike Montali (right) performing Tracy Chapman's "Talkin' Bout a Revolution" at The Cutting Room.

With storied musicianship, gifted songwriting and avid storytelling, Bruce Sudano’s sound has transcended throughout the decades from timeless dance hits to protest memoirs. Despite the ups and downs throughout his career, Bruce Sudano has maintained relevancy with an ever-changing sound that customizes to the changing times. “21st Century World” is a brilliant example of Sudano’s resilient lyricism, indulging musicianship and embracive measure. Certainly a must listen for the year.

Bruce Sudano on the guitar at The Cutting Room.

Bruce Sudano on the guitar at The Cutting Room.

For more on Bruce Sudano, please visit his social below and make sure to download/stream, “21st Century World,” today. Out now on all digital and streaming music platforms.

 

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Humankindition Offers a Breathtaking Performance During Exclusive Release Show at Club Bonafide

 
Humankindition at Club Bonafide. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Humankindition at Club Bonafide. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

The Fox and King paid witness to newly formed jazz electronic band, Humankindition, last Thursday as they put on a gorgeous performance at Club Bonafide during the exclusive release show of their new single “Daydreaming.”

In front of an intimate crowd at the legendary music venue, this euphorically dangerous live act displayed a level of musicianship that masterfully blended the sonic scopes of jazz, soul and electronic music together. We were fortunate enough to be one of the first to get our hands on Humankindition’s latest single from an exclusive download card handed out to all guest in attendance.

Samir Zarif (Saxophone) and James Quinlan (Bass). Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos

Samir Zarif (Saxophone) and James Quinlan (Bass). Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos

Blown away by the brilliance of their artistry, Humankindition’s rich compositions highlighted for us the quartet’s strategic music arrangements and genre-binding depth that garnered such a soothing, yet gritty performance. Lead by veteran saxophonist, Samir Zarif, Humankindition’s creativity provided a cloud of complex instrumentation that released a storm of jazzy-esque elements, conquering beats and mind-cleansing soul engulfed in musical euphoria. The band’s commanding, yet gentle touch, lifted us firmly from our seats and cradled us within a pacifying state of tranquility.

Samir Zarif at Club Bonafide. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Samir Zarif at Club Bonafide. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Samir’s skillset on the sax was phenomenal. Truly excellence at it’s finest. His instrumentation was innovative, breezy and dynamic. On their new single, “Daydreaming,” Samir illustrated the complexities of his musicianship through a gracious sound that whispered gently through our ears, shepherding progressive and soulful harmonies that allow this genre to feel refreshing.

His superior command of the sax on “Innocent Complex.” peppered a fresh entrée of alternative jazz paired masterfully with a decadent flow of urban soul and spiced-up beats. His fine play throughout the night formed an ocean of relaxation that kissed you on your ear with every wave, while forcing you to brace the elements with an explosive and captivating sound.

Tommy Hartman on drums. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos

Tommy Hartman on drums. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos

James Quinlan on Bass. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos

James Quinlan on Bass. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos

Bassist, James Quinlan, and drummer, Tommy Hartman, added a supportive touch to this incredibly awesome set with soul-tendering bass play and core-shredding beats. Quinlan’s funky, yet delicate compositions added a depth of complexity that forged a unique sound to this already progressive four-piece act. His soulful rhythms and hospitable musical range coupled beautifully with all members on stage, increasing the levels of their excellence.

Tommy’s petulant and voluptuous rhythms challenged the genres status quo with an intuitive urban sound that portrayed confidence and action. His sounds usurped the presences of hip-hop and urban funk that sustained the band’s character and utility.

Arcolis Sandoval on the keys. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos

Arcolis Sandoval on the keys. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos

The latest addition to this versatile electronic jazz band, pianist Arcolis Sandoval, displayed on an awe-inspiring performance on the keys last week, providing a sentimental range of delicate harmonies, groovy rhythms and a luscious attitude. Sandoval’s command of the keys offered a sweet condiment to the bands hunger for creativity and thirst for originality. Her craft was smooth, gripping and seductively powerful – clearly an addition that allows this band to take the next generation of this genre to new heights.

Arcolis Sandoval & Samir Zarif live at Club Bonafide. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos

Arcolis Sandoval & Samir Zarif live at Club Bonafide. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos

Humankindition is defined through its passion for human connectedness and progressively meaningful music that illuminates origination and creativity. With deep influences that span across Radiohead, Thundercat and Bjork, Humankindition composes music that reflects the essentials of human existence – mesmerizing audiences in a trance of futility that frees the mind of past thought and future worries. Their music allows others to embrace their utility and acceptance – a soundtrack of songs fit for the present moment. Truly a series of work that all must experience.

Humankindition might just be one of the emerging sounds you might hear five to ten years from now in a genre grappling between old and new. The astronomical talent that exists within these four artist’s instrumentation is astounding and is a must listen to anyone that appreciates the aesthetic and sentimental pleasure the sound of jazz gives us.

Humankindition live at Club Bonafide. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos

Humankindition live at Club Bonafide. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos

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All The Way From Nashville, Jet Black Alley Cat Blew New York City Away

 

On a Saturday night mission to find what was next in the New York City music scene, we stumbled across something amazing at the very well-known Lower East Side venue, Pianos. We had no idea who would be playing that night or what genres were in store for us but all it took was simply seeing the name of the opening band on the night's bill - Jet Black Alley Cat. After heading upstairs to the second stage of the venue we sat down, ordered some drinks and prepared ourselves to hear exactly what this group was about. When vocalist Joe Wilkinson ran through some vocal warm-ups the entire floor stood attention to see what was in store, and needless to say, they put on one of the best shows we saw that night. 

Coming out of Nashville, Tennessee on a tour stop in New York City, the self-proclaimed "Vintage-Pop/Rock-Groove" group had the crowds dancing with every song and jumping with every snare beat. We were hypnotized throughout the entire performance by the powerful echoing vocals, the catchy melodies, and the unique indie/dance vibes that were reminiscent of late night dance clubs, crowded venues at 2AM, and roaming the streets after leaving the bar. Their latest single, ROXY, especially caught our attention. The group truly comes together on this one in every way between the narrative lyrics and vintage electric sounds. Not only is this radio quality music, it's what Top 40 music should aspire to be.

The five-piece band consists of Joe on vocals, Zach Douglas and Christian Harrison on guitar, Cristofer Johnson on bass, with Bryant Lowry on drums. Catch them on tour June 4th at The Masquerade in Atlanta, GA and June 13th at The Rebel Lounge in Phoenix, AZ. Watch their premier film for ROXY below:

Stream, download, and listen to Jet Black Alley Cat today:

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