If you combined Minnie Ripperton’s range, Tina Turner’s class, passion and fire, and Beyonce’s moves and sex appeal you’d have Ashanti J’Aria.
This pint sized five-octave powerhouse is one of New York City’s finest performers.
Born and raised in Queens, Ashanti continued the family legacy by studying voice, dance and theatre at Fordham University.
She eventually earned scholarships from the NAACP as well as the Lena Horn scholarship competition. Later she would go on to receive an NAACP award for ‘best cast’ in the World Premiere of ‘Da Kink In My Hair’.
Other Career highlights include: working on and off Broadway, singing the national anthem at Madison Square Garden, winning over audiences at the world famous Apollo Theater, and making it to the Hollywood round of American Idol twice (final 45 out of 10,000 and final 80 of 100000, & her audition footage was even featured on Oprah).
Among her favorite influences are Prince, Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey, Darlene Love, and Sheryl Crow. Well-versed in most genres, her sights are set on story driven, passion infused pop.
Ashanti J’Aria is a true triple-threat who considers performing the ultimate act of expression as well as her strongest suit.
New York native ill-on’s passion for music and performing began at a tender age. Sometime after wearing out the family “Thriller” album; he heard Doug E. Fresh & MC Ricky D’s “La Di Da Di”. Mesmerized by the lyricism; ill-on memorized those lyrics front to back and recited them for his friends and family. The showman was born…
By age 14 ill-on would begin writing his own songs, eventually fronting the Hip Hop-Rock group NES (opened up for RUN-DMC at Palace Theater in Stamford, CT; played The Theater at Madison Square Garden)
After graduating from The Ohio State University, ill-on would form The Nillaz (www.thenillazmusic.com); pioneers of a futuristic sound best described as Crunk Rock. ill-on and The Nillaz toured the nation on The Vans Warped Tour (2), The Virgin Mega Tour, and tore up showcases at CMJ and SxSW; and shared the stage with world renowned acts including Fall Out Boy, Travie McCoy, KRS 1, My Chemical Romance, The Transplants, Spank Rock, Valiant Thor, Gogol Bordello, Joan Jett, and Billy Idol, while maintaining a local presence in New York City; performing with such acts as DJ Chris Landry (www.myspace.com/djchrislandry) and Bazaar Royale, Raye 6, and Game Rebellion of The Ghetto Metal Movement.
ill-on has collaborated with producers Megahertz (Nas, Busta Rhymes,) U.F. Low (Si*Se,) the late Disco D (50 Cent, Trick Daddy), Brian Forbes (The Gallery Recording Studio/guitar-Aabaraki), and is currently working on a electro-hip hop solo album with producer The Mad Psyentist (www.madsciproductions.com), with an EP release slated for Fall/2012
Chris has been entertaining living rooms, basements and stages since he first heard Little Richard’s “Good Golly Miss Molly”. The excitement in rock ‘n roll propelled him to slip Nirvana and RUN-DMC covers into his piano recitals. Somewhere along the way in college in North Carolina, he read about Franz Liszt being a major rock star. This gave him the idea that keys could actually Rock. Wachichoo is his latest effort as a songwriter, producer and musician, bringing together funk, R&B, electronic and alternative rock influences.
Chris’s Recent Projects:
Interned at Skyelab Studios (www.skyelab.com/) with Artie Skye, world-class producer and songwriter for Madonna, James Taylor, Mya. Developed songwriting / production chops and learned to sleep eyes open.
Hooked up with producer / guitarist Brian Forbes & Gallery Recording Studios (http://www.thegalleryrecordingstudio.com/), began performing with his hip-hop / rock project The Nillaz. Performed at The Continental , Le Poisson Rouge while recording and producing projects from the Gallery studios and his new home project studio in the boogie down Bronx.
Money Delicious (www.facebook.com/MoneyDelicious) : Soul / Top 40 Cover Band, playing all over NYC , Westchester and beyond!
The Nillaz (www.thenillazmusic.com) : Hip-hop / hard rock project based in Brooklyn, NY. All over New York, including Galapagos, The Continental and Pianos, Le Poisson Rouge, as well as the Warped Tour and on AOL video http://www.reverbnation.com/thenillaz
Ty Blue (http://www.facebook.com/tybluemusic ) Ty Blue is an up-and-coming R&B sensation from New York City; Chris is producing her debut EP full of catchy hooks and old – school sensibilities.
Peter Shaw (http://www.petershawmusic.com/) Peter Shaw is a powerful Adult Contemporary / pop singer with a huge stage presence and following built from years touring with Trans Siberian Orchestra. Chris plays keyboards in Peter’s live band.
Dominic San Juan (http://www.dominicsanjuan.com) Chris produces and plays keyboards on Dominic’s studio projects. Dominic’s soulful vocals and soaring melodies are for fans of R&B singers such as John Legend, and D’Angelo.
Mario has been playing guitar for over half of his life (excluding his early years on a toy guitar playing along to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles : Coming Out of Their Shells Tour). His early development on the instrument found him pursuing technical death metal and opening for international metal acts as well as studying with Oli Herbert of All That Remains
Academia led him to earning two degrees: Classical Guitar Performance and Music Therapy as well as scholarships for excellence in artistic expression. Mario was invited on a concert tour of Germany and France in early 2012 where he premiered pieces by Roland Dyens and arrangements of Leo Brouwer.
In November 2013, Mario was hired to create and implement a music psychotherapy program at a gerontology center in the Bronx. There, he works with patients with a range of diagnoses including Alzheimer’s type dementia, cerebrovascular accidents, sub-acute surgical rehab and end-of-life hospice care.
Originally from the Bronx, Justin has toured the country playing drums in rock, gospel, jazz and hip-hop bands. Look for him backing many talented New York City artists this year.
Besides possessing a virtuosic funk jazz style that slays and amazes, Jamie holds the secret answer to his favorite color.
Ask him at a show & you will be rewarded with true enlightenment. Jamie also rocks out in his indie band Mostly Coats (now called Dirty Words): http://www.facebook.com/mostlycoats