State In The Real – Penn State Music Scene

Author - Nate Spilman

Penn State grad and hip-hop artist The 'U' is still making moves



 

Ugochukwu Onyianta, who goes by “The ‘U'” when he has the mic in his hand and “Ugo” around friends, has gone from playing house shows in State College, to opening for acts like 2 Chainz, Meek Mill and Rick Ross.  Some might remember seeing The ‘U’  perform at one of many Hip-Hop house parties at the obscurely famous Casablanca (may it Rest in Peace) during the 2010-2011 academic year. When asked about the decision to continue his music career after college,  The ‘U’ responded that “It feels gratifying to know that I am one of the very few individuals who decided to pursue music professionally after my time at Penn State was over”, and that “The underground scene was fun while I was a student but there is a much bigger world outside of Happy Valley.”

The 'U' performing at Casablanca

The ‘U’ was invited to sign with DyHard Entertainment out of Williamsport, PA in 2011 after he was introduced to Crisis, the label’s CEO and Founder through Drew Jackson of the band Atlas Soundtrack.  The ‘U’ officially signed on in October of 2012 with his good friend Randy Troy. Randy, cinematographer and founder of Conviction Studios, is in charge of the video production for Dyhard Entertainment. “Randy Troy, one of  my best friends who also graduated with me in Comm in ’11, has been instrumental in my career with DyHard Ent. through Conviction Studios.” says the ‘U’.  The following video, created by Randy Troy of Conviction Studios, is a compilation that showcases the artists of DyHard entertainment, and the hard work they have been doing.


XXL Magazine, highly esteemed hip-hop news source, caught up with The ‘U’ and the rest of DyHard entertainment for a photo shoot in July which is set to be released in 2014. “Many young up and coming artists would give anything to get into a magazine as big as XXL. To know I’m gonna be featured with my DyHard team is absolutely beautiful,” says The ‘U’. “It takes tremendous courage and faith to go for what I’m going for but you cant lose with a great team and God on your side.”

The ‘U’ and the rest of DyHard entertainment tours mainly in Atlanta, New York City and around pennsylvania, and is currently in talks with Warner Brothers for a major distribution deal. 

To check out more of The ‘U”s music, check his bandcamp here!

And here’s a photo with The ‘U’ and Anne Hathaway. Cuz, how cool is that?!

#NoDaysOff

1 Day 'til the Concert Benefiting THON: A brief chat with DJ Keegan Tawa

State in the Real presents a Concert Benefiting THON is tomorrow!

We got a chance to talk to Keegan Tawa.

Originally a classically trained chamber saxophonist, Tawa has been immersed in music all of his life. By sixteen, he was performing with a jazz quartet, later travelling with a Reggae-Rock band. after he began to study electronic production, Tawa chose to learn the fundamentals of being a DJ in order to showcase his original music.

Since arriving in State College, his music has exploded. Opening up for acts such as Above & Beyond, Ludacris, Young the Giant, the Avett Brothers, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Fareoh and many others, Tawa quickly adapted to the club scene, continuing to study Electronic Music and refining his production skills.

What is it like to be raising money For The Kids?

Easy, since all I have to do is play music!

If you were selected to be a dancer at THON, what three pieces of clothing you would wear to make you stand out?

I would wear as little clothing as possible if my objective was to stand out.

If you could play one cover on the THON stage what would it be and why?

I’ve never played a cover in my life except for careless whisper.

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The concert is November 19th, 2013 in 101 Thomas. Doors are are 7.  Tickets are $4, and $2 of each sale goes to the org’s THON total of the ticket purchaser’s choice!

We will be selling tickets in the HUB on Wednesday 11/13 from 2:30-6:00, Thursday 11/14 from 2:30-5:30 and Friday, 11/15 from 2:30-5:00. Tickets will also be sold at the door.

7 Days 'til the Concert Benefiting THON: A chat with Naked Mondays

State in the Real presents a Concert Benefiting THON is one week away!

We got a change to chat with Naked Mondays, one of five acts set to play concert, about what THON means to them:

What is your favorite part of THON?

Our favorite part of THON is that it raises money to fight essentially the worst thing even. Pediatric cancer is so awful to even think about it’s crazy that it’s part of some family’s everyday lives. These kids deserve the world and we’re just glad playing music as a band will help their cause.

Describe what THON means to you in one sentence.

THON is proof that when we band together, we are capable of accomplishing unimaginable things.

What is it like to be raising money For The Kids?

It feels wonderful to be able to contribute to such a great cause by doing what we love to do.

If you were selected to be a dancer at THON, what three pieces of clothing you would wear to make you stand out?

A guitar, of course. Does that count? Obnoxious suspenders, for sure, and shutter shades. We’ll be the acoustic polka Kanye West.

If you could play one cover on the THON stage what would it be and why?

We would play Paradise by Coldplay. It’s happy, uplifting and everyone loves it.

Share your favorite THON memory (if you have one).

Our favorite THON memories all have to do with canning. It’s heartwarming to see strangers donate to such a great cause, and we always have a ton of fun in the process.

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The concert is November 19th, 2013 in 101 Thomas. Doors are are 7.  Tickets are $4, and $2 of each sale goes to the org’s THON total of the ticket purchaser’s choice!

We will be selling tickets in the HUB on Wednesday 11/13 from 2:30-6:00, Thursday 11/14 from 2:30-5:30 and Friday, 11/15 from 2:30-5:00. Tickets will also be sold at the door.

Stay tuned for interviews with the rest of the acts!

 

 

 

 

Zeno's Pub Fall Line-up

If you’re looking for the place to enjoy a delicious craft beer while listening to exceptional live music, Zeno’s pub on Allen St has got you covered.

Below is their weekly lineup for the fall season:

Mondays

J. Mackey’s Trivia 7:30pm

Tuesdays

Natalie Race 10pm

Wednesdays

Bluegrass Night 8pm

With $2 pulled pork sandwiches

Featuring – Andy Tolins Bluegrass Revue

Thursdays

J. Mackey’s Trivia 7:30pm

Nightcrawlers 10:30pm

Fridays

AAA Blues Band 7pm

Spider Kelly 10:30pm

Saturdays

Harold Taddy or Sylvia 8pm

Pure Cane Sugar 10:30pm

 

For more info on the acts, click here for the Zeno’s pub website.

Why "Farrah Fawcett Hair ft Andre 3000" by Capital Cities is my new favorite song

“You know it when you see it. You know it when it’s there…”

“Farrah Fawcett Hair ft. Andre 3000” by Capital Cities is a masterpiece. Its message is simple: Profound greatness is impossible to define, but when you see it, you know. “…Like Michael Jackson ‘Thriller’. Like Farrah Fawcett hair. It’s good shit.”

The song draws from a multitude of genres, opening with an electro-pop sound that soon transitions to a chill downbeat, before ramping up in energy for the chorus. The song transitions seamlessly through dynamic changes in volume and rhythm, from impressive instrumentals to a verse by Andre 3000, for example.  Even with the diversity of rhythm, the entire song will have you moving. This is a song that you can enjoy listening to on repeat. It never gets old.

Much of the song is narrated by Frank Tavares, a famous voice from NPR. Throughout the song, Tavares recites a list of “good shit”, which including Daniel Day Lewis, sunsets, and of course National Public Radio. The chorus is sung by a soulful female vocalist, who explains Capital Cities’ “Good Shit” philosophy. Andre 3000 uses his verse to recite his list of “good shit” as well, included full-length mirrors and American Apparel ad girls.

The song is all about pleasure and things that make you happy. To me “Farrah Fawcett Hair ft Andre 3000”  is one of those things. When I listened to the song for the first time, I couldn’t help but say to myself, “Wow, this is good shit.”



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjcOx4yYvEk

Penn State's own The Wondershop Showdown's debut album available for free download

The Wondershop Showdown, veteran Penn State ska band who has played at both Movin’ On and THON, has released their debut album titled A Night at the Movies FOR FREE. If you are unfamiliar with the impressive brass section, tight vocal harmonies, catchy guitar riffs and upbeat rhythms that make up The Wondershop Showdown’s signature ska sound, don’t fret! We’re here to help.

Recorded by Marc Frigo, the production is flawless. Balancing the instrumental parts of a twelve member band is not an easy feat, but was masterfully achieved. A big bravo to Mr. Frigo, The Wondershop Showdown, and everyone else who had a hand in the album.

I won’t give too much away, but song #7, State, could put a smile on any proud Penn Stater’s face.

Download A Night at the Movies HERE. The album is free to download, but you can choose to donate as much as you’d like to The Wondershop Showdown for the wonderful music. Enjoy the album! 

http://noisetrade.com/thewondershopshowdown/a-night-at-the-movies

Watch the official album trailer below!