FREE SHOW! B3SCI.Com presents Zak Waters, TeamMate, Phil Beaudreau, Wise Cub, $2 drink specials 6-9pm

Triple threat Zak Waters always leaves a mark. Ever since he first formally began performing in high school, the Los Angeles singer, songwriter and producer never failed to make a lasting impression on his audience, and it’s always three-pronged. Unlike his contemporaries, he can do it all from constructing a track to writing the lyrics to performing it live with his band or in a DJ set. His impact is about to expand immensely with the release of his full-length debut album, Lip Service—available exclusively now via a unique deal with Spotify.
Zak’s always been driving his own music. In 2011, he broke on to the scene with his independent debut EP, New Normal. He served as both the featured writer and singer on Madeon's hit dance single "The City," which hit #1 on Hype Machine and peaked at #4 on the Billboard Dance Chart, where it stayed for nine months. Meanwhile, his single with Candyland, "Not Coming Down," topped the Beatport charts as #1 track for two weeks. He's performed on AXS Live, Last Call With Carson Daly, and on KIIS FM. Meanwhile, he’s not only been personally sought out by Flo Rida and Benny Benassi for their upcoming 2014 tracks, but also by the likes of legendary songwriter Diane Warren and Atlantic Records artist Francisco for his production talents. He's produced official remixes alongside Benny Benassi, R3hab, Pharrel Williams for All-American Rejects, Adam Lambert, and Foxy Shazam Moreover, famed Los Angeles venue The Satellite in Silver Lake tapped him for a high-profile residency as well in September 2013.
On Lip Service, shimmying between soulful funk savoir faire and fresh dance floor-ready pop, he cultivates an immediately seductive, soaring, and shimmering style of his own. Zak puts it best though, "My music is definitely meant to make people dance. I like to think of it as disco at its core. There are elements of EDM and R&B at the same time. You could call it neo-funk-pop. I'll take that as mine."
His personal panache punctuates the first single "Penelope." The song tells a cheeky little tale that's as vivid as it is vivacious. "I kept listening to the track and going back to a vision of a young kid obsessed with his baby sitter and wondering where she's at now," he explains. "I think we all had that babysitter. My friend's sitter was so hot. She was 'Penelope' for me. Now, you wonder, 'Would she look at me differently now that I'm grown up?'"
Elsewhere, “Dear John” featuring Audra Mae is a smart rumination on breaking up, while “Over You” examines the some darker moments post-relationship. Waters tapes into real tangible emotion, extending beyond the feel good pop.”
There's one pervasive thread throughout. "It's all about wanting to have fun," Zak concludes. "The majority of my songs are upbeat. They're meant to be the soundtrack to somebody's wild night. I love when somebody tells me I made it onto their workout or sex mix. If I can encapsulate a time for the listener, I feel like I will never be forgotten.”

There's a rich history in rock of exes making beautiful music together. But what makes TeamMate's story particularly compelling is how insurmountable drummer Dani Buncher and singer-keyboardist Scott Simons' break up seemed. One day they were daydreaming about growing old together, and the next, Dani came out to her boyfriend. The two had been dating for a full decade.

In the four years since that gutting split, an extraordinary connection and a mutual love of music have helped them dismantle, then rebuild, their relationship. "If we couldn't be partners," explains Scott, "we were still going to be teammates." Getting there took work, as chronicled in their self-produced debut album (out in 2012 on Rostrum Records), an indie-pop memoir that charts the times and tides of their lives.

If TeamMate has an anthem, it would be first single "Sequel," a reflection on modern love that aches beneath shimmering synths. It is "the happiest break-up song ever," says Dani, "and literally says where we are as a couple."

The duo was all-but-fated to meet. Dani, attending West Virginia University, played the snare drum in the marching band, while Scott, an alum of the college, fronted a touring power-pop band based out of the same town. They were both young, Jewish aspiring musicians, and as such, were introduced to each other at parties so much that, says Dani, "We'd always pretend we were meeting for the first time." They soon started dating.

As Scott branched out as a solo musician, his music was often inspired or vetted by Dani, who did A&R for major labels after college. (It was she who encouraged him to record a wistful cover of Rihanna's "Umbrella.") After working for several years in Manhattan, she returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, moved in with Scott there, and started an indie band of her own.

They shared a home for a year, until things began to unravel. When Dani finally came out, she felt a sense of relief, assuaged by Scott's unwavering support. "It wasn't easy. But I lost my father when I was 20," he says. "He was the most important person in my life. So as long as I have a choice to keep someone in my life, I'm going to."

After the split, Scott headed out to Los Angeles to test his mettle as a professional pop songwriter-producer. Instinctively, he asked Dani to help him relocate, and she joined him on that cross-country jaunt. They cultivated a platonic ideal while visiting oddities such as the dinosaurs from Pee-wee's Big Adventure, singing along to the radio, and camping in the desert. "The whole way was a celebration of our friendship," she says. Scott adds: "When she left to go back east, it was like, 'Wow, we're not going to be that close ever again. That was the end of a 10-year relationship.'"

Scott has prospered in Southern California. While making strides as a solo artist, he also landed gigs as a songwriter for major-label artists and as a keyboardist for touring acts. But a couple years after the move, Dani backed him up on drums for a gig in New York City—and everything just jelled from there. "I was like, 'That's it. This is the direction I want to go in. We need to make this a band project.'"

At heart, TeamMate is therapy. "Sometimes, I say stuff in songs that we'd never say in person," admits Scott. Despite his compositions' weighty themes, the melodies are surprisingly upbeat, inspired by Dani's drumming. Tracks like "Landline" pine after the early, mobile phone-less days of their relationship, while others such as "Velcro" explore the duo's undeniable bond, which they can finally joke about. TeamMate's unofficial motto: "Breaking up is hard to do."

"It all happened in an organic way," Scott marvels. "And we're so proud of where we are now."

Phil Beaudreau

A New England native, Phil Beaudreau grew up playing violin, eventually switching over to trumpet by the time he attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music. It was there Beaudreau discovered his passion for composition, triggering his metamorphosis into a singer-songwriter. It was also at Berklee where Beaudreau would meet the multi-platinum selling super-producer, Dawaun Parker. Collaborating on songs like “Until It’s Done,” which features Phil’s vocals and arrangements, Beaudreau eventually signed with Parker’s High Renaissance imprint in 2012. A true multi-instrumentalist, Beaudreau also produces and records with Parker under the moniker, AoE [All or Everything/Ambassadors of Earth] and self-penned and arranged his up-coming EP, Ether, in it’s entirety; playing piano, guitar, bass and even live horn and string arrangements. Influenced by classic legends including The Beatles and Stevie Wonder, while drawing inspiration from current greats, Thom Yorke and Kanye West, Beaudreau crafts a stunning soundscape that feels both unique and familiar. Phil credits Bill Withers for inspiring the stomping rhythm in the track, “Buried Alive.” In his retro-soul styled tune “Spark,” Beaudreau chronicles the struggles of a woman at her lowest point, while in “Take It High,” the first single from Ether, Beaudreau urges the listener to elevate themselves, whether metaphorically or literally. “The first time I heard Phil sing over one of my beats,” says Dawaun, “I knew I wanted to collaborate again. By the time we finished song #2, I knew I had to sign him. It’s not often you meet someone so talented, who can do so much… His potential is limitless,” exclaims the 3-time Grammy winner, who executive produced Ether. Musically rich and intoxicatingly catchy, Ether documents the process of an artist discovering his creative potential. One listen, and it’s evident that Beaudreau’s future home is the stratosphere.


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FREE SHOW! B3SCI.Com presents Zak Waters, TeamMate, Phil Beaudreau, Wise Cub, $2 drink specials 6-9pm

Monday, September 30 · Doors 8:30 PM / Show 9:00 PM at The Satellite