Bad Rabbits

Bad Rabbits

Like some kind of sonic Pulp Fiction, Bad Rabbits fuse futuristic R&B and post-rock for a slick one-two punch.

Think Sly Stone fronting Bad Brains, and you’re maybe a third of the way there. The multi-cultural Boston five-piece—Fredua “Dua” Boakye [vocals], Sheel Davé [drums], Salim Akram [guitar], Graham Masser [bass], and Santiago Araujo [guitar]—confidently struts through genres with unrestrained swagger and a whole lot of attitude. It’s sexy and soulful replete with seismic falsetto about youthful love and “dirty” girls. It’s bedroom music as much as it is dance floor music. It’s simply American Love.

Bad Rabbits began drumming up a flurry of buzz in 2009 with their self-released EP, Stick Up Kids. Their sweaty, intense live shows solidified an impressive and devout following as they shared the stage with the likes of Wu-Tang Clan, Passion Pit, Deftones, Travie McCoy, T-Pain, GlassJaw, Common and John Legend and played the Vans Warped Tour. However, one pivotal gig with Foxy Shazam in San Francisco helped lay the preliminary groundwork for American Love in 2011.

“After we finished playing, this kid with tattoos and plugs in his ears rolled up to us,” remembers Sheel. “He was pissed that he missed the show so I asked if he had a house we could play at. We grew up playing metal shows in basements, so we were down to kick it and jam. The next day, we played his kitchen. He just understood what we were doing musically, and he had all kinds of ideas. That kid was our co-producer B. Lewis.”

The band flew Lewis out to Boston, and they started seriously collaborating. Over the course of 2012, they composed, recorded, and fine-tuned the songs that would eventually comprise their debut. Along the way, the group honed their style precisely.

“We wanted to bridge the gap between the two musical worlds we come from,” explains Salim. “One of them is classic R&B, and the other is rock. They may seem disparate, but we tried to fuse them.”

That mission is certainly accomplished on tracks like the first single and album opener, “We Can Roll”. After a sultry keyboard swell, the song climaxes on an anthemic hook fortified by hulking guitars. Dua reveals, “It’s like a ride or die anthem for your girlfriend or boyfriend basically. As corny as it may sound, it encompasses that feeling when you get the right person. You want the person to ‘roll’ anywhere and everywhere with you. It’s a trap wedding song.”

That theme of young love carries over to “Fall in Love”, which Converse will premiere on Valentine’s Day 2013. A big horn section pipes along with a swinging vocals and smooth bass. Sultry lyrics bubble up over the pulsating funk on the verse, emblematic of their grasp on 21st century R&B.

In many ways, diversity drives Bad Rabbits. The music reflects the cultural melting pot the band members embody. Sheel, Dua, and Santiago are all first-generation Americans as their parents originally hail from India, Liberia and Ghana, and Italy and Argentina respectively. As a result, the album remains all-inclusive.

“That’s where the concept of American Love comes from,” Sheel adds. “These diverse backgrounds forming one entity represents what America is. It reminds me of when I used to go see Deftones and GlassJaw as a kid. Their audiences weren’t only into a variety of music, but they were also multi-cultural. I always thought that was so cool. We may come from different cultures, but we all bond over music.”

American Love is something else that listeners worldwide can bond over. “I feel like everyone can really get to know us with this album,” says Salim. “Our hope is that it will introduce new people to Bad Rabbits but also show our progression to those who have already been exposed to the band.” “We’re just doing what comes naturally,” Sheel concludes. “It isn’t about trying to be something we’re not. It’s about just going with the flow ultimately. We’re not forcing anything.”

Sit back and fall into American Love.

Tara Hendricks

There are singers and then there are soul singers. Mere female artists, and then divas. If a single phrase could describe vocalist, songwriter and performer Tara Hendricks (formerly known as “taragirl”), it would be “the truth!” Her powerhouse voice, contagious energy and charismatic songs have earned the Philadelphia-based artist a reputation as an indie star. With two releases, multiple sold out shows, openers for Grammy-winning acts, and outlets like The Daily News calling her “Philly’s next signature voice,” and popular blogs begging “Someone sign this girl, promote her and get her on her way!” (, she is certainly poised to break out onto the larger music scene.

Drawing inspiration from compelling artists like Aretha Franklin and EnVogue, to Nikka Costa and Emeli Sande, this artist’s blend of soul, pop, funk and r&b has wide appeal, with her vocal acrobatics and fiery stage presence gaining new fans at every turn since releasing her self-written debut The 26th Power in 2006, followed by 2010’s The City: Soul Suite. Those acclaimed solo projects garnered the songstress numerous accolades including Philadelphia City Paper’s “10 Artists To Watch,” Billboard/Discmakers’s “Top 15 Artists: North East” in the Independent Music World Series, as well as performances alongside the likes of Chaka Khan, Jill Scott, Amy Winehouse, Chrisette Michele and ZZ Ward.

Prior to performing sold out gigs all around her adopted Philly home, Tara gained experience in musical theater and talent shows growing up in her native New Jersey. While studying vocal performance at NYU by day, she honed her skills at open mics by night. After graduating, the singer made a move that would change the trajectory of her career by relocating to neo-soul capital Philadelphia. The move came in the latter half of a successful decade where the city’s music scene spawned acts like Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild, Floetry, Bilal, The Roots, and the legendary Black Lily series, a showcase she read about in magazines and became one of her first feature performances. Soon after, Tara’s independent drive earned her opening slots for The Brand New Heavies and Avant. She paid her dues and built her fanbase one email at a time, establishing a sizeable following.

Now, Tara Hendricks is ready to unveil her third project, infusing her brand with a fresh look and sound. If her contagious, retro-infused single “Can’t Let Go”(2014) is any indication, Tara Hendricks is just starting to spread her wings.

$14 + Fees


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All Upstairs tickets are General Admission. Dining is available at World Cafe Live at the Queen. To be assured of seating for an event, dining reservations are accepted for Upstairs Live, our full service restaurant. We recommend scheduling your reservation time 1½ to 2 hours before show time. For more information and to see menus, please read the Restaurant Info.

WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE SEATS are located on all seated levels of this theatre. For more information, please contact us at or call 302-994-1400.

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World Cafe Live - Wilmington Upstairs


Bad Rabbits with Tara Hendricks

Monday, February 17 · Doors 5:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM at World Cafe Live - Wilmington Upstairs