9:30 Club Presents at U Street Music Hall...
Beau Young Prince
1115 U Street NW
Washington, DC, 20009
This event is all ages
As innovation blurs borders and connects individuals everywhere, the world continues to get smaller by way of social media, video chats, and so on and so forth. When two kindred spirits cross paths 4,249 miles away from each other, magic still feels like the best possible explanation how…
Flora Cash emerged at such an intersection. As the story goes, Minneapolis native Cole Randall uploaded his music to Soundcloud. Across the Atlantic, Shpresa Lleshaj stumbled upon his account and started leaving comments under the songs. Facebook messages gave way to an introductory phone conversation, which snowballed into marathon Skype sessions.
Within months, Shpresa booked a ticket to Minneapolis. The two soulmates met I.R.L., relocated to Sweden, spent three months renting a room in a London flat due to Visa restrictions, and finally married back in the states. At the same time, the mystique of the music offset the exuberance of the union between them. The duo stitched together a singular style from threads of personal anxiety, struggle, and ultimately triumph.
“The fact that we’re collaborating comes from our relationship, but there’s more to our experience than the relationship,” affirms Cole. “It’s as if we’re expressing ourselves individually and bringing those elements together within the band. We all lose people, endure hardships, and face issues. We want to talk about all of that in our music.”
“It’s reality, but there is a mystery,” adds Shpresa.
The mystery quietly intoxicated fans and gatekeepers alike. In 2017, their full-length debut,Nothing Lasts Forever (And It’s Fine), attracted widespread tastemaker praise, including a coveted 9-out-of-10 score from Earmilk as well as acclaim from Noisey, Paste, Wonderland Magazine, Elmore Magazine and The Line of Best Fit, to name a few. The quiet grind paid off as the single “You’re Somebody Else” went viral, clocked 7 million streams, topped HypeMachine, and attracted the attention of RCA Records.
Upheld by acoustic guitars and ethereal production, “You’re Somebody Else” hinges on a gorgeously paranoid refrain, “Well you look like yourself, but you’re somebody else—only it ain’t on the surface. Well you talk like yourself. No, I hear someone else though. Now you’re making me nervous.”
“I was going through a rough patch,” admits Cole. “It caused Shpresa to go through a rough patch. My anxiety got the best of the both of us.”
“We were staying in my sister’s apartment where we recorded it,” Shpresa elaborates. “We lit a candle, Cole played a riff, and we developed this melody. It was like self-therapy for us.”
As they write more music in 2018, the story gets even deeper for Flora Cash.
“It’s important for us to express what’s inside,” she continues. “Whether it’s good, bad, or complicated, we just hope people feel something.”
For open as Flora Cash may be, one key element will remain a secret…
“We’re really open about who we are, but we’ve never told anyone the meaning of our name,” smiles Cole. “It was based on a conversation with someone close. Now I’ve said more than I’ve ever said to anyone,” he laughs.
That’s the magic of Flora Cash.
Beau Young Prince
In 2016, Beau Young Prince leveled up with his intoxicating cut “Half & Half Tea” off his critically acclaimed project Until Then. The single alone grabbed over a million streams, as the project was produced my longtime friend and NYC producer Yalamusiq and showed the world just how much indescribable potential Beau Young Prince truly had.
For years, the Washington, D.C. native has put on for his city, reaching local legend status in an impressively short amount of time. Now, as the newest Def Jam signee delivers his long awaited follow-up EP and newest single “Kill Moe,” BYP is ready to show the world why D.C. will be the next cross-cultural hub for hip-hop.
Growing up in D.C., BYP describes his pedigree as a “Southside kid with a North Side education.” Bred in the Southeast leg of the city, Beau had a zip code in the more urbanized section of D.C., though attended one of the highest ranked private schools in the Northern part of the city. “I was given a really unique experience,” he speaks of that duality. “I have the ability to combine both worlds where most people can’t.”
Raised on a healthy diet including Marvin, Gaye, Chuck Brown, Curtis Mayfield, A Tribe Called Quest, Andre3000, Lenny Kravitz, and Bad Brains, BYP credits his mom for his musical palate. “She played so many different sounds for me as a kid,” he recalls. “Everyone from Average White Band to Elton John; that’s why the sounds that I make are so diverse.” He later became enmeshed in D.C.’s legendary Go-Go scene, ingesting sounds from Rare Essence, Trouble Funk, and Backyard Band.
In school, Beau played the upright bass—first Classical, and then Jazz. This proved to be an asset later on in his recording process. “Classical music in a sense helped me arrange the music that I make now because Classical is based on arrangements of sounds’ presentation, but Jazz is the interpretation of music,” he explains. “So I combine a methodology of both. That’s why I’m creating a sound that’s a bit forward thinking and newer for now, because I’m taking the principles of both and applying them to hip-hop to expand the genre. I don’t want to reinvent the wheel, but take the wheel further than when I found it.”
Beau found himself as a teen hitting the local circuit via talent shows, open mics, and rap battles. At the behest of classmates, he even burned some CD’s and sold them locally, making a few thousand dollars in the process. “That was my first test run, like, ‘Oh? I can sell CD’s hand to hand and make money?” he says with a laugh, though he truly cut his teeth with live performances. A graduate of Guilford College in Greensboro, NC, BYP kept the music going, hitting the Soundcloud wave early on.
His first big gig was a sold out show opening for Wale in Charleston, SC and the buzz didn’t stop there. In 2017 he connected with French producer YMNO for the Young Futura project, expanding upon the dimensions of his sound, along with collaborations including Troy Boi, Hounded, Jailo, and Aruam. The release of his Sunset Blvd EP further sealed the deal that BYP was destined for greatness. His constant content proved to be fortuitous, as it caught the ears of a Def Jam A&R who flew to D.C. on BYP’s birthday to watch him at work.
“He saw me write on the spot and record,” says Beau. “We caught a real vibe.” The result was a record deal and Beau Young Prince’s new single “Kill Moe,” an infectious cut that reflects D.C. just as much as its maker. “Kill and Moe are two of our main phrases in D.C.,” he expresses of the song’s meaning. “In D.C., ‘kill’ could be good or bad. And you don’t really know who ‘Moe’ is; you just grow up kind of saying that. It goes back to my parents’ generation of DC vernacular. It’s my representation of what we do in D.C., but told through a phrase.”
“Kill Moe” will be the first single off his upcoming project, which he hopes will not only prove how he carries D.C. on his back, but showcase the many layers to his work. He describes it as “an explorative EP that rides like an album,” as cuts like “Mismatch” bring the falsetto balladeer in him and “Price” displays his modern R&B twang. There’s even a new D.C. anthem that unifies hip-hop and Go-Go in a way that’s never been done before. “This is me stepping into the hip-hop lunchroom asking where do I sit or should I make my own table?” he says. “And I’m making my own table.”
With “Kill Moe” and his upcoming EP, Beau Young Prince is delivering a new aesthetic and a new sound for D.C., coming from a “groovy happy guy” with the aim for longevity. “My goal is to be a different image of what the city has to offer,” he says. “I want to put out music to reflect a generation from a voice that people rarely get to hear.”