Samia, Evan Brum & the Royal High, Visible From Space, English Kils, Windsorfield

Samia Mounts has been singing for as long as she can remember. There was never a time when music wasn't the central focus of her life, as well as the force that kept her going through good times and bad.

Her first live performance was at 5 years old in front of an audience of 500 at a family wedding. She sang "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," and the microphone was bigger than her head. As a child, she wrote musical revues that she and her younger sister would perform for their father when he would return home from TDY ("temporary duty" - the military equivalent of a business trip.) The greatest hits of that era include "Daddy, We Missed You!" and "Welcome home, Daddy!" Most of the early songs had exclamation points in their titles.

In middle school, she wrote mini-musicals that she produced using her friends from around the neighborhood as cast, crew, and promotional team. Every parent was required to attend, so every show was a resounding success.

As a teenager, things started getting real. She performed across South Korea, where her father was stationed as an Air Force JAG lawyer, on USO Tours, and as a guest performer on many televised talent contests and Korean-American friendship concerts. She continued to write songs and copyrighted her first composition when she was fifteen.

After graduating from Seoul American High School, Samia decided to pursue a career in musical theatre. On that path (and sometimes off,) she had many excellent adventures - and a few bogus journeys - which took her all over the world. She began returning to Seoul sporadically to make money as a voice actor, and on one of those stints, she began singing lead and back-up vocals with the lounge/rock band Sotto Gamba. This was her first experience singing with a band, and she was terrified! Drawing inspiration from her favorite divas at the time, Alanis Morisette and Tori Amos, Samia braced herself and faced her fear of not knowing what to do without a script and blocking to rely on.

She got on stage and fell in love. She discovered in that first Sotto Gamba show that this kind of performing was what she was meant to do - not costumes and sets and lines - but freedom to choose how to move and how to sing. Freedom to just feel the music and nothing else. She was still singing someone else's songs, but now she had the freedom to really interpret it, outside the confines of a character and plot.

She spent almost a year singing with Sotto Gamba, and it was one of the happiest times of her life thus far. When she left Seoul, it was to attend the Boston Conservatory of Music to study musical theatre. Through all of this, she continued writing and singing her own music, but she kept the songs to herself. The boldness and bravery she'd exhibited as a kid seemed to have flown out the window! Samia felt like she'd lost her mojo.

In March 2008, Samia moved to New York City. After working in the musical theatre industry for several years, she realized it wasn't fulfilling her like she thought it would. She started singing back-up and some lead vocals in the funk/soul/gospel band Brother Joscephus & the Love Revolution, and once again, she reveled in the freedom that came along with being in a band.

But something was still missing. A powerhouse singer with huge range and control, Samia wasn't satisfied with singing back-up. She kept writing songs, and the more she wrote, the more she began to like her own music.

Now, nearly five years after moving to New York, Samia has finally found her voice, not only as a vocalist but as a songwriter. Combining raw rock/blues vocals with soul influences and immense power, range, and control, her songs are drawn from her experiences. To hear her music is to know who she is.

Evan Brum & the Royal High

Evan Brum grew up surrounded by the sounds of classic American roots/blues music. He influenced by artists such as Taj Mahal, Albert King, Richie Havens, and The Allman Brothers Band. Over the past few years, Evan and his band The Royal High have forged ahead with an eclectic mix of classic roots based music, combined with a modern rock edge. This rings true in Evan's raspy vocal delivery, which has been described by some as a "Tom Jones, Tom Waites sandwich" Evan compliments his gritty vocal styling with percussive, rhythm based acoustic guitar playing.

As far as the band goes, The Royal High exemplifies solid American roots-rock music. This is well represented throughout the album with Lead guitar player Jon Shriver. From classic bluesy Stones influenced licks, to good old fashioned classic rock shredding, this son of a gun isn't screwing around. The bands newest member who also engineered and co-produced the album is musician Bryan Smith who plays a wide variety of instruments on the album, as well during live performances. Ranging from classic Hammond organ, to space age modern synch, Bryan adds a fresh dynamic to the band. Drummer Matt Zebroski, who performs on the album, holds down the fort with his unique jazz/rock styling. Performing with the band most recently is hard-hitting rock & roll drummer Dave Vincola. Bass duties on the album are credited to New Zealand native, and Julliard graduate Mat Fieldes . Pro bass player Glen Nataupsky, who has accompanied the band on recent live gigs, is equally is a no nonsense force to be reckoned with.

Visible From Space

"Dreams" by Visible From Space.

English Kils



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