Red Bull Sound Select Presents: NYC w/ Thundercat, ASTR and Tondrae Kemp
Red Bull Sound Select is an ongoing program that gives love to local music scenes, hardworking bands, and its supporters. It is a long-term music initiative that invests and connects artists and fans with one another to be part of the stories that break music. Every month, a collective of local music curators invite three new artists from each participating city into the program and host a Red Bull Sound Select Presents showcase to introduce them.
$3 w/ RSVP HERE
Bassist/songwriter/vocalist Stephen Bruner, aka Thundercat, has music deeply rooted within. His father, Ronald Bruner, Sr., is an internationally renowned jazz drummer who played with the Temptations, Diana Ross, Gary Bartz and Gladys Knight. His brother Ronald Bruner, Jr., a Grammy-winning drummer, has played with the likes of Roy Hargrove, Stanley Clarke, and Wayne Shorter. Stephen joined his brother as a member of West Coast punk vets Suicidal Tendencies, playing bass on their worldwide tours while still in high school. He also toured through Japan with Stanley Clarke at the age of 16.
As Thundercat, Bruner takes his jazz roots and works with a mix of artists that suit his wildly experimental sensibilities – ranging from Flying Lotus, Erykah Badu, and Stanley Clarke, as well as more recent collaborations with Wiz Khalifa and Earl Sweatshirt, to name but a few. After meeting and touring with Flying Lotus, the two artists collaborated on Lotus’ 2010 LP ‘Cosmogramma’ on the track ‘MmmHmm.’ Their kindred sense of musicality led to Thundercat’s 2011 solo debut ‘The Golden Age of Apocalypse,’ co-produced by Flying Lotus, which opened Bruner up to a new stratosphere of songwriting and artistic exploration.
In 2013, Thundercat teamed up with executive producer Flying Lotus once again, to form a profound body of work for his second album, ‘Apocalypse.’ Forthcoming on Lotus’ Brainfeeder imprint this July, the album straddles lines and pushes genres further, blurring the confines of pop, funk, electronica and prog rock, and creating something else entirely. Both vulnerable and fearless, a comedy and tragedy, ‘Apocalypse’ is an intimate portrait of an artist who will continue to take music to a new place; the beyond.
ASTR is a duo that lives, works and writes music in New York City. After meeting three years ago in a Manhattan yoga class, they discovered they shared a musical and artistic sensibility informed by cinema noire, Miami Vice and urban dreamscapes. ASTR was soon born.
Zoe is a New York native and former major label refuge. After a hiatus from music to explore the world via spirituality she met Adam, a recovering vinyl addict with a penchant for 60's / 70's cinema scores, Disco, and the fingers for anything with keys (vintage synths, guitar and bass).
Transplanted from New Orleans into the metropolis of New York, Tondrae Kemp has been growing exponentially since his departure to the big city. Where he was once known as a soul singer, he is now expounding on that notion by adding the potential for any genre to find its way into the music. From Hip-Hop to Reggae, Rock, Electronic and always Soulful, TK could take you anywhere at any moment. Always with a fresh approach and always unhindered. Imagine Zappa influenced by Public Enemy and Stevie Wonder. Something different and sincere. As funny as it is musically fresh. Tondrae would say that he's "Just channeling whatever comes out. A true expression that I haven't attempted to gate or limit by description. An honest flow and expression."
Tondrae began singing in church at the age of 10 in his native Baton Rouge. As a teen, inspired by hip-hop pioneers Rakim, Public Enemy and Main Source, he took to the stage as a rapper. However, during his adventures in hip-hop he had a revelation, in his words "every rapper wants to sing; you can just express more." Finding that singing afforded him more freedom to express ideas and emotion, he joined an acapella group called All 4 Love where he could expand upon his vocal growth. Influenced by what he calls "The Soul Starter Kit" of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Bill Withers, Donny Hathaway and Bob Marley, he honed his voice and picked up the pen.
Presently, Tondrae has teamed up with Kwality Records for the release of his new 10-track album Sun Money. You can find him playing venues, events, benefits and festivals between NYC and New Orleans in support of the release while continuing to record and collaborate. Through hard work and undeniable talent, Tondrae is fast becoming a well-respected, up-and-coming performer and recording artist.