Growing up in the Bronx, McKay's diverse musical education started with her older brother's 70s soul and funk collection, listening to classic pop station WABC and hearing Grandmaster Flash, Jimmy Castor, James Brown and Afrika Bambaataa in constant rotation on the block. A former dancer who grew up studying at The Alvin Ailey school, the singer/songwriter toured the world with the Brooklyn Funk Essentials and Europe with Amp Fiddler, lent her vocals to tracks by Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Tricky and Roy Hargrove and played lead guitar in Kelis' band. After McKay traveled to England to work with Portishead founder Geoff Barrow on her first album, things started connecting. The mastermix of Bristol and Bronx proved a worthy sonic experiment, but while her debut McKay carried over Barrow's trademarked Portishead sound her sophomore album Tell It Like It Is is truly Stephanie's own vision.
As witnessed on her debut EP, that precedes the full length album dropping next year, Stephanie McKay is using hip-hop as the foundation to build her compositions, yet refuses to limit her beat-box inspirations to merely rapping over obvious samples. Instead she fuses her powerful urban poetics creatively with sonic splashes of rock, pop, soul, and, of course hip-hop. From the gutbucket guitar that conjures windy city bluesmen wailing their ax's on aboard a speeding freight train on Tell It Like It Is to the thick slap of bass and vintage keyboards on "Money," Stephanie McKay brings a stunning collection of musical compositions that fuse McKay's powerful urban poetics, which effortlessly combines soul, hip-hop, funk and rock.
Thurs, Sept. 20th @ 8 PM - Roy Ayers and Stephanie Mckay
204 Varick Street at West Houston
$22 Advance Tickets
$25 At The Door
Tell It Like It Is
Take Me Over