Side FX is a five piece band that hails from Washington DC with an alternative pop sound that is all their own. The band, who is well known for exploring new sounds and combining rhythms and beats that together offer the unexpected, continue to break traditional boundaries within the music industry. In two years, Side FX has accomplished what takes most bands a decade to do. The band is fronted by sultry singer-songwriter-designer Kim Cameron.
Kim Cameron - Singer/Songwriter
Chris (Nik) Nikpora - Guitar
Matt Berry - Bass
Andy Hamburger - Drums
Dave Ylisaker - Keyboard
Kimberly Gregory - back up vocals
Side FX was formed in 2008, the band was launched with their CD, 'Contradictions.' The CD was featured on hundreds of US AAA and International radio stations. Placements on American Airlines, MTV Philippines, Sirius, Great Americans, Plum TV, District Dish TV, Coffee Network, Pulp Magazine, INK 19, Command Performance, sold out show at Blues Alley plus several live radio performances made this band one of the top powerhouse pop rock bands in the mid Atlantic by 2009.
The band mottoMore than Just Music along with their eclectic mix of genres, showcase Kim's complexity and diversity as a songwriter and have garnered them millions of matches on Google.
In 2009, Side FX began working on their second album 'Turning Point' while planning their first official tour.
In between,the band makes it a point to perform at events that allow them to give back to causes that are close to them beginning with a performance on Veteran's Day at the Walter Reed Medical Center. In 2010, they pledged to devote their time to the injured service men and women and have contributed over $30,000 in free concerts during their 'It's Your Turn' where they have been performing at Veteran's Medical Centers across the country.
The bands sophomore CD, Turning Point was released January 19, 2010. The CD, which was produced by Robert Jazayeri (No Doubt, Garbage, Britney Spears), transitions flawlessly from smooth sultry vocals and piano to driving beats and roaring guitars that make you want to get up and dance.
Four of the music videos from the album have created a buzz on Youtube, receiving thousands of views and already received national placements on Poolside Palisades Pool Party Web series, Fox Sports, Eos music, Pure Play, More Magazine, Smart Money, Music Connection, and the WOR's Joey Reynolds' show.
The band has begun writing their third album with a surprise pre-release of the single 'Sexy Smile' on September 9, 2010. It was immediately picked up on Top 40/CHR stations across the country and hit the Mediabase chart.
The band promised to surprise their fans one more time this year by releasing their first original Christmas song.
I Want to Hear
Won't Break Down
Come A Little Closer
The Way You Look at Me
Are You Thinking of Me
Are You Thinking of Me?
Are You Thinking of Me? (country)
9 out of 10 stars
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Based in Washington, D.C., which is probably best known for its decades-old hardcore punk scene, Sid...Based in Washington, D.C., which is probably best known for its decades-old hardcore punk scene, Side F/X (http://www.sidefxband.net) is a promising young band rooted in classic-rock aesthetics. In other words, songwriting and melodic playing are tops on their priority list. At a time when the art of penning lyrics is becoming increasingly rare, Side F/X dip into their own lives, and that of their friends, to try and find meaning and catharsis in this troubled world. The group's album, "Contradictions," uses AOR-esque hooks as a blueprint, coloring the shades with the blues ("Her Escape," "Never Forget"), post-punk ("Scattered"), reggae and funk ("My Hero"), and Americana ("Life's Mystery"). Sultry-voiced lead singer Kim Cameron is a frontwoman who projects as much strength as she does warmth; that, in itself, is a contradiction, right? I decided to talk to Cameron about the group.
Adam Harrington: At what point did you decide the enter the rock & roll arena?
Kim Cameron: I grew up with a father who was a true rock & roll fan. We used to dance in the living room to Cat Stevens, the Eagles, Elvis, the Beatles, the Beach Boys, etc., while my mother would never entertain anything other than classical sounds. It was a very diverse household when one parent is turning up the stereo and the other is running to the other side of the house telling him to “turn it down.” (Although she did like Cher – go figure.) It never occurred to me, given my childhood to go any other direction. My first band was in high school, so I guess I entered the rock & roll arena around the age of 17.
Harrington: Who are your artistic influences?
Cameron: Without sounding a little eclectic, Carly Simon, Dave Matthews, Annie Lennox, Sting, U2. I was asked, “who do you listen to, or who is on your iPod?” and I rambled off a variety of artists ranging from country to rap to pop to classical to rock. I guess you would say I have a love of all types of music or that I am bored easily. My co-writer was enamored with the hardcore metal sound since he was a child: Van Halen, Ozzy Osbourne, the Scorpions. You will often hear him brag about his love of those distortion sounds, but at the heart of his creative spirit is a true romantic. Like me, he has diverse tastes, which has always made for some interesting music-writing discussions.
Harrington: Some bands forget the word business in the music business. How involved are you with that aspect of the group?
Cameron: As a former executive in the corporate world, I am heavily involved from a business perspective, from every aspect (image, marketing, web presence, logo, events, trademarks, merchandise and strategy). I actually am looking at this endeavor in a completely different way than I believe other bands or musicians might. It’s not enough to come prepared to practice and on time, or to conduct yourself as a professional. It has to extend beyond the professionalism aspect and performing well into providing a product that extends beyond a single, beyond an album. An extension that can sustain itself, even when economics might discourage the venture.
Harrington: Side F/X - what does it mean?
Cameron: Side F/X is a bit of a play on words and really my co-writer's initial vision. When we formed the band, we considered ourselves as a ‘side effect’ to rock & roll. We wanted to splash a little bit of jazz and R&B into the songs, but just as an ‘effect’ to the core rock roll feel. As the band progressed, the band members took on the name as well by positioning themselves during our shows as Kim’s “Side Effects.” I like to think of Side F/X as a name that represents what our music might do to someone – kind of like a prescription – if taken in large doses, you might find yourself dancing uncontrollably or singing loudly in public places.
Harrington: What tracks on "Contradictions" are most personal to you and why?
Cameron: All of the songs are written from personal experiences from either myself or people who I know and have shared their stories with me. The best stories, I believe, are the ones which are real and portray one’s soul. Having said that, there are three songs, in particular, that continue to evoke and emotional and physical response from me: "Life’s Mystery"; "My Hero"; "Come A Little Closer." In order to understand my emotion behind these songs, I should elaborate on the stories themselves.
"Life's Mystery": I wrote this song trying to describe a unique and special relationship I have with an individual. Now I will never tell anyone (and I mean anyone) who this story is about, but I can tell you that like so many of us, there is always that one person in your life who means something special to you, a feeling that is not always easy to describe, but forces you to put smile on your face and you do not know why. A kind of deep friendship that lasts a life time, no matter how long or how often you see each other - it’s just one of life's mysteries.
"My Hero": This one always brings tears to my eyes. Imagine risking your life for five years, five years in a deadly country and coming back home feeling like your contribution meant nothing. I met a soldier who had just come off his second tour of duty who struck my soul - not because he was in Iraq, not because he defended our country - but because he dedicated years of his life for us, all of us, and all he wanted in return was to know that it mattered. This song was the hardest song I ever had to record because of my emotion associated with his story. You will notice a reggae-type of sound which was very intentional, kind of a happy marching beat but then in the middle of the song (the bridge) you will hear the song breaks down. That again was intentional to denote the conflict the soldier felt about leaving the army.
"Come A little Closer": This song has a completely different emotion than the other two, a kind of mischievous feeling about my own experience with temptation. I have intentionally left the ending up to the listener to decide what happened because we have all faced temptation at one point in our life – some give in, while others keep it at bay. I believe this not so light-hearted song represents a true feeling and struggle that we all have at different points in our life.
Side F/X spices pop/rock grooves
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Side F/X spices pop/rock grooves with helpings from the blues, country, and funk Reviewed by Brooke...Side F/X spices pop/rock grooves with helpings from the blues, country, and funk
Reviewed by Brooke Curtis
Major-label tastemakers would probably have a headache of a time trying to pigeonhole Side F/X. Here we have a fairly straightforward pop/rock group that spices their grooves with helpings from the blues, country, funk, jazz, reggae, and even New Wave. A decade ago, when musicians were still expected to find a single unifying sound and stick to it, Side F/X would’ve gotten the same three-letter grade and question mark: WTF? However, times have changed, and the creation of the iPod is making the record industry, whether they like it or not, realize that most people do not restrict themselves to one form of music.
Side F/X take the plunge, liberating themselves from any stylistic shackles, even in the same track. On “My Hero,” Side F/X stitch together light funk, reggae, and ’70s Adult Contemporary; in “Her Escape,” Side F/X marry jazz and blues, letting sweaty sax glide across sizzling Robert Cray licks; the slow, emotionally evocative “Come a Little Closer” contrasts AOR riffs with moving piano. On paper, it reads like a car crash, but when you listen to it all, it is smooth sailing. There isn’t a wasted moment here; the nine cuts that populate Contradictions express real feeling with ambitious musicianship, blending together with ease and excitement.
Side F/X offers a knock-out punch with varied ‘Contradictions’
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Reviewed by Alison Murphy Side F/X/Contradictions Side F/X is not a blues band; however, blu...Reviewed by Alison Murphy
Side F/X is not a blues band; however, bluesy riffs abound as on “Her Escape” and “The Way You Look at Me.” Side F/X is not a reggae group; nevertheless, you can hear reggae rhythms in “My Hero.” Side F/X is not country, but there’s enough twang on “Life’s Mystery” to interest Nashville suits. Contradictions, then? Side F/X are full of them. And, to put it bluntly, thank them for injecting some originality and rebellious style-busting on their new album.
Vocalist Kim Cameron avoids the cliches of a woman leading a rock & roll band. In the post-emo underground landscape, you’d expect her to be belting distortion-washed anguish in our ears to prove how tough she was. But that’s not the case. Instead, Cameron is incredibly versatile, opting for Martha Davis-ish melancholia on “Shattered,” Norah Jones-esque soulfulness on “Come a Little Closer,” and Karen Carpenter-like fragility on “Life’s Mystery.” Although Cameron has a commanding presence, she doesn’t eclipse the electric charge of her fellow musicians as scorching guitars rip through “Won’t Break Down” and “The Way You Look at Me” and pulsating bass gives “Scattered” a knock-out punch to the chin.
Side F/X plays with ‘Contradictions’ on seductively rocking new album
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Written by Kit Burns Side F/X can never be called predictable. On their new album, Contradictions...Written by Kit Burns
Side F/X can never be called predictable. On their new album, Contradictions, the band effortlessly shifts gears, from Motels-styled early ’80s New Wave (”Scattered”) to blues rock (”Her Escape”) to country (”Life’s Mystery”). Through it all lead singer Kim Cameron, who also wrote these songs, seduces us with her soulful tones. Contradictions doesn’t sound like an independent release at all. It’s a polished, professionally executed affair with top-flight guitar work, especially the searing riffs on “Won’t Break Down,” and hypnotically throbbing bass lines, as on the funky “My Hero.”
Kit Burns: Side F/X’s eclectic genre-shifting is not something I usually hear from rock groups coming out of Washington, D.C. How has the reception been in D.C. thus far?
Kim Cameron: D.C. is a confluence of different nationalities, cultures, and therefore, music. My co-writer and I have taken advantage of those diversifications and styles into our approach. So far, we have been lucky. Everyone has taken a liking to the variety – especially women. That was the general approach of the album, to make sure the listener did not get bored. Our general philosophy was [that] people like a lot of different sounds, genres – so why not produce something with a little magic in each song?
Burns: There are too few women on rock radio these days. What challenges do you feel you face as a woman leading a rock group?
Cameron: The biggest challenge I have come across is appearance. When you tell people you are a part of a rock band, they expect to hear a raspy/screeching voice on the mic. People are always trying to box women into a hardcore look or sound in the rock world – but to me, you can be feminine and sound feminine without losing the rock spirit. I believe it is important get the industry to take notice of music that has something to say, not necessarily who, or which, gender says it. It is in this spirit that we created Contradictions.
Burns: Is there a hidden meaning behind the album title Contradictions?
Cameron: Absolutely! Actually, the entire album has many hidden meanings. Contradictions represents a clash between sounds and lyrical content. “Never Forget” is a song about a cancer victim that I know personally and was impacted by, but the vibe in the song is actually quite cheerful. To me, we all face challenges each day, but it’s up to us to see the positive to keep our spirit alive, hence the ‘contradiction.’ If you look at the album cover, you will notice vines wrapping around myself and my lead guitar player. As you unfold the cover, you will see two birds. While the birds start off together, as you unfold the cover, the birds fly away, and one of the birds carries away with it a broken heart. Similar to the album artwork, Contradictions also represents my personal growth – growth as a person, growth as a songwriter, growth as a woman, growth as a singer. The true contradiction, is, what you see is not always what you get. Inside all of us are some hidden talents that are often overlooked.
Burns: You co-wrote the lyrics on Contradictions. How do you find the process of a songwriting collaboration? Is it easier, or harder, than penning the words on your own.
Cameron: Having a journalism degree, I am not only accustomed to being edited, but find the process invaluable. Anytime you can place two people, and sometimes three on a project, you will always gain a better experience and song in the process. Since these songs are all about personal life experiences, I would be lying if I said the editing process was not challenging because it can feel like someone is taking apart your soul, but in the end, if you can explain your story in a way that makes sense to others, that is really the objective.
Burns: How long have Side F/X been around? What is the story behind the group?
Cameron: Side F/X started out as a basement concept with two of my very close friends, who happen to be brothers. One ended up as a co-writer on over half of the songs. We would get together; play music for their extremely large family gatherings for a couple of years until last year, when we decided to make ourselves ‘official.’ Part of the decision was based on the creation of the original works (Contradictions), which began on April 2007. It took us several months, but I think we are right where we should be, a very diverse mix of musicians from two Iranian transplants to a D.C. native who has fought hard to rise above a very poor and drug-infested neighborhood to an information technology professional. What I have found is the more eclectic the backgrounds, the more inspirational the sound. All musicians bring their background to the sound; they cannot help it.
Music Changes the Taste of Wine
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Kim Cameron develops the first music and wine pairing musical series which matches grapes to her o...Kim Cameron develops the first music and wine
pairing musical series which matches grapes to
her original pop/rock songs.
Washington, DC – Move over food, there is a new taster coming to town – Side FX—a
rock/pop group that has moved into wine pairing with a twist, a twist on their music that is.
While many of us have had wine pairings with dinner, few have paired wine with sound.
Tantalizing Tastes and Melodious Music is what the Side FX band calls ?small tastes which
heightens all of our senses? an example of how music, bands and wine makers are coming
together to enhance the experience.
Kim Cameron from the Side FX Band
Kim Cameron, lead singer and songwriter with the Side FX band, has carefully crafted an
entertainment platform which draws out different fruits, tannins, and spices in specific wines
when held up against one of her original songs.
?When we first began testing the theory, we thought one of our slower songs would naturally fit a white wine, but after many tastings we found those
songs were deeper than what our initial sense of hearing had us believe,? explains Kim Cameron. ?We ended up pairing white wines with songs that
we initially targeted for the Merlot grape for example.?
The group took this show on the road with their first =It‘s Your Turn‘ tour where wine enthusiasts and new wine drinkers were intrigued with the
concept. Part of what the band is trying to accomplish is to get the audience actively involved with the show or, what Kim refers to as =the experience‘
where multiple senses are involved for the night.
Recent studies are now showing what Kim and Side FX have known for years, pairing the right song with the right wine can have a heavy impact on
bringing out the wines flavors and heighten the overall wine experience. The Heriot Watt University of Edinburgh, known for it‘s forward thinking and
having an international reputation for innovative education, enterprise and leading edge but practical research did a clinical study on the pairing of
music with wine. The study found people rated the change in taste by up to 60% depending on the melody heard.
Four types of music were played – ?powerful and heavy?, ?subtle and refined ?, ?zingy and refreshing? and ?mellow and soft?. The white wine was
rated 40% more zingy and refreshing when that music was played, but only 26% more mellow and soft when music in that category was heard. The
red was altered 25% by mellow and fresh music, yet 60% by powerful and heavy music.
While there has been talk for years about pairing music with wine at various events, no other artist has taken the next step and created an entire
show and series out of the concept. ?We developed a very detailed show outline that helps the venue chose the right number of tastings, how to
organize the event and offers suggestions for food pairing with the music,? Kim says.
?I have never seen an artist offer this type of an event. I takes a lot of thought and preparation to deliver this type of show successfully,? says Joe
Steger, Manager of Cabanas.
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Maryland natives Kim Cameron and the Side FX Band played at NYC's Crash Mansion, hoping to showcase...Maryland natives Kim Cameron and the Side FX Band played at NYC's Crash Mansion, hoping to
showcase their unique hybrid sound of jazz, alternative rock, and pop. The band provided a solid musical
foundation for Cameron, who seemed to relish in both the spotlight and the downtown hipster
Lead singer Kim Cameron was bathed in blue as she took the stage at New York City’s Crash Mansion.
Dressed in a tan skirt and black spaghetti strap tank top, the svelte singer looked every bit the downtown
city slicker. Side FX, which originally hails from Washington, D.C., created a solid musical foundation,
particularly when the spotlight shone on the crisp, unrelenting, and commandeering guitar skills. In fact,
Side FX seemed to hit their stride when the focus was not solely on Cameron, but when lyrics and
arrangements showcased the musical equilibrium established among all six members.
Although the band’s general stage presence may require a bit of polishing, it’s apparent that their overall
abilities are a reflection of conscientious professionalism and sincere dedication. Though members of the
audience seemed to have a fickle attention span, the band gracefully forged ahead, Cameron supplying
the back story behind certain songs. The jazz inspired “Stories” utilized the rich tenor of the saxophone,
provided by Richie Cannata. Similarly, the bass guitar created a solid canvas for Cameron’s lyrics of
passing faces and guarded strangers.
Like the majority of songwriters, Cameron turned to her personal life for inspiration. For example, the
idea behind the second to last song of the set sprouted from a serene trip to the mountains. In addition
to original material, the band played a few cover songs. The unexpected choice of the 1974 Carpenter’s
ballad, “Rainy Days and Mondays,” rejected Karen Carpenter’s breathy melancholy and reed-thin vocals
for an almost jarringly upbeat and optimistic sound. Think the local Starbucks rather than a lovelorn
pessimist wallowing in an empty house.
On the other hand, their Rod Stewart cover was almost unrecognizable, injecting raspy soft rock with
some country twang. Although it would be unfair to say that these covers were overwhelmingly daring in
comparison to Side FX’s original tracks, the twist on the aforementioned songs helped break the leisurely
pace of the overall set. Nevertheless, if there’s one thing to take away from the band’s Crash Mansion
performance, it’s apparent that the band’s individual talents unite to form a cohesive sound.
Hard copy review - all press available on www.sidefxband.net/press
We generally perform 60-90 minute sets of original material and a few tribute songs:
Walking in Memphis (tribute)
Rainy Days and Mondays (tribute)
Are you thinking of me (dance)
The Way You Look at Me
Let's Paint this Town
A mixture of dance, rock and pop songs.
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There are no upcoming dates at this time.