Breaking Reign
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Breaking Reign

Columbia, Maryland, United States | SELF

Columbia, Maryland, United States | SELF
Band Hip Hop Rock

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Dec
17
Breaking Reign @ The 8 X10

Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Oct
21
Breaking Reign @ Camp Ramblewood

Darlington, Maryland, USA

Darlington, Maryland, USA

Aug
19
Breaking Reign @ The 8 X10

Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Baltimore, Maryland, USA

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


Keeping with the genre of N.E.R.D., the hip-hop and rock fusion band of that will perform on Burdick Field at Tigerfest this April, the Campus Activities Board selected Towson University-based group Breaking Reign as the winner of the annual Battle of the Bands competition.

Breaking Reign beat bands of every genre from dance to metal core for the opportunity to open for the nationally recognized Tigerfest headliner.

Seven bands performed in the competition on Friday, Feb. 26. The Lake Effect originally had to drop out the day before the competition after half the band was snowbound in Garrett County, but made a surprise appearance at the event. Twin brothers Elliot and Darryl Glotfelty, the band’s lead vocalist and guitarist and lead guitarist respectively, played an acoustic set. They attached paper plate faces to their guitar cases as effigies of their missing band members.

The process for the Battle of the Bands was highly selective. Each band had to submit a CD of recorded music, a photograph and biography. Though experience was not necessary, it did help chances of getting accepted into the event, according to NaShey Ingram, a CAB programming chair.

According to Gideon Singer, a general member of CAB who helped judge the competition, Breaking Reign had a near-perfect score.

“They were the most entertaining, they had a really good vibe and a really refreshing sound compared to the other bands,” Singer said. “They earned it. Giving them this opportunity would be big for them, and might be really helpful.”

Though Singer declined to clarify, he said that the competition came close. He added that the deciding factor was the crowd turnout and enthusiasm.

Many members of the Alpha Xi Delta sorority and the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity came downstairs from TigerTHON, an all-night charity dance party held in the Potomac Lounge, to see Breaking Reign perform. The band’s singer, Stephanie Blunt, is an Alpha Xi Delta member.

The quintet, who calls their music “hip rock,” combined acoustic guitar, drums and bass with female and rapped vocals. The band attributes their unique sound to diverse tastes.

“[Our musical tastes] are different completely,” guitarist Clark Genau, a Towson alum, said. “What makes it good is that if we all have different influences, we take what is good from each of it.”

The band was known as Rhyme and Reason until they changed their name in mid-2009. The name Breaking Reign comes from their dissatisfaction with a lot of modern radio music, according to rapper Joey Aikins, another Towson alum.

“The trend in music right now disturbs me. I don’t like the way music is going,” Aikins said. “We’re trying to enter the popular music market and bring a breath of fresh air to the music industry.”

Breaking Reign began when roommates Genau and drummer Anand Viswanathan jammed with Aikins.

They practiced by playing house parties together for a year before bringing in Blunt. Breaking Reign then began playing open-mic nights one to two times a week.

The group added bassist Rock Warnick and recorded a demo recently.

Blunt and Warnick are current Towson students. Aikins, Genau and Viswanathan are Towson alums.

The band expressed interest in some of the other bands that shared the Paws stage with them that night that didn’t make the cut to play Tigerfest. They approached dance-rock band Shook with the idea to book a show together.

Sophomore exercise science major Kyle Kraft-Culkin came out to see his roommate Tyler Principe’s band, Lefthandout.

“I was disappointed they didn’t win,” Kraft-Culkin said. “[But] I’m also friends with the bassist for Breaking Reign, so I’m excited for them.”

Lefthandout, the final band to play, has been a part of the Baltimore music scene since 2004. They have an upcoming show with The Lake Effect at The Recher Theatre on April 9, where both bands will be releasing new CDs. Breaking Reign also has a show lined up at The Recher on April 2, where they will open for local jam band 3 Fifths. - Towson University, Towerlight


One year can bring plenty of change to a local band. Members can be replaced or rotated in and out, new songs can be written and new venues can offer opportunities for putting on shows. For Breaking Reign, one year marks the difference between just starting out and opening for nation-ally recognized rock/hip-hop group N.E.R.D.

By Tigerfest 2009, the Towson University jam band scene was beginning to recognize newcom-ers Breaking Reign, who until that point had been known as Rhyme and Reason. With the change in name came a change in attitude.

“It was really writing more music, getting our name out there more,” singer Stephanie Blunt said. “We realized it was kind of a cliché name, and though it was definitely what we were about, we decided to change it.”

The band had four members and a solid routine of playing open mic nights at Bill Bateman’s and Hightopps Backstage Grille. But small gigs and a few tracks on their MySpace was just the be-ginning. In February the group took home the title of Towson University’s Battle of the Bands winner, the grand prize being the opportunity to open for Tigerfest 2010 headliner, N.E.R.D.

“It kind of sounds cocky, but I knew we were going to win,” rapper and lyricist Joey Aikins said. “I knew we would work harder than other bands to make sure that we did.”

The win came after months of changes for Breaking Reign. Through the summer and fall, the band took on bigger gigs at venues like Recher Theatre and the 8x10 and worked in the recording studio on a full length album, which is yet to be released.

“You hear a lot of things on the radio now, everything sounds the same,” Blunt said. “Somebody finds a good sound and they stick with it and they make 40 sounds that sound just the same. We just like having a diverse set and having different songs for every single different mood, and we’re always challenging ourselves to break the mold and break out of something we’ve already done.”

The addition of senior Rock Warnick on bass finalized the group’s sound for the Battle of the Bands. Warnick, who previously played bass for the band Jack, Sing, never expected the kind of success Breaking Reign would have from the flyer he found in the Den advertising the need of a bassist for the group.

“A lot of bands have a lot of high hopes and expectations and they just fall through,” Warnick said. “When I joined the band I wasn’t really expecting too much … I just wanted to play music again ... it’s interested the one time I join a band and don’t expect anything big, any decent crowds or opening up for N.E.R.D. or anything crazy like that, it actually worked out.”

Aikins has been aiming high for the band since day one. It had been his goal since freshman year to go somewhere with his music, he said, and being a part of Breaking Reign finally gives him the opportunity.

“It really forces you to start looking at yourself in a very professional light,” Aikins said. “Before it was all about created our sound … since we’ve won this Battle of the Bands our focus has been putting on a great show; there’s a huge difference between making great music and putting on a great show.”

Since the win, Breaking Reign has a new member, disc jockey Jermaine Gordon, who “adds a real cool hip-hop element to the sound,” Aikins said. The group is set to kick off the Tigerfest set list on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. - The Towerlight


It was a warm May evening and Stephanie Blunt was suffering from strep throat. But that didn’t stop her from the night that was to come. In the popular Federal Hill lays a well-known bar called 8×10. Blunt’s band, Breaking Reign, was about to perform for their first serious gig.

“It was awesome,” said Blunt. “Looking back, I realize how far we have come in less than a year.” Breaking Reign is the opening act for this year’s Tigerfest, an opportunity that any local band would be proud to be a part of.

In the winter of 2008 by chance or by luck, Joey Aikins, Clark Genau and Anand Viswanathan moved into the same apartment building in Towson. The three soon discovered they all had a very similar and powerful interest – music. Aikins loved to rap, Genau played guitar and Viswanathan jammed out on the drums. The three made a few songs together that their friends enjoyed and from there they decided to take the sound a bit further. In the spring of 2009 Blunt joined the band after meeting Aikins through a friend.

“We all got together and decided to do an open mic night,” Blunt said. “We got a lot of support from friends and decided to something more serious, began playing more shows.”

Before the band…

Aikins, 23, grew up in Columbia, Maryland and has been rapping since he was 11. He is the lyricist for Breaking Reign, he assists in coming up with song concepts and structure, and writes the songs. He also manages the band, handling promotions, booking, accounting, product development and distribution. Aikins, now a senior at Towson University, said he is optimistic for his band’s future because he is not afraid of hard work and believes in the music they are creating.

“About a year and a half ago I was doing generic hip-hop over beats, but my inspiration was fading,” Aikins said. “Got the wheels with the band rolling, and since, every song we do makes me want to work harder…just very inspiring stuff.”

Breaking Reign is a hip-rock band which makes them stick out from other local bands.

“I love to be challenged and writing hip-hop over rock music can definitely be difficult,” Aikins said. “I really believe that the movement we represent will catch on and our success in just one year has reinforced that belief.”

Clark Genau’s love for music didn’t hit him until he was older. He came to Towson University as a freshman where his roommate played guitar and started to teach Genau how to play. “Turned out he wasn’t the greatest teacher,” said Genau. “So I began downloading Chord sheets online, then started learning tabs and finally started to write my own music. Overall I am glad that I am completely self-taught because I feel the music I come up with now has a more original feel to it.”

Anand Viswanathan, the third original member, is also a senior at Towson University. He has been playing the drums since he was twelve and is also the drummer for a Baltimore-based band called 3fifths. “I plan to continue playing music for as long as I can and hopefully make a career out of it someday,” Viswanathan said.

The singer of the band, Stephanie Blunt, is from Setauket, New York and has been singing at her church for as far back as she can remember. She started taking voice lessons in high school and enjoys writing her own music. She also attends Towson University where she is a Public Relations major with a minor in music.

“I see us continuing to play music,” Blunt said. “Never in a million years would I have thought I would be in a hip-rock band. As long as we’re still having fun and making music, I will be happy.”

New additions…

It had been nearly two years since Rock Warnick had performed music in front of an audience and he was thrilled to be back on stage. “I have a tendency of getting carried away when I play bass so I had to make sure I played what I needed to play to add a positive sound to the band and gain their acceptance,” Warnick said.

Warnick joined the band during the fall of 2009. He is the bassist and is the bridge between rhythm and melody, adding depth and power to the songs while keeping a steady rhythm and adding color when the time is right. Music has always been a part of Warnick’s life. He said he is influenced by Led Zeppelin, The Who and Hendrix.

“It’s hard to say where Breaking Reign will be in five years,” Warnick said. “All I know is that I love music and regardless of what the status is of Breaking Reign I will be playing music. I’ve let go of the idea of being famous and the concerns for making money as a musician. As long as I am playing music I love, I am happy.”

To further efforts to enhance their sound, the band added a sixth member in the spring of 2010. Jermaine Gordon, a turntablist or DJ, has created a sound all of their own, merging the styles of hip-hop and rock into a unique and exciting music unlike any other.

“My father was a DJ,” said Gordon. “I remember Saturday mornings waking up to lemon doughnuts and Diana Ross, Bob Marley with bacon and eggs.”

Battle of the Bands

A few months ago, Towson University hosted a Battle of the Bands for a spot to open for the annual Tigerfest. Local Towson bands that ranged in a great variety of music came out for the show to see if they had what it took to be that opening act. Nerves fled through each of the Breaking Reign’s band member’s bodies but something about that night was different. Something about that performance would set them apart from others and put them on top of the world. Breaking Reign won the battle with no questions asked and are preparing for their opening act Saturday, April 24 on Burdick Field.

“I am very excited,” said Aikins. “I know we are going to put on a great show…but a great show isn’t always enough. Every other band playing is in the middle of a nationwide tour. I want that. I want to show people we deserve that. And although I know we are going to put on a great show, I want people to look back and say, ‘Breaking Reign was just as good, if not better than the other bands.’”

“I’m terrible at getting excited for things,” said Warnick. “Even though Tigerfest is likely to be the biggest show I’ve played, I don’t really feel much about it…Nonetheless it is an honor to have won Battle of the Bands and to be playing Tigerfest with N.E.R.D. I am very thankful for the opportunity and I hope everyone enjoys our performance.”

“I’m really confident in our set and I know that we have a lot of potential,” said Blunt. “I’m not going to lie; it’s going to be intimidating. But once that first song is over and we’re a little more comfortable on the stage, I need to make sure that I take a second to take it all in because it is an opportunity of a lifetime.”

Each member of Breaking Reign has come from completely different backgrounds. But each of them has a love for music which ultimately brings them together. The strength of their faith and optimism cannot be broken and each member fully supports the others. The help of family and friends also makes the band that much better.

“The first time we played on stage was at Hightopps,” said Aikins. “Steph’s sorority packed the place. It was awesome. Honestly, every time we have played a bigger venue it has just inspired us more. I try very hard to make everyone in the band believe we are capable of great things. That first show was the start of it all. It brought the confidence every new band needs. And, like I said, every show since has only increased that confidence.”

Much room is still there for the band to grow but for now they are focusing on Tigerfest and encouraging the Towson community to come out and support them. “We’re at the start of something great and I really hope all of Towson University is there with us,” Aikins said.

Just like their first serious gig at 8×10, Blunt is going to be nervous but hopefully not sick. She is going to step out on that stage and walk straight to the mic. With the sun shining down on her and the loud crowd screaming at her she is going to give it her all. There is nothing holding her back and she has waited for something like this to happen. Breaking Reign is something that no one imagined possible. She knows it is something that is going to be around for awhile. And then she will sing her heart out. - Katelyn Mattingly


Discography

Maybe One Day, Clown Story, City Lights, Legend

Photos

Bio

What appeared as just a chance meeting between Joey Aikins, Clark Genau, and Anand Viswanathan proved to be the start of something much more. In winter of 2008, after randomly moving into the same apartment building, the three soon discovered each other’s interests in music. Aikins, a rapper; Genau, a guitarist; and Viswanathan, a drummer. After creating a number of hit songs among their friends, the three decided it was time to build their sound. The addition of singer Stephanie Blunt in the spring of 2009 created the sound the group had been looking for. Assuming the name Breaking Reign, a statement to the group’s purpose in music, the group began playing open mic nights around Towson, Maryland. After several shows, the band recessed for the summer. In the fall, the group continued to build their sound with the addition of bass guitarist Rock Warnick. In further efforts to enhance their sound, the band added turntablist, Jermaine Gordon in the Spring of 2010. As a six member band, Breaking Reign has created a sound all of their own, merging the styles of hip-hop and rock into a unique and exciting music unlike any other. Currently, Breaking Reign is looking to book shows in the DMV area and beyond, and is in the production stage of their first album. For more information and music, check out facebook.com/BreakingReign or BreakingReign.com. Check out the documentary on Breaking Reign @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dWCzh5WEMs !!!!
Also, check out Joey's new mixtape based on The Black Keys at www.TheBlackKeysMixtape.com. Released Jan 25, 2001.