Fancy Reagan
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Fancy Reagan

New York City, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Pop Rock




"CONCERT REVIEW: Fancy Reagan Shows Us They Were The Right Choice For Make A Band Famous"

It was only five short months ago that Fancy Reagan won VH1′s Make A Band Famous. These guys charmed our socks off immediately, and it was clear as the competition went on that they were the front-runners.

Deprived of sleep, the 5-piece alternative/pop/rock band took part in our grueling 24-hour contest to see which of the 24 finalists had what it took to sign a deal with Republic Records. After not sleeping for an entire day, the band still rocked it! Now, imagine what they sounded like after getting a good night’s rest!

Last night, Fancy Reagan performed at the Bowery Electric in NYC. After spending months in the recording studio, we are happy to welcome them back home. And for those of you who missed the show, word has it that Fancy Reagan will be releasing their first single in February 2015, so be sure to check that out.

The band is made up of keyboardist and founder Jason Krebs, drummer Chris Tsaganeas, guitarist Rich Fuchs, bassist Bobby Kay + lead vocalist Sean Michael Murray. Over the past two years, these guys have been making a splash. Earlier this year even, they were praised for their cover of A Great Big World‘s “Say Something,” which has gotten over 95,000 views on YouTube.

It been clear from the start that these guys are ripe for stardom. If you watched them on Make A Band Famous, you got to see them perform via LiveStream, but here are 5 things we learned by seeing them in person.

1. Move over boy bands, the men have showed up.
One Direction and 5 Seconds Of Summer are cute, but they are just boys. Fancy Reagan are men. A little edge, a little bad boy nature and a little rock ‘n roll, these are not the guys next door. You’ll want to swim in Sean’s dimples and Bobby’s eyes will pierce your soul. It’s not difficult to predict that all the girls will soon come running to see Fancy Reagan on stage.

2. Bring a mop because Sean Michael Murray will melt your heart.
Newer bands can get a little intimidated by performing, but Fancy Reagan acted like old pros. They were talking to the crowd and genuinely grateful for everyone who came out. And once they started playing, it was like you were the only ones in the room. Because of the already intimate setting of The Bowery Electric, there was not a bad seat in the house, but with Sean constantly shifting his gaze, there are moments when you feel like they are playing solely for you.

3. Republic Records had a good ear and made the right choice.
If you took part in the Make A Band Famous experience, you may kind of know some lines of some songs. But trust us, the lyrics didn’t matter. Each song was full of energy and by the second chorus, you could easily pick up on at least some of the words if you really want to sing along. With such high energy songs, it’s hard not to.

4. They like to keep things light.
They want to be having just as much fun as you are. Halfway through the show, during the band intros, they did a one chorus cover of Meghan Trainor’s song “All About That Bass.” How could you not be having fun while listening to that song?!

5. Don’t try to hold these guys down because they like to move around.
The judges on Make A Band Famous critiqued a lot of bands for not being able to command the stage. Fancy Reagan did not have that problem. Granted, The Bowery Electric has a pretty small stage, but even the drummer Chris was moving like crazy. There is no doubt in our minds that this energy will easily translate to a larger stage as well. - VH1

"Ariana Grande Gives Fancy Reagan Her Seal of Approval"

@arianagrande: @VH1 @FancyReagan amazing! really hoping they win #mabf - @arianagrande

"Music for Social Change: Fancy Reagan's 'Say Something' Helps LGBTQ Teens"

The potential for music to effect social change, or at least to be a meaningful catalyst for it, was one of the more salient takeaways of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' performance of "Same Love" at the 2013 Grammys. From the antebellum South to the cultural revolution of the 1960s and beyond, music has agitated the national consciousness, shaped public perception and directly affected the lives of millions.

But can independent artists performing cover versions of mainstream hits have the same capacity for affecting lives? A new collaboration by an emerging pop/rock band and a Top 20 Billboard recording artist suggests they can.

NYC-based indie band Fancy Reagan recently released a cover of A Great Big World's "Say Something" featuring singer/songwriter Kelly King. All proceeds from the recording, which is available for download on iTunes, benefit the Ali Forney Center, the nation's largest and most comprehensive housing program for homeless LGBTQ youth.

LGBTQ teen homelessness is an often-overlooked aspect of the national struggle for equality. Of the nearly 2 million teens affected by homelessness each year, an estimated 40 percent of them identify as LGBTQ. The mission of the Ali Forney Center is "to protect [them] from the harm of homelessness, and to support them in becoming safe and independent as they move from adolescence to adulthood."

For Fancy Reagan frontman Sean Michael Murray, it's an issue that's close to everyone in the band:

Some have gay and lesbian relatives and we all have gay friends. We have seen firsthand the struggles they have gone through to gain acceptance, not just in society at large or with their families but being able to accept themselves and be comfortable in their own skin.
The track and accompanying music video have garnered a lot of attention. As of this writing, the video had more than 48,000 views on YouTube with an average of nearly 3,500 new views each day. And it's not hard to understand why.

If the original recording, which featured an uncommonly restrained Christina Aguilera, struck a subdued and almost mournful emotional tone, Fancy Reagan's "Say Something" pulls no punches. The understated, desolate piano of its predecessor still haunts, but here it bookends a stirring rock narrative -- once the stuff of great power ballads now decidedly and disappointingly absent from much of today's popular music.

Soaring vocals and tight harmonies also punctuate this version, which makes grand use of Murray's impressive range and agility and particularly of King's impeccable mix and trademark whistle-tone register.

This is the first collaboration between the two vocalists, but it needn't be the last. The duo, romantic partners in life, have instruments as well matched as any of the better-known pop/rock collaborators that have preceded them, and the band has a robust complement in King's versatility.

I obviously have a huge fight in the LGBTQ equality battle. We ultimately felt [the Ali Forney Center] was a perfect fit for our overall message of tolerance and anti-bullying content... The struggle that LGBTQ youth faces is devastating.
The project was produced entirely in-house, according to Murray. The track was arranged/produced/recorded/mixed by keyboardist Jason Krebs, and the video was directed/shot/edited by bassist Bobby Kay.

Many prominent and successful musical artists serve as straight allies and advocates for LGBTQ issues through their creative work and activism, and the value of that work cannot be overstated. But there is something especially significant about up-and-coming artists devoting the full scope of their talent and limited resources to the service of a dramatically underserved community of children.

"It's important to us to recognize we're all equals and to do our part, however little, to help," Murray said. "Even if it's just through raising awareness."

Fancy Reagan: Sean Michael Murray (Vocals/Guitar), Jason Krebs (Keys) Rich Fuchs (Guitar) Chris Tsaganeas (Drums/Percussion) Bobby Kay (Bassist)
Featured video appearances by Austin Bradley, Injoy Fountain, Jarvis Durell, Michael Cusamano, Jenna Miller, Chris Martens, James & Ryan Hunter, and Marti Gould Cummings.
Download "Say Something" by Fancy Reagan featuring Kelly King on iTunes.
Follow Brian Normoyle on Twitter: - Huffington Post

"Recap: VH1's Make A Band Famous"

There’s something deeply attractive about a music competition. It combines the best and most fraught features of our music industry: mixing and blending genres; the importance of a hit single; the vastness of the Internet; and, of course, the competitive spirit that drives the industry forward. Whether televised or streamed online, music competitions are some of the best ways for us to digest our music. Potential pop stars are praised for their uniqueness—or, conversely, critiqued for their sameness—while fans become critics of the music. These competitions strike a balance between those who write the music and those who listen to it. Somewhere in between, celebrities serve as judges who play with that balance.

There’s an admirable transparency to music competitions. Fans get to see the nuances and details of a hit song and breakout artist. These competitions rest on the notion that voting for your favorite song isn’t just personal—it’s a commitment that makes its way into Spotify lists, concert tickets, and social media. In other words, it’s a public event.

Vh1 enhanced this with Make a Band Famous (MABF), a 24-hour music competition that kicked off on June 11 at the Liberty Warehouse, a large, outlying banquet hall in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn. All-American Rejects lead vocalist and bassist, Tyson Ritter, hosted the competition and guided MABF’s celebrity judges—British singer-songwriter Natasha Bedingfield, bassist and musical director Adam Blackstone, musician and video editor Kurt Hugo Schneider, and Rooney frontman Robert Schwartzman—throughout the competition.

Vh1’s MABF included challenges like busking in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn and reconfiguring a classic hit single with toy instruments. MABF also required their competitors to construct an entire song with only one motivation: an arbitrarily chosen song title. The entire competition would be streamed online and on Vh1’s app.

The winner of the competition, moreover, was promised a recording contract with Republic Records and a promotional campaign fronted by You Oughta Know, the Vh1 series that breaks artists. 24 bands were selected; some bands flew from cities in California, Colorado, Florida, and Tennessee. By June 12, Ritter and the rest of the judges chose Fancy Regan, the New York City band with New Jersey roots, to receive the grand prize. Nate Albert, Rob Stevenson, and Charlie Walk, executives from Republic Records, helped select Fancy Reagan as well.

Like most music competitions, however, MABF was not just about the product. It was also about the process and personalities that shaped those 24 hours.

The Liberty Warehouse’s solitude is ironically perfect for these sorts of events. The hall is surrounded by stretches of desolate streets; the Hudson River hugs the western end of the warehouse. Governors Island, I noted, was only a few miles away from the warehouse.

Walking closer to the music and mayhem felt like stepping onto a music video set. An impromptu jam session with break dancing erupted sometime before 8 p.m. “It’s probably due to nervous energy,” one person noted of the sporadic performance. The jam peaked before the bands regrouped to perform a 60-second rendition of a song before the celebrity judges. This section of the competition began at 8 p.m. that June evening and eliminated 12 bands.

I found myself in a corner with other photographers and journalists. We lined the walls of a large room in the warehouse, wherein some bands were eliminated. I was several yards from the bands, but I could still hear bits of the rejections. Not enough energy. Not enough stage presence. Not enough care. Making a band famous in 24 hours, it seemed, was a strange concoction of exposure and scrutiny. But the bands were all more than good.The Dead 27s brought their infectious roots rock from Charleston, South Carolina to the edges of Brooklyn. Tyke T, a rapper from Tennessee, brought a fierce sense of energy to his performance. I also caught a glimpse of Chris Ayer and Malado, the two artists who performed with Fancy Reagan at the finale of the 24-hour competition, and their early success.

Ayer is a singer-songwriter based in Los Angeles. Originally from Virginia, Ayer’s folk sound is informed by roots rock, indie pop, and soul. He had released his third record, The Noise, by the time of the MABF competition. Ayer shares the stage with bassist, Kyle McCammon. Ayer performed “Climber,” a witty, sarcastic acoustic number, at the final performance. Malado Music fused together hip-hop, soul, and rock in their performance. They electrified the stage with “Pinocchio,” an emotional track that makes use of the band’s ability to both sing and rap.

The two artists’ onstage energy, however, was no match for Fancy Reagan. The winning band captivated the audience with performances of “You Got It” and “Don’t Say It’s Over.” Both songs highlighted the band’s distinct qualities. Vocalist Sean Michael Murray let his emotions merge with his songs, allowing the songs to evolve into something grander. Keyboardist Jason Krebs added a bit of nostalgia with his lead voicing; guitarist and vocalist Rich Fuchs provided the perfect rhythmic foundation. Bassist Bobby Kay and Drummer Chris Tsaganeas explored the band’s obvious interest in heavier grooves.

I was tangled up in the elbows and hair of the audience. Throughout “You Got It,” I moved out of the point of views of smartphones and cameras; by the time Malado Music closed up the set, I was pushed towards the front of the stage. It was a sweet sensation, getting lost in the crowds. Making a band famous in 24 hours, it seemed, was really just about the attraction between fan and music.

Thirty minutes after 8 p.m. on June 12, more than 24 hours after the first meeting at Liberty Warehouse, Fancy Reagan was nestled inside one of the warehouses. I wandered over to them, musing over the coming changes. Republic Records contract; Vh1 exposure; Pancakes and Whiskey coverage.

“The first thing we’re going to do is sleep,” vocalist Murray noted. They were wide-eyed and jittery. They contemplated the athleticism that was built in MABF. They spoke more about their songwriting. They acknowledged the celebration that would come following the long sleep after the competition. And then they moved onto the next interviewer, inching closer towards their fame.

Article by Pam Segura - Pancakes and Whiskey

"Make A Band Famous Comes to Red Hook - Fancy Reagan Named Winners"

And the winner of VH1's Make A Band Famous is Fancy Reagan (#fancyreagan), hailing from New York City.

Frontman Sean Michael Murray led the band through the final performances. The band performs original songs written by Jason Krebs, the bands keyboardist. With drummer Chris Tsaganeas, guitarist/vocalist Rich Fuchs, and bassist Bobby Kay, Fancy Reagan rose to the top of the field and earned the support of an extended multi-platform "VH1 You Oughta Know" program and a recording agreement with Republic Records. Their original songs from the finals on the Brooklyn Waterfront stage, "Don't Say It's Over" and "You Got It," cemented the win.

The competition placed 24 bands in Liberty Warehouse in Brooklyn with 24 hours for the elimination of 23. On May 1, VH1 and Republic Records invited unsigned music acts to upload a 15-second clip of one of their original, unpublished songs to Instagram with the hashtag #MABF. Fans then had the chance to cast their votes via social media and push their favorite acts closer to Brooklyn.

After an overwhelming number of submissions, the final field was narrowed down to 24 bands, whose performance submissions can be viewed at The last band standing will play a live showcase at Brooklyn's Northside Festival, receive the support of an extended multi-platform "VH1 You Oughta Know" program and sign with Republic Records.

VH1 and Republic Records invited into the crowd at its 24-hour livestream competition, "Make A Band Famous." The unprecedented event, hosted by The All-American Rejects frontman Tyson Ritter, was livestreamed from the Liberty Warehouse in Red Hook Brooklyn, on Wednesday, June 11 and June 12.

The opening of the contest featured each of the 24 bands playing 60 seconds for the three celebrity judges: international pop star and Grammy Award-nominee Natasha Bedingfield; musical director to Justin Timberlake, Pharrell and Maroon 5, Adam Blackstone; YouTube singer/producer with over 4.2 million subscribers, Kurt Hugo Schneider; and west coast indie artist, record producer, and composer of the new feature film "Palo Alto," Robert Schwartzman.

At the end of the first three hours, the field was cut in half.

Celebrity mentors guided and coached bands in specific challenges during the event. They were Gym Class Heroes Lead Singer/Rapper Travie McCoy; frontman of the Grammy-nominated band Daughtry, Chris Daughtry; and prolific songwriter/singer who co-wrote Katy Perry's "California Gurls," "Teenage Dream," and "Roar," Bonnie McKee. There were additional guest appearances from: Benji and Joel Madden, Ed Sheeran, Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump and Pete Wentz, and Colbie Caillat.

Thursday saw the groups challenged in many different ways. One of the coolest challenges was the “Box Of Beats Challenge” where the contestants were asked to cover a famous pop hit of yesteryear using only toy instruments and the most basic pieces of percussion. Then they were taken to the streets of Williamsburgh, Brooklyn, and placed on street corners to busk. Eventual champion Fancy Reagan took in over $200.

By 5pm Thursday, only three were left after the Final Four performed in Williamsburgh's McCarren Park at the site of the Northside Festival. It was the first time the judges saw the bands on an actual stage and changed the competition slightly as they felt more energy from, in particular, Fancy Reagan.

Our favorite on the stage that afternoon was Tony Memmel (#tonymemmel), an amazing performer who sings haunting acoustic melodies with his wife, Lesleigh Memmel. His song "One Week To Philadelphia" was an ode to life on the road that really showcased his vocal range and guitar skills. It was hard to see them sent home from McCarren Park. Though he was born missing his left forearm, he taught himself to play the guitar by constructing a self-made cast out of Gorilla Tape that secures a guitar pick to his arm.

Malado! (#maladomusic), Fancy Reagan (#fancyreagan), and Chris Ayer (#chrisayer) took the stage for the singoff at 7pm on the Brooklyn Waterfront. In a slight rain the three bands put their heart and soul into their final performances after 23 hours of non-stop action.

Malado! hails from my hometown, Springfield, MA, and had the crowd jumping during their final two songs. Our gut feeling was they had performed well enough to win the competition. The band's enthusiasm and interaction with the crowd was infectious. Their original songs "Pinocchio" and "Holding On" brought the crowd straight into the performance.

Chris Ayer began playing the guitar and writing songs when he was 18 years old. His performances on the final with "Climber" and "Plenty" were strong showcases of his voice.

The winners had little idea what would come next. But they took the time to talk to our correspondent, Eliza Phillips, and shared their thanks to fans who brought them to this next level.

We hope they enjoy the whirlwind. Their songs and performances were remarkable. We enjoyed the competition and found some new bands to follow!

- See more at: - South Brooklyn Network

"After 24 Hours on Stage, Fancy Reagan Wins "Make A Band Famous" Competition"

After a restless 24-hour competition, 24 unsigned bands lit up the stage at Brooklyn’s Liberty Warehouse for the opportunity to become music’s next superstar. Countless hours of rehearsing, travel and performances paid off for New York natives Fancy Reagan as the judges crowned them winners of “You Oughta Know,” VH1’s music discovery franchise. Since its launch in 2005, the program has served as a barometer for what and who’s hot in music today.

Fancy Reagan, an instant crowd favorite, came in on top winning the Make a Band Famous competition and receiving an exclusive recording agreement with Republic Records.

- See more at: - VIACOM

"MABF Winner Fancy Reagan Proves Their Title With An Epic, Awesome Performance"

After a long 24 hours of barely any sleep, numerous competitions, hard work, and slight delirium, Fancy Reagan has come out on top as the winners of VH1’s Make A Band Famous! Their celebratory performance truly showcased a star group in the making. We have no doubt that these guys are off to an amazing career -and will give other artists in the game a run for their money. - VH1

"Fancy Reagan wins VH1's Make A Band Famous"

24 talented bands battled it out for the last 24 hours to earn a shot at music stardom. But now the challenges and voting are over, and we’re thrilled to announce that Fancy Reagan have been crowned the winner of VH1′s Make A Band Famous! The group performed their aptly titled song “Almost Famous” earlier in the competition, and now it’s safe to say they’ve officially arrived. It’s as if they knew it all along! Coming out ahead of over 2,500 applicants, Fancy Reagan have scored a deal with Republic Records and an extended VH1 You Oughta Know campaign. Honestly, we couldn’t be more thrilled for this electrifying band from New York City -even Ariana Grande gave them her Pop Queen Seal of Approval! - VH1


Fancy Reagan EP - June, 2013



Formed in New York and the suburbs of New Jersey, Fancy Reagan (FR) is an electric 5-piece Alternative/Pop/Rock band whose line-up consists of Jason Krebs (founder and keyboardist), Chris Tsaganeas (drums), Rich Fuchs (guitar), Bobby Kay (bass) and Sean Michael Murray (vocals). 

In their first year as FR, the group moved to NYC where they landed shows at numerous legendary venues including their frequent spot, The Bitter End, and the Knitting Factory. In 2013, FR took first place in the top NYC battle of the bands, M.E.A.N.Y. Fest, beating out over 100 competing bands. That same year, the band's third video release reached over 94,000 YouTube views. In February 2014, the Huffington Post championed this video for raising awareness and funds for LGBT homeless youth.  

The band's breakthrough career moment came in June 2014. With over 2,600 band submissions, FR was chosen as one of 24 contestants in VH1's brand new show, "Make A Band Famous" and dominated all the way through. The win granted the band an extended campaign as a VH1 "You Oughta Know" artist and also a coveted record deal with Republic Records.  

Since then, FR has performed in the Northside Festival, the Schaffer CityFest and opened up for major acts such as Nicki Minaj, Ed Sheeran, The Roots and Jennifer Hudson at the Philly 4th of July Jam. 

The band is currently working on new material with top industry professionals in hopes of releasing a single this upcoming year.

FR continues to pave its way to great success and will undoubtedly witness their music reach the masses.

Band Members