Franchise Artists

Franchise Artists

BandSpoken WordSinger/Songwriter

Franchise Artists (FAM) provides personal management to both emerging and established Singers, Songwriters and Producers. Our current client roster includes R&B/Jazz vocalist and keyboardist, Darrius Willrich; and Acoustic/Soul/Pop Vocalist, Mika Cole

Biography


MEET OUR ARTISTS ....

DARRIUS

Darrius Willrich brings the contribution of urban soul to his sound, his songs and his playing. A singer and songwriter with a solid foundation on the keyboards, Darrius writes and performs music that molds and fuses together the genres of jazz, hip hop, soul, electronica and R&B to create a harmonious sound that is hook heavy and easily memorable.

Paul Bennett of Disheveled Magazine calls Darrius one of the best “Soul Singer/ Songwriters around.” “His songs ooze sexuality without trying to sound sexy…..It should be required listening before every hook-up” says Bennett.

A composer, arranger, collaborator, session player and performer; Darrius hears the music around him with a wider spectrum and a greater ear. Mixing his natural abilities with a bachelor’s degree in Jazz piano and deriving inspiration from such influences as Stevie Wonder and Prince, Darrius is able to showcase his musical and technical abilities at the highest echelon.

A cornerstone of Seattle's live music scene, Darrius collaborates regularly with a number of Seattle’s top Artists including Soul Provider, Choklate, Donyea Goodman, Vitamin D, Jake One, and Bean One. He also co-writes with producer Brent Laurence on house beats for the UK club scene, and to date, has composed scores for four feature films.

After years of honing his craft as a supporting musician, and the development of his sound, his style and his approach, Darrius is ready to take center stage.

To hear Darrius go to www.darriuswillrich.com or www.myspace.com/darriuswillrich

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MIKA COLE

Mika Cole ‘s ability to sing, play instruments, and write music are all no doubt inherited family traits as Mika, the eldest of four, hails from a long line of singers, songwriters and incredibly talented musicians. Some say she started singing as soon as she could talk.

“My father is a Jazz musician and plays multiple instruments. My grandfather on my father’s side plays the guitar and both of his parents sing, though mostly in Spanish. Both my grandparents on my mother’s side sang as well. My grandmother was an opera singer in many plays, and my grandfather is also an opera singer, and an amazing piano player. His parents were also singers. They owned a bakery in Italy and would sing while you picked out your goods. I only wish I could have seen it! Both my brothers are also multitalented musicians. Some nights we would all sit in the living room and play music like the Partridge Family” she laughs.

Like her parents, grandparents, and other relatives, Mika too is a very talented musician. She plays acoustic guitar, piano, violin, flute and congas. Mika says that ever since she can remember she’s always picked up an instrument and tried to play it.

Mika says that it wasn’t until high school that she became really interested in writing songs. She credits her mother with her skills as a songwriter. “My mother is the one who taught me music theory and how to structure a song. She would captivate me with the emotion she would put in a song. I wanted to write music that made people feel the way she made me feel” says Mika.

As for singing, Mika says that she’s always sung. As a child she says that she often sang on her father’s very own Jazz recordings.

In high school, Mika says that she often felt “a little out of place” when competing in school talent shows. She says that while other girls were singing songs by Whitney Houston and other popular artists, as she grew up listening to a lot of Jazz because of her father, she would often sing old Jazz classics like Summertime, and Autumn Leaves. “Nobody knew these songs, so I got made fun of a lot” says the southern California native, who now garners nothing but praise when she performs.

Mika says that despite her roots in Jazz, she grew up listening to all kinds of music. She counts Aretha Franklin, Etta James, and Bonnie Raitt among her musical influences. Mika says that she also grew up “really admiring artists like Tori Amos, Sheryl Crow and Sarah McLaughlin because of their ability to sing and play.” Today she says that she looks up to artists like Alicia Keys, Norah Jones, India.Arie, and John Mayer. “All of these people can hold their own, and you don't' exactly see them performing in their underwear” she laughs. “I respect these artists, and I would like to get that type of respect as a performer” she says.

When asked about her own style, Mika says “I would definitely say it sounds like a cross between Sheryl Crow, Christina (Aguilera) and Norah Jones. Sheryl because of that bluesy rock sound. She gets that because she's from the south. Though I am not, we share the same interests in Blues music, which is where Rock and Roll started from. Christina because we have similar vocal techniques. We both grew up listening to big voices like Mariah Carey and Celine Dion, so you can hear the similarities in our vocal style. And Norah bec

Set List

Contact Franchise Artists 510-760-2308 for more information.