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| Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

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Established on Jan, 2014
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By Niki D’Andrea

When walking down 6th Street at 4 p.m. on a Friday during SxSW, pedestrians hear all sorts of music spilling out of the clubs. Sometimes they peek inside, sometimes they stop for a brief moment, and oftentimes, they just keep walking. Today, there was a performer at the Chuggin’ Monkey that not only filled an empty club, but drew a crowd of dozens outside the window that continued to grow and stuck around for his whole set, staring through the windows while bobbing their heads and smiling.

The show – a day party for Oklahoma radio station iROK – wasn’t listed in the SxSW brochure, and the performer – an Oklahoma-based hip-hop mashup artist named P.D.A. – wasn’t someone I’d ever seen live before, though I’d heard his name and checked out the songs on his MySpace page in the past.


P.D.A. gets his groove on.

I had no idea what I was walking into when I wandered into the Chuggin’ Monkey halfway through P.D.A.’s set and pushed my way to the front of the stage. The 23-year-old was brimming with energy and attitude, bouncing and dancing around the stage like he owned the club.



And for 30 minutes, he did, spewing clever and insightful rhymes over incredibly infectious grooves, beats, and hooks. There was no way people could avoid dancing, or at the very least, tapping their feet. P.D.A. utilizes samples from a wide array of artists in some of his songs (including White Zombie, Madonna, and Diana Ross and the Supremes), and he also does all his own production, which sounds as clean as anything a big budget studio could churn out. He only had a drummer onstage with him, but what was coming out of the speakers sounded like a full band.

When P.D.A.’s set ended, he was approached by several people (myself included) who wanted to get a copy of his CD, Act II: A Different Victim. Someone in the club said the place had been empty before he started performing, but after his performance, I had to push through the crowd to get back out onto the sidewalk, which was still teeming with enthralled spectators.



Catching gigs like that is one of the best parts about SxSW, and proves that it’s still worth it to just wander into some random club to see whoever’s performing. You never know who or what you may find, and I would be very surprised if P.D.A. isn’t playing a more high-profile show at SxSW next year. - Phoenix New Times


Although it's been more than two and a half years since PDA released his last album and graced the cover of Urban Tulsa, his life has been far from silent during that time. I told you then: "Memorize this face and remember it. It's one you'll see a lot of in the near future." That promise did not go unrealized.

Hometown highlights include numerous headlining club shows, three repeat feature appearances at DFest and the Tulsaoriginalmusic.com showcase, not to mention a spotlighted opening for Akon's sold-out Expo Plaza show in April 2007.

The local hip-hop hero also was picked up for a three month cross-country jaunt opening for Critical Bill in the fall 2007. He made an East Coast run with Crash Romeo and then also paired with a number of other MySpace record acts for various national treks during the past two years.

Along the way, PDA has built an ever expanding fan base and found a welcome oasis in the Houston and San Antonio markets, which have nearly adopted him as their own. Nevertheless, Tulsa is where he still remains supreme.

Even so, he hasn't let his success go to his head. The 2007 Spot Award winner of "Best Hip Hop Artist" and "Album of the Year" was also a multiple category nominee at the 2009 ABoT Music Awards last August. Understandably confident in his abilities, he's also humble enough to be openly grateful for opportunities to collaborate with other local artists. Although he won't take credit for it, PDA's success has arguably opened a door for peers such as X-Cal and this year's ABoT Music Award winner Kawnar to see mainstream acceptance.

In fact, he and Kawnar have a long standing collaborative history, which culminated in the spring release of A Hard Week's Night, where the pair reworked a fistful of The Beatles tunes and barreled through the entire creative process: arrangements, recording and all in a mere week. Once again, however, it was only the beginning of what has proven to be a busy year for PDA.

In April, work began on what would become Act III: Wasted Talent, the follow-up to his local breakthrough disc, Act II: A Different Victim. According to PDA, although the finished product (completed in August) has come together in the past seven or eight months, it's actually an accumulation of ideas that he's compiled since finishing Act II more than three years ago.

"The reason it took so long," he said, "is I originally had a totally different idea for the album. Then, I decided I didn't want to use a bunch of samples and worry about having to clear them."

Also on his mind was the matter of creative freedom and proving his talent. "A lot of people still really like 'Get Together' and a couple others off the last album, which is great," he said. "This time, though, I wanted to be able to put stuff out and if people like a song, I can honestly say it's mine."

With nearly an album's worth of songs left behind (which he confides might eventually be released as free downloads) and a refocused vision, Act III became a different monster altogether. Not only is it a departure from its original concept, but it's a world away from its predecessor.

Whereas A Different Victim was a sprawling, 72 minute, 17-track morality play; Wasted Talent is focused and concise: 12 tracks, clocking in at less than 54 minutes.


Amidst their differences, when compared, the two pieces have a shared commonality--both are very deliberate in their construction.
Even when discussing the two works, PDA is torn in which he believes is the better product. "On Act II I got to do everything I wanted to do and follow up on every idea I've wanted to follow since I began in music. That's why I don't think I'll ever do better, or at least until I have a much bigger budget."

On the other hand, he said, "In some aspects, though, I think Act III is better in that it's more emotionally driven and more cohesive.

"As far as lyrics go, things haven't changed that much. I try to say things in a fairly smart manner so everyone can get it, as opposed to some serious backpack rappers who are so lyrical and smart that it goes over people's heads.

"I think I've really changed in structure more than anything," he said. "With the last album, I wanted to do so many things. It ended up with 17 songs, but I felt like every one of them had to be on there for different reasons."

Even the songs that seem less casual pass fit and make sense when the album is listened to as a whole, but that's exactly the point. "With this album," he said, "every song connects and works together. I've played 'Swerve Mode' for a few people who didn't initially like it, but when they listened to the whole album, they were like, 'Damn, now I get why it's there!'

"With Act III, there are only 12 tracks because that's what I thought needed to be on there, so I focused all of my attention on those songs."

What comes as a result is compact and hard-hitting with at least three obvious singles in "My Girlfriend" (probably the most immediate of the disc), "It Sucks" and "It's OK," and at least three other tracks to possibly consider. The rest of the disc ties it all together.

Possibly even more promising is how the new material will reshape PDA's live performance. "This album actually helps the live show. Before I started work on the album, we had our most solid live show yet. We could take it anywhere and it would work. Now it's like starting over, which sucks, but at the same time, it's exciting," he said. "The new set starts out pretty much like the album, only a little more epic, then goes into 'Lush' and cuts loose from there."

While he and live drummer Cramberg are still ironing the wrinkles, he knows that they'll still accomplish what his goal with the live show has always been - creating an experience. Of course, not all of the old songs will fall away.

Fans won't let old favorites like "Dollar Bill" and "Get Together" disappear altogether, but with a more concise album to work from, the live set promises to become even more focused and dynamic.

Fans can find out for themselves when PDA holds the release party for Act III: Wasted Talent Friday night, September 18 at The Marquee. Dallas funk band Big Red Rooster opens the show at 8:30pm, followed by local rapper CO2 and XV, from Wichita, who PDA calls "one of the coolest rappers I've ever seen." The first 50 to arrive receive a free copy of the CD. Anyone else can purchase the disc for an additional $3 at this weekend's show only.

Plan on arriving early and staying late. - Urban Tulsa


What’s up everyone?

I would first off like to thank Travis for allowing me be a part of his blog. Ive been a reader for a couple years and I’m now fortunate enough to contribute. But enough of that Shit lets get down to it.
I have worked with Musicians and artists for several years, they come in all shapes sizes and colors. But most seem to have an overbearing confidence. Well my experience a few weeks ago was enough to inspire me to believe the world isn’t filled with big headed musicians.

On Sept. 16th when I had the opportunity to travel to Tulsa, OK for the highly anticipated album release by P.D.A. – Act III – Wasted Talent, I jumped right on it. To be perfectly honest, prior to my arrival I had sparsely listened to Act III Wasted Talent and it initially came off as poppy, hip-hop, with a touch of Jazz. Well my experience in Tulsa at the album release has changed the way I see P.D.A. and his music.

My second day in Tulsa I was invited by P.D.A to attend a live taping where he was performing a song from Act III – Wasted Talent – “His Shoes” for a segment on Oklatravelnet.com which aired locally on Cox 3 in Tulsa, called “Storytellers”. When I arrived to the set, there were several people there who all seemed to know one another, and there was a strong feeling of good people all around. This is where I really started to see P.D.A. in a deeper light. His younger sister, who is around 3 or 4 years old, was in attendance and with all the chaos of people and cameras, P.D.A. took special attention to her in a very warm and caring manner. Picking her up when she came near him, paying close attention to her when she was speaking, and even held her while posing for a few photos with the contest winners from Oklatravelnet.

After the taping we met up at a local CiCi’s Pizza and had some pizza and relaxed. I couldn’t help but notice P.D.A. casually reading the local independent newspapers, scanning the articles about him. Besides one small statement, he never mentioned to anyone what he was doing. He said “They didn’t say if the album was good or bad”. It was never said out loud, but I could almost sense that P.D.A. wanted to hear some criticism from the general public. This could be because he enjoys the extra push to do better next time or even just to hear what the other naysayers have to say. My personal opinion is that P.D.A. is well aware that not everyone will like his sound, and he has a strong desire to reach them on the next album.

Later on that evening, I was invited to come to his rehearsal for the CD release party for Wasted Talent. I arrived around 9 pm, and was introduced to Cramberg, P.D.A.’s Drummer, and became formally introduced to P.D.A. known as Anthony Jenkins to his close friends and family. For a few hours I watched as P.D.A. and Cramberg went over the 70 minute set. They systematically went over the set, fine tuning the multiple transitions, creating the amazing show I was set to see the next evening. Around midnight, P.D.A. said something that was quite interesting. He stated that he needed to get home to sleep because he had a long day tomorrow. I know this doesn’t sound like a lot to most people, but from my experience working with musicians, this is an extremely rare event. To me it really showed dedication, commitment, responsibility, and integrity that many people in general, fail to have. But this wasn’t the end of it. Just prior to leaving, his girlfriend’s friend, who was also in from out of town, mentioned that she was hungry; immediately P.D.A. said that he would cook something for her when they got back to the house. So, although P.D.A. knew that he had a 7am radio interview, he was still willing to put others before himself.

Friday was the day of the CD Release for P.D.A.’s Act III – Wasted talent. The show started at around 9 pm with a performance by Big Red Rooster, and other opening acts XV and C02. Around 10:30 pm it was time for the long awaited set by P.D.A. He was joined on stage by his drummer, and another talented musician that he works with often named Kawnar. P.D.A.’s set was 70 minutes of nonstop music. Throughout the 70 minutes, there was one brief break of 120 seconds mid way through the set. P.D.A. rocked the stage like no other independent artist I have seen before. I watched him repeatedly make eye contact with his fans in the audience and I could sense a feeling of temporary intimacy between them.

P.D.A. may come off “Hollywood” to many people, but the truth is, P.D.A. is probably one of the most humble, giving, dedicated, compassionate, and integrity filled artists I have had the pleasure of watching and speaking to. It is very apparent why so many artists of all genres want to work with him.

When I listened to P.D.A.’s album, Act III – Wasted Talent, again on the flight home, it made much more sense to me. There is a strong message throughout the entire album. Several of the songs have specific messages spoken by P.D.A. in the final seconds of the track; all of which truly show how much integrity and humility he has.

Below is a quote from the song “It’s Ok (I Think) Ft. Brandon Davis” on Act III – Wasted Talent:

Yeah I complain a lot and as much as things suck sometimes, my life is pretty awesome. I’ve done some amazing things and met some amazing people in my life, and I’m thankful for everybody and everything that I have. I want to thank you for taking this journey with me; if there is one thing you take out of listening to this, I want you to please know that you are unique and special; there is no body in this world like you.
So use your originality to do something great in this world and always remember to stay happy; life is too short for drama and sadness.

Live life to its greatest potential

Yours truly ,
P.D.A.

You can download a copy of the song “It’s Ok (I Think) Ft. Brandon Davis” By Clicking HERE

My message to you P.D.A. is that it’s humbling for me to know there are still individuals out there who understand that life is not given, that everything we have can be taken away in a flash. And for that, I appreciate you. Regarding your album, it is sincerely a masterpiece production with an deeper messag
e and I look forward to hearing more music from you.

Word on the street is that P.D.A. may be on the West Coast next year, and I can only hope I have the opportunity to work with him while he is here. More of P.D.A. @ www.myspace.com/pdaonline – www.facebook.com/pdaonline – follow him on Twitter @PDAonline – or download a free copy of A Hard Weeks Night at www.AHardWeeksNight.com

OSnaps - Wake Your Daughter Up Blog


Whose face is that on the cover?

Study it; memorize it now for you'll know it well by the end of the year. It belongs to PDA, the latest heir apparent to Tulsa's Hip Hop throne.

He is a study in contrasts: humble in person, yet boastful on stage; a bittersweet mix of youthful exuberance and world-weary caution; an artist who is quick to help others, but out to prove he needs no one else.

He has proven himself to the Hip Hop community while mesmerizing rock kids and has thrown out the rule book, only to write his own and step forward with the consummate Hip Hop opus.

Even his name tells a tale. PDA: Public Display of Afflection (He defines afflection as the struggle between love and hate). It's written all over his music, all over his lyrics: The classic battle between good and evil.

You can try to get to know him, but understand you'll only see what he decides to reveal. You may very well learn more about him from his lyrics than anything he chooses to tell you; yet through it all, you know this kid is the real deal. He may be young, but he's got game like no other and will make a name, not only for himself, but perhaps for others in Tulsa's Hip Hop community as well.

To sit down with P.D.A. and talk about his background, it doesn't sound much different than that of many other kids growing up at the time. Born in Tulsa as Anthony Jenkins, he was uprooted and moved a lot during his early years, relocating to Shreveport, LA, and then bouncing around the California area before his Mom moved them back to Cleveland, OK at the age of 3.

Recalling his youth in Cleveland, the complexity of PDA's character begins to reveal itself, a balance of innocence and bitterness and a picture of a young kid coming to grips with the real world.

"Cleveland was awesome - racist as hell. Me and my brother were the only black kids -- well, half black kids -- that were there at all. Really the only ones of any other race in Cleveland - and it was just so awesome living there because everybody loved to tell us what we were" laughs PDA.

"But we, me and my brother, didn't even know what race was when we were little, you know? So when people would drive by and be like: 'Stupid Ni... blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!' We didn't even know what it meant. My mom would get all pissed off, but we were all, like, 'Oh, Hey!' (waving). The kids were awesome, though. We never went without friends. It was just, like, parents and the older kids and stuff like that.


...But yeah, that place was awesome."
Growing up in a small town and learning about racism and unacceptance isn't uncommon. Nevertheless, you feel the effects as a child. Even if you don't fully understand, you know that somehow you're, well, different.

By the time he was 9, the family returned to Tulsa: again, nothing earth-shattering or unusual. In fact, to hear PDA tell it, his childhood was downright normal. What he fails to really mention, however, is his involvement in musical theater. The average teenager doesn't just take up with the local opera company. PDA, on the other hand, joined the Tulsa Youth Opera as a young teen and went on to perform in a number of off Broadway productions, including Aida and Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat.

That's where PDA's road diverged and he developed a love of performing. Appearing in front of an audience, especially one as large as 1,500, would intimidate some individuals. Not PDA -- he reveled in it and thus began his love affair with the stage.

PDA PDQ

PDA's name started popping up more frequently this year, leading many people to think that he's a newcomer to the local scene, but that's not the case. "I've been performing since I was 16 - I'm 22 now..." he responds, when asked how long he's been at it. Once he got into the game, he dove in headlong, putting out his first CD, the home recorded effort Prologue, nearly five years ago at age 17.

That first disc, as rudimentary as it was, showed a kid with initiative and promise. PDA readily admits "It was my first time ever to do anything and I didn't know much about -- well, anything. I didn't know much about how to record. I didn't know much about how to make beats. All I knew was that I found one system that worked. I got a computer and computer mic ... it was that simple."

Being uneducated in recording equipment and techniques as well as mixing and mastering, PDA readily admits that "it sounded like shit." He also concedes, however, that considering his lack of knowledge or experience at the time "...it was good for what it was. Even back then, when I would play shows when I was 16, 17, some of the people were actually: 'Man, this is really good. It's different'" says PDA.

There's that word again. Different. Sort of a back-handed compliment, but a validation nonetheless. It's also a term that PDA could identify with and began to wear as a badge of honor. "I always got 'different'" he says. "Which is always pretty much what I'm aiming for, so..."

That initial, home-recorded foray into the world of music production laid the foundation for things to come. In hindsight, considering all of the creative details surrounding the project, from the title and concept down to the packaging (PDA printed, folded, stuffed, and shrink-wrapped the sleeves himself, not wanting to use standard jewel cases), the CD was the first indication that this was an artist bound and determined to do things his way (and all the way)--or not at all.

The next step in PDA's ascent into the music business came via a stop at Big Wolf Entertainment (BWE), where he was retained to create beats for other artists.

During that time he learned his way around a recording studio and how to use all of the latest programming software. He also made the most of his access to the recording studio and began work on what would be his second disc, the ill-fated Act I: The Next Concept.

Eventually, PDA left Big Wolf to strike out on his own and when he did, the recordings for Act I got caught up in legalities.

The departure from BWE wasn't completely amicable when he explains it this way: "I started to progress with the second album, but I never realized it because, umm -- it had some of the artists that were on (the Big Wolf) label, (whom it) had signed . . .

"After I left, (BWE) didn't want me to put those artists on the album, so I was just like... you know; I'm not even going to worry about it. I'll just start working on another album."

Time lost, but experienced gained, though the associated tracks (rumored to be nearly 25 in total) never officially got to see the light of day. However, it allowed PDA to develop his recording knowledge and helped him build connections within the local music community.

Connecting Vibes

If you're a local Hip Hop fan, chances are, even if you haven't heard a PDA song, you've heard his work. Over the past three years he's become THE go-to guy in Tulsa, providing beats for a number of area hip hop artists.

"I've done about 300 beats in the last year and I either gave away or sold all 300 of them" says PDA. In fact, when including his time at BWE, he estimates that he's created over 1,000 beats for other artists.

While it may seem crazy to spread your work so thin and risk over saturation, there is a method to PDA's madness. "I do that just so that way, if anyone ever asks, (the answer is) 'Well, PDA made that...'" he says. "And if it helps get (my) name in their head, even if they've never heard my music (they'll think) 'well, that was an alright beat', you know?"

PDA's work with other local artists extends to production as well, as he has recently collaborated with artists like Philippian, Cazualty, CoCo Jones, Ja'Quay and Kawnar, to name just a few. Perhaps the artist PDA has been most closely associated with over the past couple of years, though, is his friend and protégé, Trip C.

When Trip's name comes up, it elicits a grin and an immediate response: "Yeah -- Trip's my (expletive) boy!"

Trip C, widely known for his over the top and comedic X-rated rapping, is a close friend with whom PDA has worked extensively, ultimately hoping to land him a deal with Psychopathic Records.

Over the past couple of years, Trip's status has risen tremendously, undoubtedly due in no small part to PDA's input and assistance, and he's even landed opening slots for extreme rappers like Tech 9 and Twizted on their local tour stops.

While PDA continues to support his friend (the two are currently working on material for Trip's next CD), he also realizes that now it's time to step out and push his own project.

Once it was time to get down to work on his new CD, PDA was certain of one thing: it was time to get focused and knock it out. By his own estimations, he spent nearly a year creating Prologue and closer to 18 months recording Act I.

With those previous projects PDA acknowledges that the amount of time spent working on the album took away from the overall flow and exposed some inconsistencies as his writing progressed over the course of the recording sessions. This time he was determined to do it quicker and create a more cohesive record.

"With this one, I was like 'Man, I'm just going to sit down, 3 months, and get it all done as soon as possible.' So that way..." he continues, "it all has the same feel, I'm still vibin' on the same level, the same plane."

"This one, it just worked out a lot better than the other two", he concludes. "Like, the other two were real choppy..."

For PDA, the wait between albums, combined with the compressed recording process, also allowed him to focus more lyrically. As an artist who admittedly writes from his own experiences, he was able to draw from the period between albums and "squish them together and make it seem more structured, more planned."

Now don't begin to think that the efforts to remain focused and create a more consistent album resulted in a group of tracks that all sound the same; that's definitely not the case.

The resulting CD, Act II: A Different Victim, displays a variety of styles that could fit multiple formats. From house and dance to pop, Hip Hop, R&B, and old school funk, the music is all over the board. The disc even sports samples from Rob Zombie ("Lame") and a very Beatle-esque tune ("Dwell on the Past") as well as a very straight-forward ballad ("Good Night, Sweet Girl") with only piano and vocals. Lyrically, however, the songs all link in a manner that ties the entire album together as one cohesive work.

When constructing the new disc, PDA not only made use of his expanded production talents, but also his growing network of associates and friends. While he assumed complete control of the writing and production duties, he also made room for featured appearances by other local artists like Big Hank, Coco Jones, and Infamous, among others.

Clocking in at 17 tracks and nearly 75 minutes, Act II is something of a mini-epic, but it works. When discussing the record with Matt "Lip" Stevens, who is helping release the CD, he admitted to initially questioning the length.

"When we first met, I asked how many songs and he said 17. I was like, 17? Why so many? Any of those you want to cut? Any of those filler?" says Matt. "Because most people, when you say 'Which ones are filler?' they kind of hem-haw around, you know? But he's like 'No, they're all there for a reason' and after listening to it, I understand why."

Different Drummer

While much attention has been paid to PDA's work in the recording studio (and rightly so), that's only one aspect of his artistic genius. This young man truly comes alive on stage.

If you've seen him at out a show (and you probably have), you likely didn't even notice or recognize him, except that there was a tall guy milling around back stage or hovering around the perimeter of the room. When he hits the stage, however, the switch is flipped. He commands the attention of everyone in the room and you feel as if he'll come right off the stage and collar you if you don't give it to him.

He's a Hip Hop artist through and through, but his appeal transcends genres. He has an on-stage intensity that's palpable, that makes everyone respond. Even the rock kids who normally wouldn't give a rapper a second glance stop for PDA and credit him as the real deal.

Over the past year PDA has thrown a new wrinkle into his show by performing with a live drummer. It's a move that adds another dimension to the performance and makes it feel even more spontaneous.

Initially, when Chris Cramberg, the drummer from Optimistic To A Fault and an acquaintance with whom Jenkins had attended high school, approached PDA about performing with a band, he balked at the idea.

"I didn't need a band because, being a producer, I make all my own music, I am kind of selfish..." says PDA. "I don't want to actually have someone else play my music. I'd rather just hear it because I made it."

"But I was like 'it would be kinda cool to have a drummer -- to do, like, drums over the tracks'" PDA continues. "And he was like 'Yeah, I think that would be a pretty cool idea'."

After that initial conversation the two decided to try it out and clicked immediately. After barely a couple weeks of practice they played their first live show, which wasn't without its trials.

PDA admits that the live arrangement sounded terrible at first, but they quickly learned how to place the monitors and drums in order to optimize their sound and they've been playing together ever since.

Cramberg is now an integral part of PDA's live show. In fact, according to PDA, "Sometimes I refuse to do shows without him, because I don't want to be just another rapper and I think, with the drummer, it makes me -- it's just a little bit more..."

At this stage in his career, PDA flaunts his uniqueness. It's something he strives for, whether it's in his lyrics or musical direction, performing with a drummer, or even in the way he dresses. (He admittedly dresses preppy or rock for the Hip Hop shows and Hip Hop for the rock shows, specifically to make a statement and be different.)

Local clubgoers know PDA, but the more sedentary radio listeners have only recently come to take notice of PDA's talents, especially as local station KJMM (KJamz, 105.3FM) picked up the first single, "Addicted", and added it to their rotation. Soon enough, word was spreading and PDA had spread to three markets: Tulsa, OKC, and Lawton.

"Yeah, I was getting played in Oklahoma City", says PDA. "I was getting played on 12 different radio stations around the Midwest because Terry Monday (Program Director for KJamz, part of the Perry Broadcasting organization) hooked it up and it was in rotation..."

"Addicted" wasn't just added to an arbitrary "playlist", either. This was serious airtime, mixed into the regular rotation with the national acts and getting two and three spins a day.

Next (for Tulsa, at least), PDA landed on local rock station KMYZ (The Edge, Z104.5FM) by way of the Homegroan show. As local rock fans know, Homegroan host Jay Pitts jumped on the track "Get Together" and publicly praised PDA not only for his recorded tracks, but also for his live show.

The real surprise for PDA wasn't that he got the spins so much as which tracks The Edge jumped on. After creating edits of 11 tracks that he thought could fit on radio in various formats, PDA presented the whole batch for consideration and let it roll.

"I told Amber and Jay 'Hey, just pick whichever ones you guys think would be best.' I told them which ones I was pushing, but I was like: 'whatever you think would be a good idea.' ...then they played the most Hip Hop track I had on the whole album."

Not only did PDA get a positive response on Sunday night's Homegroan show, the track also landed on "The 9 o'clock cockfight", a weeknight call in show that posts two new songs against each other and allows listeners to call in and vote for their favorite.

The Homegroan connection with rock listeners was no fluke. Not only did PDA get prime-time spins on the rock station, he actually won the listener vote his first two nights on the air (beating out AFI and +44 before losing to The Fray). The wheels were in motion people were starting to take notice.

While winning the Spot Awards was a great way to cap off the year, it's far from the peak of PDA's ascent. Granted, it's a great honor, and for many people the pinnacle of a local performing career. For PDA, however, it only signals the beginning - it's merely the opening shot in the PDA show.

Act II: A Different Victim will drop next month and the release party is scheduled for Saturday, February 10 at The Otherside. Plans are currently being set in motion for PDA to perform with a full band (Stepping out on a limb and expanding his live show even further) and you can expect plenty of special guests to make appearances in order to recreate the new tracks as closely as possible and truly bring them to life.

Experimental Hip Hop/rockers Vito Ninefingers will open the show and admission will be $10. More details will be forthcoming and Urban Tulsa Weekly will have additional information as the date draws nearer.

The Next Stage

If 2006 was PDA's grand entrance, 2007 will be his coming out party. Not only will the new CD finally be released, but a joint arrangement between PDA's own Square Soft label and Fat Lip Records (as an imprint of Yeah Siam) will not only put the disc in local stores, but land it graduated regional distribution and electronic distribution on national outlets like iTunes.

And with more shows in the works and PDA planning on expanding his regional fan base, Act II: A Different Victim could start making an impact outside of Green Country by this spring.

Why should we expect PDA to see success outside of the circle he's already established himself in? Besides his determination and "Can't lose" attitude?

The first reason is something that was mentioned earlier: he's able to cross genre boundaries and win over nearly any audience. Hip Hop audiences, rock audiences, even emo, screamo and hardcore kids stop and pay notice when PDA takes the stage. It's something that Stevens explained best when I asked him why he picked up PDA as one of his first releases for his Fat Lip imprint.

PDA is what Stevens considers a cross-over artist, able to appeal to a broad spectrum of listeners. As Matt explains it "...He's Hip Hop (in) format, but he can go to a rock club and the crowd digs him, he wins them over.

"That's what music, to me, is all about: crossing racial, cultural boundaries, religious boundaries. Music is inspiration for life so when I see any artist cross those boundaries, especially more than one boundary, it gets my attention."

Second is the potential of the new record itself. A Different Victim isn't an average Hip Hop album by any means. Musically it mixes styles and genres to fit into multiple formats. "Addicted" belongs on pop and urban radio. "Bounce It Off" will fit in at dance clubs anywhere and "Dollar Bill", if it gets any exposure, will end up in strip clubs, right next to Ying Yang Twins, without a second thought.

More than airplay and format, though, is the subject matter. Behind the big beats and huge hooks are lyrics that address not only love and lust, but assimilation, self-esteem, distrust and abusive relationships. It's not so much a concept album as a morality play, the timeless struggle between good and evil, and PDA doesn't try to always make himself out as the good guy. In fact, he's just as likely (or more so) to play the role of devil as angel.

That's not to say that the album is without its faults. The lyrics, on occasion, still skirt clichés and often resort to cursing or over-the-top braggadocio, perhaps in the name of "street cred". It's obvious, however, that PDA's got greater ambitions and a vision beyond these pitfalls.

This time around, you'd be wise to chalk those few short-comings up to youthful exuberance and a desire to prove he can do it all. Considering this is PDA's first major release, though, that can be forgiven.

Put a couple more years and the maturity that comes with them under his belt and Act III should see the latest prodigy become the new master. All good leaders have followers, so it will be no surprise to see him bring a few protégés and peers along for the ride. This time next year, however, no one will be surprised to see him leading the pack.

Remember that face. And find him before he finds you. - Urban Tulsa


Discography

2002 - "Prologue"
2004 - "Act I - The Next Concept"
2007 - "Act II - A Different Victim"
2009 - "A Hard Weeks Night"
2009 - "Act III - Wasted Talent"
2011 - "InterMission"

Photos

Bio

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