Russell Curry
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"On The Scene - Kollaboration LA 2013"

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We were On The Scene at Kollaboration LA 2013 at the John Anson Ford Theater in Hollywood, CA. Performers include: Russell Curry, Ashley Yoon, Hana Kim, Mike B, Justin Klunk, Verseatile, Priska, Evoke, The Rhee Brothers, & EVMB! For info on upcoming Kollaboration events, please visit kollaboration.org

Hosts: Jonathan Wandag & Arnold Basingat - FilAm TV (Filipino American Television Los Angeles Channel 31.3)


"On The Scene - Kollaboration LA 2013"

Video

We were On The Scene at Kollaboration LA 2013 at the John Anson Ford Theater in Hollywood, CA. Performers include: Russell Curry, Ashley Yoon, Hana Kim, Mike B, Justin Klunk, Verseatile, Priska, Evoke, The Rhee Brothers, & EVMB! For info on upcoming Kollaboration events, please visit kollaboration.org

Hosts: Jonathan Wandag & Arnold Basingat - FilAm TV (Filipino American Television Los Angeles Channel 31.3)


"Kollaboration Los Angeles Brimming With Talent"

Anticipation crackled within the walls of the Ford Amphitheatre on July 26, as an eager audience congregated before a stage bathed in blue and violet lights. Bottles were popped, food was in abundance, and excited chatter filled the minutes leading up to Kollaboration Los Angeles 2013.

This year, the winners of Kollaboration from each of the 14 participating cities across America will compete at Kollaboration Star for a $20,000 national grand prize.

“One thousand dollars really doesn’t go a very long way if you’re an artist,” said Stephen Kim, executive director of Kollaboration LA. “But $20,000 can help you with your music, studio time, producing albums and merchandise, so the talent of our competitors has really gone up, and people have taken it a lot more seriously.”

At 8:30, the lights dimmed and a screen onstage lit up with a cover music video of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Can’t Hold Us,” featuring L.A.’s final 10 competitors. The evening’s host and founder of Kollaboration, Paul “PK” Kim, laid out the categories that the final 10 would be judged upon: skill/talent, stage presence/charisma and originality, as well as audience participation.

This year’s guest judge panel consisted of renowned choreographer Aimee Lee Lucas, film composer and musician George Shaw, hip-hop/soul musician Kero One and the musically multitalented Mister Rocks.

First to take the stage was Evoke, a nonprofit contemporary hip-hop dance company. The diverse group of male and female dancers kicked off the night with a slick, fun routine choreographed to a mix of popular artists, like Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rihanna.

Next up was rapper and former Road to Stardom and Superstar K contestant Mike Chun, better known by his stage name Verseatile. Accompanied by a female vocalist and band, Verseatile stirred up the crowd with a cover remix of Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild,” inciting cheers with his incorporation of Korean lyrics.

Taiwanese American singer/songwriter Priska (Priscilla Liang) charmed the audience as she introduced her original song, “Gold in the River,” with a bittersweet story about a turtle that suddenly tires of her 85-year-old marriage. “I will never look back,” Priska sang, as her fingers danced over the keyboard, accompanied by tambourine and guitar.

Hana Kim, a singer inspired by her world travels, unleashed a sultry voice that flowed over the sizzling, jazzy beat of her original song “Mexico.”

Then PK promised the crowd that they would get lost in the eyes of Russell Curry, an Inland Empire native who wrote his first rap at the age of 12. The dreamy-eyed rapper opened by spitting that “[he’s] no more special than anybody,” and his fast-paced lyrics warned his listeners to “live out your dreams or you’re dead.”

Freestyle vocal and dance competitions followed the brief intermission, and the audience discovered the dance skills of pop-and-locker Butter, who dedicated his performance to his late father.

The second half of the night was led by John and Daniel Rhee, musically gifted brothers from Korea, who performed an original song called “Brotherly Rivalry,” which they described as being “about a girl [they’re] both never going to get.” But affection was palpable amid the staged rivalry, as Daniel sang, “She’s going to be your sister-in-law,” to John, who strummed a snarky guitar beat. The song featured a special trumpet solo from Daniel, who lowered the instrument to play his “mouth trumpet.”

K-town native Mike B invited the crowd to put their hands up and held them in reverie, as he rapped to jazzy rhythms, complemented by a smooth saxophone and female vocals. The walls of the amphitheater rumbled with the crowd’s screams as the long-anticipated Birth of a Great Star contestant, Ashley Yoon, proved her prowess as a vocal powerhouse with a cover of Eminem and Rihanna’s “Love the Way You Lie.”

Saxophonist Justin Klunk, who will be going on tour with Ariana Grande this month, was perhaps the most interactive with his band, as he danced across the stage; the brass instrument seemed like an extension of his body as music wailed from the depths of his lungs.

The final competitor was Vincent Bantasan (EVMB), with over a decade of beat boxing under his belt, and he promised the crowd a “journey between sounds.” After captivating them with a beat box rendition of Reel 2 Real’s “I Like to Move It,” he further stunned them with a dubstep remix of Adele’s hit “Rolling in the Deep,” all produced from the sophisticated, one-man sound system behind his lips.

Special guests Run River North (formerly Monsters Calling Home) stepped up as the judges deliberated. The indie folk band, of which three members were once Kollaboration contestants, took the crowd on a jubilant romp through a short set of their songs, “Monsters Calling Home,” “Growing Up” and “Fight to Keep.”

The judges submitted their final decision as Run River North took a bow, but PK first announced the w - KoreAm


"Kollaboration Los Angeles Brimming With Talent"

Anticipation crackled within the walls of the Ford Amphitheatre on July 26, as an eager audience congregated before a stage bathed in blue and violet lights. Bottles were popped, food was in abundance, and excited chatter filled the minutes leading up to Kollaboration Los Angeles 2013.

This year, the winners of Kollaboration from each of the 14 participating cities across America will compete at Kollaboration Star for a $20,000 national grand prize.

“One thousand dollars really doesn’t go a very long way if you’re an artist,” said Stephen Kim, executive director of Kollaboration LA. “But $20,000 can help you with your music, studio time, producing albums and merchandise, so the talent of our competitors has really gone up, and people have taken it a lot more seriously.”

At 8:30, the lights dimmed and a screen onstage lit up with a cover music video of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Can’t Hold Us,” featuring L.A.’s final 10 competitors. The evening’s host and founder of Kollaboration, Paul “PK” Kim, laid out the categories that the final 10 would be judged upon: skill/talent, stage presence/charisma and originality, as well as audience participation.

This year’s guest judge panel consisted of renowned choreographer Aimee Lee Lucas, film composer and musician George Shaw, hip-hop/soul musician Kero One and the musically multitalented Mister Rocks.

First to take the stage was Evoke, a nonprofit contemporary hip-hop dance company. The diverse group of male and female dancers kicked off the night with a slick, fun routine choreographed to a mix of popular artists, like Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rihanna.

Next up was rapper and former Road to Stardom and Superstar K contestant Mike Chun, better known by his stage name Verseatile. Accompanied by a female vocalist and band, Verseatile stirred up the crowd with a cover remix of Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild,” inciting cheers with his incorporation of Korean lyrics.

Taiwanese American singer/songwriter Priska (Priscilla Liang) charmed the audience as she introduced her original song, “Gold in the River,” with a bittersweet story about a turtle that suddenly tires of her 85-year-old marriage. “I will never look back,” Priska sang, as her fingers danced over the keyboard, accompanied by tambourine and guitar.

Hana Kim, a singer inspired by her world travels, unleashed a sultry voice that flowed over the sizzling, jazzy beat of her original song “Mexico.”

Then PK promised the crowd that they would get lost in the eyes of Russell Curry, an Inland Empire native who wrote his first rap at the age of 12. The dreamy-eyed rapper opened by spitting that “[he’s] no more special than anybody,” and his fast-paced lyrics warned his listeners to “live out your dreams or you’re dead.”

Freestyle vocal and dance competitions followed the brief intermission, and the audience discovered the dance skills of pop-and-locker Butter, who dedicated his performance to his late father.

The second half of the night was led by John and Daniel Rhee, musically gifted brothers from Korea, who performed an original song called “Brotherly Rivalry,” which they described as being “about a girl [they’re] both never going to get.” But affection was palpable amid the staged rivalry, as Daniel sang, “She’s going to be your sister-in-law,” to John, who strummed a snarky guitar beat. The song featured a special trumpet solo from Daniel, who lowered the instrument to play his “mouth trumpet.”

K-town native Mike B invited the crowd to put their hands up and held them in reverie, as he rapped to jazzy rhythms, complemented by a smooth saxophone and female vocals. The walls of the amphitheater rumbled with the crowd’s screams as the long-anticipated Birth of a Great Star contestant, Ashley Yoon, proved her prowess as a vocal powerhouse with a cover of Eminem and Rihanna’s “Love the Way You Lie.”

Saxophonist Justin Klunk, who will be going on tour with Ariana Grande this month, was perhaps the most interactive with his band, as he danced across the stage; the brass instrument seemed like an extension of his body as music wailed from the depths of his lungs.

The final competitor was Vincent Bantasan (EVMB), with over a decade of beat boxing under his belt, and he promised the crowd a “journey between sounds.” After captivating them with a beat box rendition of Reel 2 Real’s “I Like to Move It,” he further stunned them with a dubstep remix of Adele’s hit “Rolling in the Deep,” all produced from the sophisticated, one-man sound system behind his lips.

Special guests Run River North (formerly Monsters Calling Home) stepped up as the judges deliberated. The indie folk band, of which three members were once Kollaboration contestants, took the crowd on a jubilant romp through a short set of their songs, “Monsters Calling Home,” “Growing Up” and “Fight to Keep.”

The judges submitted their final decision as Run River North took a bow, but PK first announced the w - KoreAm


"Kollaboration LA 2013"

A recap of the events that happened this past weekend at Kollaboration LA 2013. Check out all the Asian American talent.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE

Kollaboration LA 2013 was my first Kollaboration, and it was really entertaining. I love seeing the new up and coming faces of Asian American entertainment, and this event didn’t disappoint.

Kollaboration has been around for a long time, and I first became aware of it when I saw this old video. (Watch till the end, it’s pretty dope).

But this year, I was dragged out to my first Kollaboration by a friend from college who was volunteering at the LA event. I thought it would be the perfect time to scout some of the awesome up and coming Asian talent in dance, singing, beatboxing, and rapping.

The Ford Amphitheatre where it was held was absolutely packed. Tons of Asians everywhere.

The host, Paul Kim, came on stage and it was finally time to get started. He was pretty funny. I looked him up after the show and turns out he’s a stand-up comedian from Los Angeles and also the founder of Kollaboration. Check him out here.

The first act was EVOKE. A dance crew. The thing is I hold Asian dance crews to such high standards nowadays since they absolutely dominate, so it’s hard for any dance crews to impress me nowadays. Although these ladies (and a few guys) aren’t the next Jabbawockeez, they were very entertaining nonetheless. Great choreography and very clean moves.

The second act was Verseatile, a Korean American rapper. He previously competed in reality shows and worked with guys such as MC Jin, Uptown (Korean hip-hop group), and DPG. A solid act.

PRISKA started off with the story of a turtle couple who decided to get a “divorce.” The host mentioned that she was bullied as a kid, which was great because it made her an underdog. She's a great vocalist and has a very pretty voice. Props for being Taiwanese, though, since I feel like Chinese people aren’t very well represented at these talent shows.

Hana Kim has a really strong voice that I really liked. This Korean American singer graduated from UC Irvine and has travelled the world teaching and performing music. Great performance and great song.

Russell Curry explained to the audience that he decided to pursue his passion and give up his desk job. His rap was all about achieving one’s dreams. A great message and a great performance. I loved the positive energy that Russell brought to his performance.

The Rhee Brothers were my favorite act up to this point. They sung a song called “Sibling Rivalry” complete with an awesome “trumpet” solo. It was a perfect blend of humor + great vocals that made their performance a blast. The song was hilarious, and it showcased their talents amazingly as well.

During intermissions they had a freestyle dance battle, where we got to see the one, the only BUTTER! This guy was awesome. Coming up the stage I didn’t expect much out of him. His body shape wasn’t that of a typical dancer. But his popping was SICK. Expect to see more of this guy in the upcoming years.

Mike B had an emotional period in his life that led him to find music. Born and raised in Koreatown LA, Mike has become a great rapper/songwriter. Great rapping and a fun band.

Ashley Yoon was a UCLA bruin that had a ton of fans in the house. Her vocals, sassy attitude, and performance were awesome. It was a great combination that led to her being one of the most raved about performances in the house. The song was also perfect as well.

Justin Klunk is an amazing saxophonist from USC. He’s already performed with some great artists such as David Benoit, Steve Miller Band, and David Pack. I’m not a huge saxophone fan, but his performance was excellent. He had so much energy that it really sucked me into his performance.

EVMB was possibly my favorite performance of the night. I usually don’t enjoy beatboxing that much, but this guy was freakin’ talented. I don’t know how he made half the sounds that he made. There was also one part where he was singing and beatboxing at the same time. This guy was just NASTY. A great last performance.

Run River North was the featured guest at the event. According to them, they are a bunch of “losers” - almost every single one of them has lost at a Kollaboration event. Their message was that even though all of them lost, they still persevered to get to where they are today. They played on Jimmy Kimmel recently after putting up a viral video of them making a music video in a Honda car. Honda saw it and hooked them up with Jimmy Kimmel. An inspiring story and a great act.

After the final act, the winners were announced. EVOKE won the audience choice award, but The Rhee Brothers won the main award and got the opportunity to compete in the Kollaboration finals. A great win by them.

Thanks for a great Kollaboration 2013. Looking forward to going to more of these later. - Amped Asia


"Kollaboration LA 2013"

A recap of the events that happened this past weekend at Kollaboration LA 2013. Check out all the Asian American talent.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE

Kollaboration LA 2013 was my first Kollaboration, and it was really entertaining. I love seeing the new up and coming faces of Asian American entertainment, and this event didn’t disappoint.

Kollaboration has been around for a long time, and I first became aware of it when I saw this old video. (Watch till the end, it’s pretty dope).

But this year, I was dragged out to my first Kollaboration by a friend from college who was volunteering at the LA event. I thought it would be the perfect time to scout some of the awesome up and coming Asian talent in dance, singing, beatboxing, and rapping.

The Ford Amphitheatre where it was held was absolutely packed. Tons of Asians everywhere.

The host, Paul Kim, came on stage and it was finally time to get started. He was pretty funny. I looked him up after the show and turns out he’s a stand-up comedian from Los Angeles and also the founder of Kollaboration. Check him out here.

The first act was EVOKE. A dance crew. The thing is I hold Asian dance crews to such high standards nowadays since they absolutely dominate, so it’s hard for any dance crews to impress me nowadays. Although these ladies (and a few guys) aren’t the next Jabbawockeez, they were very entertaining nonetheless. Great choreography and very clean moves.

The second act was Verseatile, a Korean American rapper. He previously competed in reality shows and worked with guys such as MC Jin, Uptown (Korean hip-hop group), and DPG. A solid act.

PRISKA started off with the story of a turtle couple who decided to get a “divorce.” The host mentioned that she was bullied as a kid, which was great because it made her an underdog. She's a great vocalist and has a very pretty voice. Props for being Taiwanese, though, since I feel like Chinese people aren’t very well represented at these talent shows.

Hana Kim has a really strong voice that I really liked. This Korean American singer graduated from UC Irvine and has travelled the world teaching and performing music. Great performance and great song.

Russell Curry explained to the audience that he decided to pursue his passion and give up his desk job. His rap was all about achieving one’s dreams. A great message and a great performance. I loved the positive energy that Russell brought to his performance.

The Rhee Brothers were my favorite act up to this point. They sung a song called “Sibling Rivalry” complete with an awesome “trumpet” solo. It was a perfect blend of humor + great vocals that made their performance a blast. The song was hilarious, and it showcased their talents amazingly as well.

During intermissions they had a freestyle dance battle, where we got to see the one, the only BUTTER! This guy was awesome. Coming up the stage I didn’t expect much out of him. His body shape wasn’t that of a typical dancer. But his popping was SICK. Expect to see more of this guy in the upcoming years.

Mike B had an emotional period in his life that led him to find music. Born and raised in Koreatown LA, Mike has become a great rapper/songwriter. Great rapping and a fun band.

Ashley Yoon was a UCLA bruin that had a ton of fans in the house. Her vocals, sassy attitude, and performance were awesome. It was a great combination that led to her being one of the most raved about performances in the house. The song was also perfect as well.

Justin Klunk is an amazing saxophonist from USC. He’s already performed with some great artists such as David Benoit, Steve Miller Band, and David Pack. I’m not a huge saxophone fan, but his performance was excellent. He had so much energy that it really sucked me into his performance.

EVMB was possibly my favorite performance of the night. I usually don’t enjoy beatboxing that much, but this guy was freakin’ talented. I don’t know how he made half the sounds that he made. There was also one part where he was singing and beatboxing at the same time. This guy was just NASTY. A great last performance.

Run River North was the featured guest at the event. According to them, they are a bunch of “losers” - almost every single one of them has lost at a Kollaboration event. Their message was that even though all of them lost, they still persevered to get to where they are today. They played on Jimmy Kimmel recently after putting up a viral video of them making a music video in a Honda car. Honda saw it and hooked them up with Jimmy Kimmel. An inspiring story and a great act.

After the final act, the winners were announced. EVOKE won the audience choice award, but The Rhee Brothers won the main award and got the opportunity to compete in the Kollaboration finals. A great win by them.

Thanks for a great Kollaboration 2013. Looking forward to going to more of these later. - Amped Asia


"Russell Curry – The man behind the artist"

Here we present to you, up and coming Hip-Hop Artist Russell Curry. From us seeing him live, we could tell that he was driven, passionate, and determined. The way he held the microphone and interacted with the crowd said it all. A lot of artists slightly show their stage fright when it’s their first time on stage or first time back on stage in a long while, but if Russell had any, his interaction with the crowd definitely said otherwise. Here you go:

As far as your music, where are you at, how long have you been doing your thing?
“I’ve been writing rhymes since I was 12 years old, so when I turned 25, I could officially say I’ve been making music more than 1/2 of my life. Back then getting into the gist of things, I used to make my own mix tapes in my room recording over other artist’s beats then sell the mix tapes at school. When I went to college that’s when things started to slow down, I went to UC Irvine. I did a good amount of shows over there; I started working with a friend of mine out here in Rancho [Cucamonga] whose name is GianniJF. Him and I started working together since he’s a producer, made an album that we never released called “Sol Motivation”, I guess the timing wasn’t right. When I graduated my cousin came out from Vegas in 2009 and him and I were a duo. That’s when things started picking up a little bit, like we did our first shows with RawArtists and this was around 2011-2012. We probably had our biggest shows during that time but we weren’t really creating the music and that was the thing that made me want to branch out and go solo at that point because we had been working together for three years, but we put out ONE Mix Tape. So we had did a bunch of shows and performing the same songs over and over for three years so I said we gotta rethink this you know. So that’s when I decided I was gonna do my own thing, this was in September. So in September I decided I was gonna go on my own path and I’d just taken some time to get myself together and figure out what my next move was gonna be. Now that I’m back, I’ve been working with my boy GianniJF more, my friend GDNA(Yared) who’s EP “Basement Therapy” will be dropping soon. As of now I’m over here rebranding myself and coming with something different”.

What type of MC would you say you are?
“Soulful Hip-Hop at this point in time, right here right now. That’s what I go for, not to say that I can’t do other things because I feel like I can rap over anything to be honest, there’s just some stuff I just choose not to do, For example(booty shaking club songs). I just feel as of right now I’m in the soulful vibe. I feel like in my next project I’ll be doing more upbeat experimental type tracks so I would say I’m very versatile, but my sound right here right now would be soulful”.

Who are your influences?
“My biggest influences were always Mos Def, Talib Kweli, The Roots, Outkast, Common, and you can hear a lot of that in my laid back sound”.



What was the first Tape/CD you’ve ever bought?
“The first time I had enough money on my own to go buy something, I was 13, and it was a CD I bought from Rhino Records over in Claremont. I remember it like yesterday, my brother took me. The CD was “Styles of Beyond 2000 fold” they had a video in heavy rotation on M2(MTV2) at the time. Yea so, it was a pretty dope song called “Easy back it up,” it has this sample from Q-tip on there, it was like the dopest thing ever to me. It was the first album I’ve ever bought”.

What are some of the things that have happened to you within your life that helps you put your mind, your soul, and your personality into the music so people feel what you’re saying and lets the fans have a real connection with you?”
“One of the things I realized I needed to work on, right after college, I didn’t have that many songs that spoke about me as a person or said who Russell Curry was. So it was around that time that I realized I need to be a little bit more vulnerable to people and let people know who I am, so one of the first songs I decided to break that wall down with but I never released it even though it was on the first album, was called “Soul Motivation. My Mom passed away when I was 7 years old, that was the song, the song expressed all the losses that I’ve suffered throughout my life including that and that was the first time that I ever really put that on a record and really…really did my best to pour it all out on that song. Since then I’ve been doing a lot more writing and less conscious to the fact that people will think ‘that’s corny’ or he’s just an MC that has skills, I want people to know I’m a person too”.

As far as family and friends, how did they react when you told them that music is something you seriously wanted to pursue?
“Until recently, I never really asked a lot of my family to come through to my shows, and that’s one of the things that I talk about in my music. I mean if you’r - Embassy Empire


"Russell Curry – The man behind the artist"

Here we present to you, up and coming Hip-Hop Artist Russell Curry. From us seeing him live, we could tell that he was driven, passionate, and determined. The way he held the microphone and interacted with the crowd said it all. A lot of artists slightly show their stage fright when it’s their first time on stage or first time back on stage in a long while, but if Russell had any, his interaction with the crowd definitely said otherwise. Here you go:

As far as your music, where are you at, how long have you been doing your thing?
“I’ve been writing rhymes since I was 12 years old, so when I turned 25, I could officially say I’ve been making music more than 1/2 of my life. Back then getting into the gist of things, I used to make my own mix tapes in my room recording over other artist’s beats then sell the mix tapes at school. When I went to college that’s when things started to slow down, I went to UC Irvine. I did a good amount of shows over there; I started working with a friend of mine out here in Rancho [Cucamonga] whose name is GianniJF. Him and I started working together since he’s a producer, made an album that we never released called “Sol Motivation”, I guess the timing wasn’t right. When I graduated my cousin came out from Vegas in 2009 and him and I were a duo. That’s when things started picking up a little bit, like we did our first shows with RawArtists and this was around 2011-2012. We probably had our biggest shows during that time but we weren’t really creating the music and that was the thing that made me want to branch out and go solo at that point because we had been working together for three years, but we put out ONE Mix Tape. So we had did a bunch of shows and performing the same songs over and over for three years so I said we gotta rethink this you know. So that’s when I decided I was gonna do my own thing, this was in September. So in September I decided I was gonna go on my own path and I’d just taken some time to get myself together and figure out what my next move was gonna be. Now that I’m back, I’ve been working with my boy GianniJF more, my friend GDNA(Yared) who’s EP “Basement Therapy” will be dropping soon. As of now I’m over here rebranding myself and coming with something different”.

What type of MC would you say you are?
“Soulful Hip-Hop at this point in time, right here right now. That’s what I go for, not to say that I can’t do other things because I feel like I can rap over anything to be honest, there’s just some stuff I just choose not to do, For example(booty shaking club songs). I just feel as of right now I’m in the soulful vibe. I feel like in my next project I’ll be doing more upbeat experimental type tracks so I would say I’m very versatile, but my sound right here right now would be soulful”.

Who are your influences?
“My biggest influences were always Mos Def, Talib Kweli, The Roots, Outkast, Common, and you can hear a lot of that in my laid back sound”.



What was the first Tape/CD you’ve ever bought?
“The first time I had enough money on my own to go buy something, I was 13, and it was a CD I bought from Rhino Records over in Claremont. I remember it like yesterday, my brother took me. The CD was “Styles of Beyond 2000 fold” they had a video in heavy rotation on M2(MTV2) at the time. Yea so, it was a pretty dope song called “Easy back it up,” it has this sample from Q-tip on there, it was like the dopest thing ever to me. It was the first album I’ve ever bought”.

What are some of the things that have happened to you within your life that helps you put your mind, your soul, and your personality into the music so people feel what you’re saying and lets the fans have a real connection with you?”
“One of the things I realized I needed to work on, right after college, I didn’t have that many songs that spoke about me as a person or said who Russell Curry was. So it was around that time that I realized I need to be a little bit more vulnerable to people and let people know who I am, so one of the first songs I decided to break that wall down with but I never released it even though it was on the first album, was called “Soul Motivation. My Mom passed away when I was 7 years old, that was the song, the song expressed all the losses that I’ve suffered throughout my life including that and that was the first time that I ever really put that on a record and really…really did my best to pour it all out on that song. Since then I’ve been doing a lot more writing and less conscious to the fact that people will think ‘that’s corny’ or he’s just an MC that has skills, I want people to know I’m a person too”.

As far as family and friends, how did they react when you told them that music is something you seriously wanted to pursue?
“Until recently, I never really asked a lot of my family to come through to my shows, and that’s one of the things that I talk about in my music. I mean if you’r - Embassy Empire


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Bio

Whatup, world! I’m Russell Curry, an MC originally from Southern California's Inland Empire and I'm proof that prettyboys can rap.

I wrote my first song when I was 12, influenced by Outkast, Blackstar and The Roots, but it took me 13 more years to acknowledge that music was my calling. After graduating from a good university, I got a 9-5 job making decent money and helping young people get into college. But, after 2 years of mind-numbing tasks, meandering into work late and leaving early to drink my problems away with friends, it hit me: I was ignoring the thing that had always brought me happiness - making music.

Though taking the leap from cubicle dweller to starving artist has come with its challenges, that decision has allowed me to rock stages I used to only dream of - The Key Club, Yost Theater, Belasco and Ford Amphitheater - open for artists I admire - Trek Life, 2Mex of the Visionaries, M1 of dead prez and Gym Class Heroes - and earn awards along the way - UC Irvine’s Antstock Top 6 Finalist/Winner: “Best Instrumentation,” Kollaboration LA 2013 Finalist and RAWArtists’ RAWArds Los Angeles 2013 Top 5 Nominee.

Nothing compares to the feeling I get on stage performing for a crowd hanging onto every word and nodding to every beat. If I haven’t put on a show worth at least double what you paid for, I haven’t done my job. Some of my fondest memories have been at incredible concerts, so it’s only right that I give that same gift back to you.

Connect with me on RussellCurry.com where you’ll find links to my Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, and Soundcloud. Check out my next show and we’ll talk great food, basketball and maybe a little music.