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Atlanta, Georgia, United States | SELF

Atlanta, Georgia, United States | SELF
Band Hip Hop R&B


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"Carnegie Mellon Students Are Finalists on PCTV Talent Competition: Make the Cut"

Coming from areas of study ranging from architecture to social decision sciences, several Carnegie Mellon University students have collaborated together to become finalists in a Pittsburgh PCTV 21 band competition called Make the Cut.
So far, the two Carnegie Mellon groups, Sa'J 7 and Nick Casey, continue to "make the cut" on the televised local talent show that includes performances from musicians, poets, and comedians. Viewers can call in and vote on their favorite performance, ultimately voting on the winner.
Sa'J 7 consists of seven student who have a wide range of majors and leadership positions at Carnegie Mellon. Christina Acosta, a senior English major; Diana Henderson, a senior in electrical and computer engineering; Tim Lowe and Sean McGarill, fourth-year architecture majors; Michael Casey Rehm, a fifth-year architecture major; Nikhill Shetty, a senior majoring in English; and Ronald White, a senior in social and decision sciences combine to make the sounds of Sa'J 7.
Sa'j 7 won the Battle of the Bands at the campus Underground last year and has performed at other campus venues. "Our motto for this semester is to get famous in four months so that we can continue the band because we will have two or three members leaving," Lowe said. - Carnegie Mellon Department of Media Relations

"The Viewfinder: Executive Director's Address"

If you missed Make the C.U.T.'s Finale Event last March 8th at Dowes on 9th, then you missed one fantastic show. The three finalists Artistree, Karyn Dixon, and Sa'J 7 performed several of their original songs and showed the City of Pittsburgh that the region has a wealth of talent. The feedback from the performers, attendees, organizational members, and sponsors has been overwhelmingly positive....

PCTV's first ever talent search concluded on Monday, March 8 Live at Dowe's on 9th. Our hosts for the evening were singing sensation Etta Cox and Comedian David "The Frog" Bey. Fans packed the venue to what was seemingly a standing room only crowd. There were many familiar faces in attendance, Tim Stevens, head of the Pittsburgh Chapter of NAACP, City Councilman William Peduto and City Councilman Doug Shields to name a few. A few PCTV producers also came out in support of their public access station. The crowd was entertained by the hosts and the three finalists selected by the Pittsburgh viewing audience. The three finalsits were: Artistree, an all male quartet singing R&B/Hip Hop infused music; Caryn Dixon, a singer/pianist with a smooth style and training in classical and modern piano; & SA'J 7, a seven member band of students from Carnegie Mellon University, whose eclectic mix of music brought the crowd to it's feet...

The results fo the contest were as follows. In third place: SA'J 7, second place went to Caryn Dixon, making Artistree the grand prize winner of PCTV's citywide Undiscovered Talent Search.
- Pittsburgh Community Television

"Rock the Vote"

Vocalist Tim Lowe, a fifth-year senior architecture, and the band Sa'J 7 perform at the Rock the Vote party on Thursday. The party, which was organized by Hillel and Carnegie Mellon Israel Public Affairs Committee (CMIPAC) and sponsored in part by the CMU Democrats, CMU College REpublicans, and the University of Pittsburgh College Democrats, took place at Union Grill on Craig Street. - The Tartan

"Sa'J 7 rocks Midway"

Last Friday, Carnival audiences rocked on the Midway to the music of the Carnegie Mellon band Sa'J 7. The band performed under the Mainstage tent as part of a procession of various local bands. The warm weather brought many people out, and members of the audience ranged from older people from the community to students from the University o fPittsburgh and CMU. The energetic show brought the audience to their feet, clapping and dancing to the band's five original songs as well as an encore.

Sa'J 7 is an eclectic seven-member group whose name symbolizes the leader's, Tim Lowe, zodiac sign of Sagittarius and also represents the seven types of music that influence them: hip hop, R&B, funk, blues, jazz, gospel, and rock.

Band leader Tim Lowe stated, "I would describe our music as 'Hip-Funk.' I believe that we are creating a new genre of music."

The members are influenced by a wide range of musicians, including greats like Clifford Brown, Lee Morgan, Charlie Parker, Earth, Wind, & Fire, John P. Key, Carter Beauford, and Sean McCurley. The group produces its sound with a five instrument combo and two singer/rappers. The group consist of Christina Acosta, Nikhil Shetty, Diana Henderson, Tim Lowe, Sean McGarill, Michael Casey Rehm, and Ronald White, a diverse mix of people that hold majors in everthing from architecture to electrical and computer engineering. All of the members have been playing their respective instruments for years. Although some members are busy seniors, the group manages to rehearse at least four hours per week.

The show opened with an introductory snippet from the song made famous in the Rocky movies, "Are You Ready," leading into "Hey I Like." Next was a grooving version of "Just Living," Followed by "High On Love." The audience's response to the band was enthusiastic and animated. The songs were all upbeat and had many moments for individual members to shine in a solo or duet.

The members of Sa'J 7 joined forces only earlier this year and went on to achieve many objectives in a relatively short time. In addition to winning first place in Battle of the Bands at the Underground last semester, Sa'J 7 also competed on PCTV 21s "Make the Cut," a Pittsburgh takeoff of American Idol, and secured a third place standing. Sa'J 7 earned second place in the WAMO Talent Showcase. Future performances include the "Free Mumia" Concert on May 1. The band's major plans at the moment involve finishing the recording of a demo to send out to record labels. - The Carnegie Pulse

"Hip-Funk Artist Is Devoted to Making an Impact"

Carnegie Mellon alumnus Tim Lowe (CFA '05) is back in his home state of Georgia, ready to take on the city of Atlanta with his unique brand of hip "funkyjazzy" hop.

Known to his fans as Sa'J — pronounced "sah-JAY" — the artist is not your typical emcee. Just ask anyone who attended Commencement 2005. (Don't miss the video in related links.)

"This is my dream. This is my passion," explained Lowe, a graduate of Carnegie Mellon's School of Architecture, who is as comfortable with a piano at his fingertips as he is with an alto sax, a guitar, drums or congas. "To see many people from various backgrounds enjoying, appreciating, becoming a part of what I create — it brings a special excitement to me. It's important to me to touch and inspire others, because I know that I can."

Lowe traces his own inspiration back to his childhood, recalling many warm Georgia nights when he drifted asleep to the sound of soothing piano melodies coming from the living room.

"My mother was the church pianist, so the songs she would practice were gospel," he said. "It brought a sort of calming feeling."

Equally inspiring were the raucous jam sessions with his brothers and sisters, and the endless stream of instruments his father brought home for him to explore.

After enrolling at Carnegie Mellon, Lowe was encouraged by Riccardo Schulz, associate teaching professor of music, to record his first collection of songs with his band Sa'J 7 in the School of Music's recording studio. Sa'J is taken from his zodiac sign, Sagittarius, and the '7' represents the seven types of music that influence his sound: hip hop, R&B, funk, blues, jazz, gospel, and rock.

Lowe organized the band with the vision of strengthening the presence of live instruments in hip hop, which is the foundation of their sound. All the band members who played on the CD, called "Emergence," were undergrads at the university.

One of the most talented students Schulz has known, Lowe wrote both the music and lyrics; rapped; made beat tracks; played percussion, keyboards, electric bass and saxophone; and coached the others in his band to complete "Emergence."

Schulz added that Lowe's quiet charm and easy-going manner morphed into a passion for perfection in every detail when it came to making music. "He was as demanding of his recording engineers — who were also Carnegie Mellon students — as he was of himself and his musicians. It brought the recorded sound in the School of Music recording studio to an unprecedented level of excellence."

Lowe is now working on his second CD and booking gigs around Atlanta. And the all-night jam sessions he enjoyed so much with his family are about to become the norm again, in the new house he will soon share with one of his brothers. Meanwhile, Lowe pays the bills by working part-time as a church musician, modeling, acting and investing in real estate.

"When I am 80 years old, with elastic skin and more pep than most teenagers, I would like to look back and see that my music made a difference," Lowe explained. "Perhaps it will be a difference in how hip hop is listened to or performed — or perhaps it is a difference in what is thought of as mainstream. Whatever it is, I want to be remembered for making an impact on the world."
- Carnegie Mellon University

"Upcoming Artist in Atlanta"

Check out some of the hottest up-and-coming artist in Atlanta.

- Mokah D - FlyerPromoNow


'Emergence' - January 2006
"Butta Clap" - May 2008
'The Appetizer' (mixtape) - February 2010
"Spaz Out" (radio play on Vibes 98 WIGO 1570 AM and DKE Radio 860 AM)
"She's Hot" (radio play on Vibes 98 WIGO 1570 AM and DKE Radio 860 AM)
"Hey I Like" (radio play on Vibes 98 WIGO 1570 AM and DKE Radio 860 AM)



Live music and lyrical deliveries has always an interest of Sa’J (Tim Lowe), who is originally from Fairburn, Ga. Growing up in a family that supported musicality, Sa’J began learning the piano at the age of seven. He later expanded to learning the alto saxophone. But he didn’t stop increasing his musical acumen there. “I had a passion for music and a thirst to learn more”, which was the reason for him deciding to pick up the tenor saxophone, oboe, drums, and congas. Around the age of 14, Sa’J realized his talent for composing by writing poetry, which later evolved into song writing.

While attending Carnegie Mellon University, Sa’J often got together with other emcees that often stayed up late nights to carry on cipher sessions. This fueled his desire to pair his lyrical ability with his instrumental ones. So that is what he did by forming his first band Sa’J 7, which consisted of individuals of various musical backgrounds. “I am a fan of many different genres of music, which is what I wanted my group to reflect”, says Sa’J. The group was organized with the vision of strengthening the presence of live instruments in hip hop, which was the foundation of their music. The name "Sa'J" [sah-jay] symbolizes the band leader / emcee's zodiac sign of Sagittarius. The band performed around the city of Pittsburgh, participating in numerous competitions/showcases and received numerous accolades. In 2006, they released their debut album titled ‘EMERGENCE’, which presents the genesis of "Hip-Funkajazzy Hop" and creates a distinctive sound of an emcee with a band, while providing a refreshing listening experience.

After moving back to Atlanta, Sa’J organized a new band called SA’J & SQUAD, which is an eclectic group whose music combines a number of genres to create a sound called "Hiprock-Funk". Often, Sa'J states that the Squad and he enjoy sharing their "7", which represents the seven types of music that influence their sound (hip hop, R&B, funk, blues, jazz, gospel, and rock). The usual roster for the band is an emcee, singer, keyboardist, guitarist, bassist, and drummer. Their sound is inspired by Outkast, Earth, Wind & Fire, The Roots, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Prince, John P. Kee, Nas, Otis Redding, Duke Ellington, Jimmy Hendrix, Ceelo, and many more artists.

The band has played in many of the top venues in Atlanta and local areas, including Apache Café, Lenny’s Bar, Smith’s Olde Bar, and 595 North Events Venue. They were selected as feature acts for numerous events, such as IdOMusic Band Bash hosted by Patchwerk Studios. In addition, they were selected to closing act of all the performances at the Sweet Auburn Springfest (a 3-day music/arts festival in Atlanta that draws annually 500,000 people) on May 8, 2010, performing before a crowd of 5,000+ people.

Recently, the group was featured on a mixed tape titled ‘The Appetizer’ in February 2010. Currently, Sa’J & Squad is working on a second album which is expected to be released in the Fall of 2010.

No matter where you may see Sa'J & Squad performing, you can guarantee that they will rock the crowd and deliver a captivating, blazing performance that you won’t forget!