Shareef Keyes & The Groove
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Shareef Keyes & The Groove

Brooklyn, NY | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Brooklyn, NY | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band R&B Funk




"Stream Shareef Keyes’ Funkier Than A Mosquito's Tweeter LP, “Cooking Something” [Premiere]"

The Brooklyn born-and-bred singer, songwriter, Shareef Keyes, brings his 12-piece band (and us) into his groovy kitchen with Cooking Something LP.

“I wanted to hear what wasn’t on the radio or on Spotify,” Shareef Keyes, said to us when we spoke to him via e-mail. “I went to ‘Become A Star Studio’ and created a new generation of funk.” With that said the world shifted atop its axis and Shareef Keyes was giving us some pure, unadulterated funk. Backed by his 12-piece collective, The Groove, Shareef took his love of Parliament-Funkadelic, James Brown, Wu-Tang and infused it into his own world of down-bottom goodness.

The end result is the 11-track LP, Cooking Something, led by the single “Spaghetti Fettuccine” featuring Ghostface Killah. Doubt this man’s resume if you must, and you’ll be sadly mistaken, as Keyes & The Groove have already had memorable performances at Bowery Electric, Webster Hall, Pianos and more.

Most notably the gang opened for jazz-funk pioneer Roy Ayers in front of a sold-out crowd at Brooklyn’s BRIC House.

Four years in the making, Cooking Something is certainly worth the wait, as you can hear for yourself in the stream below. Pure stick-to-your-ribs music as Keyes, accompanied by his older brother, Glo’, whet people’s musical appetites with songs such as “Potato Salad,” “Macaroni and Cheese,” and “Cornbread” to list a few. Invite your friends to this sonic BBQ and enjoy the sounds that will add some extra pounds to your ears.

Listen to the full project, Cooking Something, below, and if you’re in Brooklyn on Jan. 11, you should head to C’MON EVERYBODY for the album release party (cop tickets here). - Okayplayer

"ALBUM REVIEW: Shareef Keyes & The Groove Serve Up Aural Treats Galore with ‘Cooking Something’"

As someone who has seen Shareef Keyes & The Groove perform, I can attest that the cover for the band's new album Cooking Something reflects what you get from the group on stage. Color, lots of energy, clothes that you'd recall from a scene in the 1975 film Cooley High, and vibrant music that embodies it all. The New York City based act is a funk band and, as its name suggests, its mission is usually to get people moving. With Cooking Something, the band will have listeners not only moving their feet, but also moving through several eras of music.

The voice heard throughout the album is that of Keyes, a Brooklyn-bred artist who can be described as a crooner or vocalist, though the best title for him may very well be showman. He can sing traditionally when the song calls for it, but he often delivers his lyrics in a way that's suited for a live performance. Keyes is backed by musicians that trained at Juilliard, The New School and Berklee College of Music. Their play powers the album as they go beyond the boundaries of what one might expect from funk music given the genre's history.

Cooking Something is an audio tour through the branches of a family tree we know as Black music. Funk, jazz, R&B, hip-hop—each branch has its own sound and identity. Yet, the lineage that links the genres often becomes clear when they're heard in unison. This cross-genre connection is a constant on the LP and a prime example is "Macaroni and Cheese," which features a sly, wordplay-heavy verse from Mickey Factz. The song begins with Keyes belting over jazzy horns that appear throughout. Yet, the horns are meshed with a beat drop and 808 drums that are defining sounds for today's mainstream rap.

While some songs on the album blend musical styles, others stick to one sound that captures the song's sentiment. For instance, "Honey" describes the simple, trouble-free phase of a new relationship. Fittingly, the cut features a mellow, lo-fi sound, making it the type of song Drake would remix and turn into a trending topic. In contrast, there's "Cupcake," which has chords and harmonies that channel the sound of doo-wop music. On top of that, the song packs in many more lyrics as Keyes sings about the seeds of a breakup, a topic that naturally calls for more to be said.

Love is a recurring topic on the album, but it's balanced by the urge to simply let loose. Whether you're in the privacy of your home or facing a bunch of strangers on the train, it'll be hard to stay still when listening to songs like "Kale" and "Potato Salad." Then there's "Spaghetti Fettuccini," which features Keyes trading boasts with the legendary Ghostface Killah. The Wu Gambino has been throwing darts for years and they still sound sharp on the song, but there's another feature on the LP that's just as memorable. On "Fried Chicken," Miss Ashley is the only voice heard and it's only right given how rousing her vocal performance is on the song.

Cooking Something is the product of great performances by many people, so it's fitting that its sound is diverse. The presence of multiple genres could have disrupted the album's cohesion. Yet, the number of tracks (9 excluding the skits) and the soulfulness of each genre represented here helps the album flow smoothly. Shareef Keyes & The Groove are known to put on a lively show, but the band’s dynamic long player shows that its recorded output can be just as captivating. - Albumism

"Shareef Keyes and the Groove-Cooking Something: Album Review"

Brooklyn raised singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, Shareef Keyes, unites a collective sound of funk, hip-hop, and alternative Rhythm and Blues with the help of a twelve-piece band of New York City’s finest young artists hailing from Juilliard, The New School, and Berklee College of Music, ultimately creating Shareef Keyes & The Groove. Inspired by Parliament-Funkadelic, James Brown, and Wu-Tang. The band has played memorable performances for crowds at Harlem Arts Festival, Pianos, Bowery Electric, Public Factory, Bronx Museum of the Arts, and Webster Hall. In February 2017, Shareef Keyes & The Groove opened for jazz-funk pioneer and musical legend Roy Ayers in front of a sold-out crowd at Brooklyn’s BRIC House. On January 24, 2018, Keyes & The Groove released their new LP, “Cooking Something.” Over a four year period, Keyes and his older brother, Glo’ whipped up 11 tracks of 70s jazz-Funk and Hip-hop laced music. The LP features tracks, “Potato Salad,” “Macaroni and Cheese,” “Cornbread,” Spaghetti Fettuccine” featuring Ghostface Killah of Wu-Tang. Digging deeper as a few of the songs deserve more attention, I’ll now wax poetic on a couple of my personal favorites. “Cupcake,” a slow jam with sultry bass, piano, rhodes and modernized doo-wop sytled vocals, is a real highlight followed by “Cornbread,” a deep cut that rocks the hip hop tip with masterful vocal deliveries, whistles, cool beats and a sax bit. What comes to mind with this collection of songs is the first time hearing Michael Franti and Spearhead’s debut album, which is in my opinion, a compliment. It was so unique and infectious. Similairly, Keyes and company has a fresh new album that fits in that same category of impression. “Cooking Something” brightly shines the spotlight, not only on songwriting and composition, but also on the high performance level of the live band members. So, kudos to all behind the making of “Cooking Something.” Respectfully, very high marks need to be thrown out there acknowledging Keyes’ high regard and reverence of nostalgic music. It appears and is evident in each track. You’ll hear soulful jazzy licks coming from a live swinging band consisting of guitar, a hot rhythm section (keys, bass and drums) and blazing horns, delivering funked up beats and R&B flavored hip-hop nuggets. The flow of music and styles shows Keyes carefully chose sounds from the ‘70s to emulate. And his infusing of modern influences guarantees there’s definitely something here for all—jazz heads, hip-hop enthusiasts, and R&B fans alike. - Beat Selector Magazine

"Shareef Keyes and The Groove release new LP feat Ghostface Killah "Cooking Something" [Q&A]"

Brooklyn raised funk artist, Shareef Keyes and his live-band The Groove, got something cooking for us and we mean that literally. Their latest project is aptly titled Cooking Something and it's themed around different types of food. The singer and band coordinator also went as far as personally handpicking the 12 talented musicians from three different schools; Juilliard, The New School and Berklee College of Music to form the live funk-hip-hop band. The album hones a distinctive sound that fuses ‘70s jazz-funk influences with a modern hip-hop undertone. Listeners will experience a very dynamic sound roller coaster on this 11 track body of work. From the Motown influenced "Cupcake", the neo soul vibes of "Honey", trip hop "Cornbread", and of course a solid Ghostface Killah verse on the jazz boom bap head nodding "Spaghetti Fettuccini". There is definitely something for everyone on this project.

We were also fortunate enough to chew the fat with the man behind this project. Even if for a few minutes to prick his brains on all things music, food and then some.

EM: Can you tell us a bit about the Cooking Something project?
SK&TG: Cooking Something took me 4 years to make. I knew I wanted to make an album that felt warm, fulfilling, and rich with instrumentation. I would spend hours and hours everyday studying George Clinton, James Brown (especially), and Janelle Monae to seek a better understanding and perception of what Funk really was, because I knew I wanted to make Funk, but I had no idea how to start. During that same time I came up with the idea of making the album themed after a family dinner, something that would be relatable but still very unique. I guess this entire album was about finding my distinction in sound.

EM: How much thought went into naming each song after a type of food. Was it a before or after type of situation?
SK&TG: Nine times out of 10 it would be before. My process was, ask whoever was present in the room at the time of creating a song to close there eyes and to tell me what they see, smell, and taste. And if I agree to that food, I would keep that name.

EM: The skits seem to act as a Segue on the project. What was the concept behind them on this project?
SK&TG: They are exactly that, the vessel to every song. I wanted to really reel listeners into the moment I created. What would a 38-minute wait to eat food with your family sound like, what kind of things would happen during that small duration and also linking some of concepts of the songs to the actual skits altogether.

EM: What aspect of the music making process excites you most, and what aspect discourages you the most?
SK&TG: The most exciting part has to be creating the production. Being able to have an idea I sang on my phone recorder and actually manifest that into a song that lands on a tv show or in people's phones is so dope! The most discouraging would be writing something that's catchy but having substance. Finding that medium is truly a hard task when you aren't in the zone.

EM: Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?
SK&TG: Me and my older brother literally had no money during the beginning stages of running our own studio. It was so bad that we had to eat bagels for dinner, THAT'S NO FUCKING EXAGGERATION! Going through moments like that grounds you and reminds you that shit can get really bad really quick. I tried to encompass that pain on Spaghetti, that whole first half of the song is about the hunger and pain we went through to get to this point.

EM: What’s your scariest experience?
SK&TG: Scariest experience would be definitely not being able to eat a nutritional dinner lol, but also having a girlfriend with a daughter. I would think about it all the time when we first started dating. How people would look at me? What would my family think? How should I be around the kid? Am I ready to be a father figure? But you get over that quick and just enjoy the moments.

EM: Are there any questions that your were expecting that I didn’t ask and want to answer?
SK&TG: I think your questions were on the money. You could of asked what's my favorite food, what's my favorite song on the album, Will there be a part 2 lol. But I can live with these. - Earmilk


Fresh new artists from Brooklyn all day, son.

We checked this out, and we liked what we saw. Earlier today, we brought you Solomon Faye, today, Shareef Keyes, check it out.

Listeners and viewers, prepare yourself for something refreshingly different. A diamond in the rough, 22-year old Shareef Keyes from Brooklyn is bringing something new to the table with his sound. The multi-dimensional artist has developed his own sound that fuses P funk, hard hip-hop drums and melodic jazz chords.

With his music, Shareef Keyes intends on using sonically pleasing songs to spread meaningful messages to consumers, hoping each and every listener learns and is inspired from the audio experience. The artist preaches themes of self-worth, optimism and determination, informing each individual to push for greatness – in his own words: “WE ARE NEO, WE ARE THE ONE’S WHO WILL CREATE SOME AMAZING SHIT TODAY, TOMORROW AND YEARS FROM NOW.”

On this fine evening, Shareef brings you the new music video for his debut single, “Tree,” shot and edited by his brother Maurice Keyes. The track is self produced, with co-production from Glo Keyes and andrewplayspiano, and Shareef also provides his own back-up vocals, a true one-man band. - The Source


Still working on that hot first release.



Shareef Keyes is a self-produced contemporary R&B/funk artist with a flair for spellbinding melody and infectious live performances. From his recording studio in Downtown Brooklyn, NY, Keyes draws inspiration from the likes of Janelle Monae, James Brown and Raphael Saadiq to produce rhythms that get us out of our seats and on to the floor.

Together with his band The Groove, Keyes tapped Ghostface Killah to release "Spaghetti Fettuccini", a single from his 2018 debut album, Cooking Something. Shareef Keyes & The Groove is a five-piece funk band (guitar, bass, saxophone, vocals) who have toured Chicago, Boston, Washington DC, Philadelphia and other markets.

In late 2018, Shareef Keyes & the Groove released a follow-up EP titled My Mood, a stripped-down exploration of Keyes' contemporary R&B influences which centered on relationship dynamics with the integral women in his life. My Mood was universally well-received, propelling Keyes to a regional U.S. tour and earning him spotlight from notable corporate partners like WeWork, Airbnb and Dos Toros.

Band Members