J*Ras & SouLifted
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J*Ras & SouLifted

Sacramento, California, United States

Sacramento, California, United States
World Reggae

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"Takin' The High Road..."


Takin’ the High Road
by Joy Michiel

When you think of the group SouLifted the first word that comes to mind is positive. Hailing from the foothills of Northern California, the group was established in 2006 with the plan to deliver an optimistic musical message.

“We’re more in it for the positive influence than anything,” says Intalect, known for lead vocals, melodica and beat box.

Intalect, along with Lady Grace (lead vocals and spoken word poetry) are originally from Heart, Life & Soul, an eight-piece band that used music for peace. The duo hooked up with Zebulon 5ive, who brings classic hip hop vocals, mpc2000 and drums and Brian Fleshman who holds down the keyboards, EFX, drums and backup vocals. DJ BePhlip rounds out the mix, ripping up the turntables with complex scratches and beat juggles.

Collectively, SouLifted blends classic hip-hop sounds with a unique and soulful twist of reggae and melodic jazz rhythms. Individually, each member brings their own influences to the table from classical to jazz to reggae. The common denominator — music with a positive slant.

“When you have such a passion for something, you really need to develop it,” Intalect says.

Their songs are about today’s issues — things that people can relate to that are not always positive.

“All our songs are not about love and peace. It’s all real issues but we want to portray them in a positive light,” Intalect says. “It’s about getting people to be more aware.”

The end result is classic, conscious hip-hop with more musicality and jazz and reggae influences. They combine an original outlook with soulful singing, knowledgeable lyrics and a lively performance to deliver their message with energetic emotions. Intalect describes the group as a high-energy collaboration of different sounds with a deep uplifting message.

“We like to touch on what’s happening today in a positive light and hopefully make things better,” he says, coining the phrase “music for the people.”

For the past six months SouLifted has been in the studio producing their first CD, “Higher,” which will be available for purchase for the first time at the Biltmore gigs. Intalect comments that the music has the same feel as the old HL&S stuff, but that the diversity of the musical elements involved make every song unique in their own way.

“We’re really trying to bring back a classical element to the music and we put a lot of love and energy into this first album,” he adds.

One thing is for certain, no matter what the influence, the message is all positive. And when all the elements are mixed together the collaborative effort is really something.

“Every track will get your head nodding,” he says of the danceable beats the group cranks out.

In addition, all the members are working on their own individual projects.

“We are hoping that the group will be the catalyst to help propel our individual talents. This album is gonna really help us take it to the next level,” he says.

Performing live, the group maintains the positive and adds a heavy dose of high energy.

When performing live SouLifted also adds Scott Rodell an amazing multi-instrumentalist and Steve Leonard from Rodell’s band switching between bass, guitar, and keys. SouLifted also has frequent special guests on stage: Colt 45 from HLS on percussion, Moss on native flute, SoulMedic on vocals and others.

“When we combine with these other artists it brings a lot more to the sound,” Intalect says stressing that the group really brings it in the live shows.

The independent aspect of the group is another important element. Their album is self-produced and self mixed. Currently they are trying to book their own self-tour and Intalect is quick to encourage anyone that has any advice or gigs to connect with him.

Future plans for SouLifted include more trips up to our area, working on a few songs on the new SoulMedic album and the self-tour.

“We’re trying to get to Hawaii. We have the gigs but no plane tickets,” he says. Odds are their soul will lift them to those heights.

SoulLifted plays the Tahoe Biltmore Friday and Saturday, May 16 and 17, at 9:30 p.m. For more information and booking contact Intalect at (916) 390-3154 or visit www.soulifted.com.


SouLifted
Friday and Saturday, May 16 & 17 @ 9:30 p.m.

Tahoe Biltmore

21 & over

Free




- North Tahoe Truckee Magazine


""Accentuating the Positive" SouLifted Cover Story for Submerge Magazine"

SouLifted was featured on the cover of Sacramento's favorite independent magazine Submerge for issue #10.

By Jonathan Carabba | Photo by Melissa Welliver

Northern California’s very own hip-hop/reggae fusion group, SouLifted are turning heads with the release of their new full-length album Higher. The group seamlessly blends classic hip-hop sounds with reggae, jazz and soul embellishments. The result is a unique sound that all walks of life can enjoy. “It is music from the Earth for the people—a natural reaction to the world we live in and the things that influence our lives everyday,”? explains Intalect1, who sings, raps, plays the melodica, turntables and assists with the production of their recordings. He continues by saying, “That is why each song we make is dynamically different in its own way. We believe in progression and that is where Higher came from.”? Submerge recently spoke with Intalect1 about the beauties of self-producing their record, positive messages and starting a mosh pit in the streets of San Francisco.

First off, what happened with your other group Heart, Life and Soul? You and Lady Grace [vocals] are still doing that right?
Yeah Heart, Life and Soul will always be a part of what we do. That is where it all started for us, and we have a lot of unreleased material. We even play a few of our HLS songs during the SouLifted shows. We look forward to putting together a new HLS album that is produced by SouLifted, utilizing the talent that this group has with production and instrumentation. Right now SouLifted has really come together though, so that has been our primary focus. We need to spread the word that SouLifted is here and still pay homage to our roots.

So, how did things get to where they are now with the current SouLifted lineup?
Well, Zebulon [vocals, drums, production] and myself started making music together quite a few years ago. We did a few tracks together and they always turned out good. Our styles are different but they compliment each other well. DJ BePhlip [turntables] has been DJing with me since we first got turntables when we were like 15. We taught each other how to scratch and mix and he just took it to the next level with the turntables while I always focused more on the songwriting and emcee side of things. It was only natural for Lady Grace and I to work with these guys.

We actually met up with the rest of the crew from working at the Guitar Center store in Roseville, five of us actually worked together in Pro Audio at one point. Brian [Fleshman, keys, drums, production, vocals] and Zeb met first, and he automatically fit right in with the crew like he was always a part of it. Brian had some great production skills and his unique songwriting seemed to be the missing link for the group to really come together.

Scott Rodell [keys, guitar, vocals] and Steve Leonard [bass, guitar] are the two newest additions to the group and they have really added to the SouLifted sound. Both of them are very talented multi-instrumentalists and they often switch instruments throughout our live sets.

That’s a large group! Where do you all live? What do you consider your “hometown”? as a band?
We consider our “hometown”? to be the Foothills. We all live between Auburn and Sacramento pretty much but we definitely rep the Foothills. It is a beautiful place to be, and we all somewhat grew up around here. Zeb is from Georgia, Brian has lived in Florida and Canada, Lady Grace in Arizona, and Scott on the east coast too. I was born in Sacramento, so I got to show my love for Sactown!

How would you describe SouLifted’s style of music? Is it hip-hop first then reggae, or vice versa? How does it differ from Heart, Life and Soul’s sound?
SouLifted is a musical melting pot with many different styles of music but it all revolves around our hip-hop roots. So yeah, at heart we are a hip-hop crew but with so many diverse influences. But that’s what hip-hop is all about—taking what ever you have and what you love and turning it into something unique and full of self expression but still from the street. We definitely do add a strong reggae element to our sound, but not as much as with the HLS music. SouLifted seems to blend all of our different musical interests into one dynamic style of sound. Zeb’s got that classic hip-hop style mixed with some experimental and pop sounds, and he is also an amazing drummer. Brian is like a composer, with more of an electronic background and melodic style, with skills on the keyboard and drums. Lady Grace has that soulful voice and adds some spoken word poetry into the mix. Scott’s music has a jazzy, classic rock feel—almost like The Beatles meet the Beach Boys with a more edgy indie sound. BePhlip comes from a hip-hop turntablist background, but spins all kinds of music. Steve plays in a funk band, a cover band and a more rock-style band, so he can pretty much play anything. I have more of the reggae and dancehall sound, but I have alw - Submerge Magazine


"J*Ras & SouLifted "City of Trees" Album Review"

J*Ras of SouLifted has crafted a grooving set from start-to-finish with City of Trees. Every track will get your feet and body moving- and feed your mind and soul too, as the deft hand-crafted beats and grooves are lovingly complimented with a steady flow of conscious lyrics, positive messages of personal empowerment, self-realization, and strength in the struggles of life. Combinations with Prezident Brown, Soulmedic, Jahworks The Revolutionary, Lady Grace, and newcomer Lil Cha$e round out the offerings, with more voices adding to the chorus of upful messages. J*Ras' self-produced City of Trees is a well-realized nod to the influences that he has blended so smoothly throughout the years. J*Ras embraces roots reggae, modern conscious dancehall and hip-hop joining them all with heart, life, and soul on his debut album City of Trees.

Anthony Postman
Editor, Reggae Festival Guide Magazine

editor@reggaefestivalguide.com
www.reggaefestivalguide.com - Reggae Festival Guide


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

J*Ras & SouLifted Bio-
Entertaining audiences of all kinds by performing in and producing shows since 1999- J*Ras of SouLifted breaks new ground with the release of his first solo effort- "City of Trees" feat. Prezident Brown, Soul Medic, Jahworks the Revolutionary, Lady Grace and more. Rockin’ reggae rhythms, classic hip hop flavor, and conscious dancehall vibes are seamlessly blended with a hint of jazz, R&B, and soul to form a style all his own. Hailing from the Foothills of Northern California J*Ras & SouLifted bring forth a refreshing new sound with a positive vibe and a message to wake up the masses. Whether performing solo or backed by the SouLifted band J*Ras always delivers a high energy live performance to uplift any size crowd! His hand-crafted beats and grooves are lovingly complimented with a steady flow of conscious lyrics, positive messages of personal empowerment, self-realization, and strength in the struggles of life. J*Ras is an infectious performer who always lights up the stage and gets the people dancing no matter what their age or musical preference.

After growing up watching his father emcee and host countless events, it was only natural for J*Ras to pick up the microphone at a young age. His love for music showed early on and he was already performing conscious hip hop songs as early as the fifth grade when he did his rendition of Arrested Development’s hit song “Mr.Wendell” at his elementary school’s talent show. Years later J*Ras found his identity as an emcee and DJ in the hip hop group Hypothetically Lost Souls where he was given the name Intalect1 for his incredible ability to freestyle about anything at any moment. Eventually, J*Ras would join together with his sister, international singer/songwriter J Ross Parrelli, to form the group Heart Life and Soul who began touring up and down the west coast performing at major music festivals by 2004. After one independent release with Heart Life and Soul and countless shows, J*Ras and other members of HLS combined with some of Northern California’s most talented musicians to form the band SouLifted, who released their debut album “Higher” in 2008. Today, J*Ras continues to spread his positive message and love for music to audiences of all ages around the world.

J*Ras has shared the stage with legends and up and coming stars of many different music genres including reggae/dancehall artists Jimmy Cliff, Burning Spear, Yellowman, Bushman, Collie Buddz, Prezident Brown, Junior Reid, Pressure Buss Pipe, General Smiley, Mykal Rose (Black Uhuru), Pato Banton, and Soul Medic; Hip Hop artists including Talib Kweli, Wu Tang Clan, Blackalicious, Living Legends, Lyrics Born, and many more. J*Ras has performed in many different venues from elementary school demonstrations in low income neighborhoods to clubs and music festivals of all kinds including: Vans Warped Tour, NW World Reggae Festival, Reggae in the Hills, Bobolink Music Festival, Sierra Nevada World Music Fest, Lake Tahoe Reggae Festival, One Root World Festival, Sacramento Unity Festival, Best of the Bay Reggae Fest, and many more.

Currently J*Ras has begun to explore his passion for teaching and giving back to the youth in his community and the surrounding areas. He is the Artist Development Coordinator and a youth mentor for the Auburn Hip Hop Congress, which is a non-profit organization that educates, motivates and inspires the youth through hip hop music and culture. The Sacramento State University alum has taught hip hop, reggae, and creative writing courses in Junior High and High Schools, organized artist development seminars, and given live demonstrations on turntables, emceeing, audio recording and more. Check out www.auburnhiphopcongress.com for more information on this amazing organization that is making a huge impact on their community!

Although J*Ras started his career as an emcee, his talents stretch far beyond just being a vocalist or event host. He is also a producer, recording engineer, dj, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist featured on many different albums including: SouLifted's debut album "Higher", Soul Medic's albums "Soul Medication" and “Now You Know”, Jahworks the Revolutionary's “Overcome", Wild Oak Music Group's "Peace of Mind" Compilation CD, and many more. J*Ras & SouLifted are sponsored by Pure Anywear- clothing for the conscious (www.pureanywear.com), Silver Surfer Vaporizers (www.silversurfervap.com), Academy Snowboards (www.academysnowboards.com), Calibis Clothing (www.calibisclothingco.com), and Shine Clothing (www.theshineclothing.com).
     J*Ras and SouLifted have emerged onto the national music scene and are making a big impact throughout California and beyond with their highly uplifting original music. SouLifted's debut album "Higher" is available online and at select retailers nationwide. The debut J*Ras album "City of Trees" which features Prezident Brown, Soulmedic, & more is also av