The People Upstairs
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The People Upstairs

Lake Worth, Florida, United States

Lake Worth, Florida, United States
Band Alternative Reggae




""Best Rock CD: 2011" - Bill Meredith"

Best Rock CD: The People Upstairs (, For the People, By the People (independent). Part rock, part funk and part reggae, this Boynton Beach hybrid band met as members of the drum line at Atlantic High School in Delray Beach.
Vocalist/percussionist Casey Buckley, guitarist Chris Prestia and singing siblings Tony Rangel (bass) and Gabe Rangel (drums) sound like a more percussive version of the Red Hot Chili Peppers on standout tracks Help Me Help You, Hollywood, Mr. Murphy and Ha Ha. - Palm Beach Post

"Young rockers a first on FAU's record label"

The People Upstairs have unleashed "Synchrofunkinicity" upon the world.
TPUS, the first band to signed by the student run recording label at FAU. Hoot/ Wisdom Recordings, released "Synchrofunkinicity", its first first full length album last month. It's a 14-song collection of original reggae, funk and rock.
Michael Zager founded the label simultaneously with a related major in 2003.
Zager says the bands upbeat songs and performance give TPUS a chance to make it in the volatile music business. "They're a performing act," Zager added. "They good songs, they're good players. I think that they have a good shot as a new band, as long as they're willing to do their part, and our marketing/ promotions are good."
Band members say they will do what it takes to succeed. "I would quit school tomorrow if I could make this my career," said "Ryan Lockett.
"If this is really going to work, its gonna be on us," Casey Buckley said during an interview with the band in "The Cave," the loft above Buckley's father's office, where the band rehearses and stores its equipment, and which inspired the band's name.
"I hope we get some recognition," said Buckley. "I really don't think we're going to go wrong."
The band has modest hopes for the album. "I hope at least people get to hear it, and that it gets out," said Gabe Rangel.

- By Jason Irsay
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer - 2005 - Palm Beach Post


The People Upstairs is a music group that defies all genres and defines raw talent. Currently, the band is recording songs in the Hoot Recordings main studio on FAU’s Boca Campus. Hoot News caught up with band member Ryan Lockett in the studio to talk about the group, their music and how they became The People Upstairs.

Hoot News: What style of music does your band specialize in?Ryan: It’s hard to put us in a genre, but we have a very wide range. We play lots of funk, rock, reggae and some Latin because we have a lot of percussion.

HN: How did The People Upstairs get together?Ryan: The drummer and the bass player are both brothers, so that is pretty self-explanatory. The drummer, singer and I, we were all in drumline together in high school, so that’s how we met. And we all just sort of gravitated toward playing together.

HN: What is the significance of the band name The People Upstairs?Ryan: We could always make up something really deep, but really it’s just the fact that where we produce there’s a loft that’s upstairs. Just to show how creative we are… we’re The People Upstairs because that’s where we practice.

HN: You had a performance in October at the University of Tampa. How did the audience react?Ryan: The audience reacted very well. We found out once we got there [that] they did not advertise for the show like they should have, but we still drew some people in which was good.

HN: What is the best part about performing? Ryan: Probably the reaction of the people when they hear your music. The fact that you can share something with other people and see that they like it and the fact that you can start to connect with other people.

HN: What’s your strategy for getting the word out about your band and music? Ryan: Well it’s really about number one, being in the right spot at the right time. You have to really know how to market your music and find your niche within the music scene and spread the word the best that you can.

HN: What do you think about Hoot Recordings?Ryan: I think Hoot Recordings is something that’s long overdue and luckily sort of popped up when we were right there to take advantage of it. It’s like a gift and we were hopeful we could use it.

HN: Where do you find the inspiration to write your songs?Ryan: I think most of our songs just come from people in the group who will just hear a groove. The bass player will feel something and then he’ll play it for us. The drummer, he’ll start drumming to it and the guitar player, he’ll start playing the chords here and there and then it will slowly build up. Someone used to come and have a whole song written up, but now it’s a total collaboration.

HN: What do you hope your fans will get from your music?Ryan: Number one, it’s really all about feeling good. There’s just something about really good music that just touches you and you can feel it. Music is that universal language that really speaks to people and I hope that’s what people really get from this. It’s the fact that when you put on The People Upstairs, it really takes [you] to another level. [You] can just be upstairs with us and have the full experience of The People Upstairs.

Check out other Hoot Recordings Artist Spotlight features in Hoot News, the newsletter of Hoot Recordings. Stop by the Commercial Music office in Arts & Humanities room 111 on the Boca Raton campus to pick up the latest issue of Hoot News.

Hoot Recordings, FAU’s full-service, student-run record label, gives students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the commercial music industry. FAU and PBCC students in all majors are encouraged to participate in this interdisciplinary student organization.

Hoot Recordings offers positions in all departments of a traditional record label, including artists & repertoire, business, dance, engineering, graphic design, marketing & promotions, music management, newsletter, producing, songwriting and video production.

The commercial music business is a highly competitive field. Hoot Recordings is designed to help students understand all facets of a record label and prepare for successful careers in music.

Hoot Recordings’ general meetings are held every Monday at 12 p.m. in Arts & Letters room 260 on the Boca Raton campus. All students are welcome to attend. For more information, e-mail or call the Commercial Music office at 561-297-0600. - FAU - University Press

"Goin' for the funk UpStairs"

The People UpStairs play 11 p.m. Aug. 11 at Swampgrass Willy's (9910 Alt. A1A, Palm Beach Gardens; 561-625-1555). After police officers frequently made trips to a Boynton Beach loft above a plumbing store where five high school friends practiced until early morning, singer Casey Buckley said, "they began to refer to us as 'the people upstairs' and the name stuck." Together since 2002, the funk/reggae band has played City Link Music Fest, Moonfest and more. "Our sound is created by a driving bass and funking guitar . . . heavy drums and percussive, allowing for almost every number to be danceable," Buckley said. "It is somewhere between the Chili Peppers and Sublime." Free admission. - Sun Sentinel

"The People UpStairs CD-Release Party at Bamboo Room"

By Travis Newbill Thursday, Mar 31 2011
The People Upstairs have gained momentum as a band since they formed almost ten years ago at Atlantic High School in Delray. The members were all part of the drum line and decided to take their rhythmic activity from the football field to the garage just for fun. Since then, they've amassed a substantial catalog of original material and have gained a devoted following by jamming out their highly danceable, Latin-tinged funk-rock tunes all over the state in various settings, including some big festival gigs.

In 2010, the band played SunFest and was awarded Best Local Band to play the event, and this past November, it played to a big, spirited audience at Lake Worth's Bonfire on the Beach event. Recently the quartet completed its sophomore album, For the People, By the People, with the help of Rob Norris at Saturn Sound Studios in West Palm Beach. To celebrate the release, the People will rock the Bamboo Room with good friends and fellow good-vibers Moska Project. - New Time Broward

"People Upstairs looking to go to the next level"

For the past five years, the People Upstairs have been bringing their funkadelic, feel-good tunes to venues all over South Florida. But their most memorable gig wasn't playing in a bar. It was performing behind bars.

"One of our coolest concerts was this past fall at South Dade Correctional Facility," said Casey Buckley, lead singer of the five-member group. "We played before a crowd of 1,500. It was a very humbling experience. The most appreciative crowd we've ever played for. Afterwards, we stood there for a half hour, shaking hands."

When he's not behind the mike, Buckley is the band's manager. Other members of the group include Chris Prestia on guitar, Ryan Lockett on percussion and brothers Gabe Rangel on drums and Tony Rangel on bass.

The guys are buddies, dating back to their days as students at Atlantic High School in Delray Beach.

"Some people say we sound like a cross between Sublime and the Red Hot Chili Peppers," Buckley said.

The band got its name from a neighbor across the street. The woman would call police during their rehearsals and complain about noise from "the people upstairs," Buckley said.

The People Upstairs are booked for the Open Grass Music & Art Festival, set 12-9 p.m. on Saturday at Bryant Park, at the corner of Golfview and Lake avenues in Lake Worth. Visit and

The band also is booked for the St. Patrick's Day party on March 17 at Brogues, 621 Lake Ave., Lake Worth; 561-585-1885.

-- Beth Feinstein-Bartl - Sun Sentinel

"Boynton Beach quintet mixes reggae, funk"

By: Bill Meredith March 5 2010

Mix reggae with funk music; add a dash of the film Drumline, and you have the basic recipe for the Boynton Beach-based band The People Upstairs ( The quintet of vocalist/percussionist Casey Buckley, guitarist Chris Prestia, and brothers Tony Rangel (bass, vocals), Gabriel Rangel (drums, vocals) and the newly married Jose Rangel (percussion, trumpet, vocals) is a rarity — longtime friends ages 23 to 31 who’ve kept a band together for nine years.

"Most of us were in the drum line together at Atlantic High School," Buckley said. "We didn’t want to stop playing music together when we graduated, so we formed a band."

Its name refers to the second-story room the band rehearses in above Buckley Plumbing, Casey’s father’s business. "We rehearse a lot," the singer said, "because we can leave everything set up there!" It shows. At a recent club appearance, the group performed spot-on covers by such bands as Kings of Leon and Weezer, plus creative old-school revampings. Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine” got a reggae face-lift, and an extended version of Parliament’s “Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker)” broke into a percussion jam.

Original highlights included the crowd-pleasing epic “Mr. Murphy”, and such recent compositions as “Ha Ha!” and “Partridge” also raised the roof. Buckley often accents his staccato vocals by playing a djembe drum; Prestia offers tasty solos and rock-solid rhythm playing, and the Rangel brothers display the results of years of family woodshedding. The group’s 2005 debut, Synchrofunkinicity (Hoot Recordings), is available through iTunes.

See The People Upstairs at 9 p.m. tonight (opening for the Spam All-Stars) at Propaganda, 6 S. J St., Lake Worth (561-547-7273 ), and at 10 p.m. March 13 and 8 p.m. March 17 at Slainte, 1500 Gateway Blvd., Boynton Beach (561-742-4190 ). - Palm Beach Post

"The People Upstairs to play at The Dubliner"

By Bill Meredith
Boynton Beach funk, rock and reggae band The People Upstairs ( formed 10 years ago after most of its members were in the drum line together at Atlantic High School. The group’s 2005 debut Synchrofunkinicity (Hoot) was a hodgepodge recorded as a student project at Florida Atlantic University, but the independent sophomore CD For the People, By the People is a cohesive effort recorded at Saturn Sound Studios in West Palm Beach.
The disc captures the band’s live energy, as every note by vocalist/percussionist Casey Buckley, guitarist Chris Prestia and singing siblings Tony Rangel (bass) and Gabe Rangel (drums) sounds super-charged. There are club-honed crowd favorites like the reggae-tinged Let Me In, rocking Mr. Murphy and funky Ha Ha (with guest horns by saxophonist Michael Emanuel and trumpeter/trombonist Josh Velez). Newer highlights include the Red Hot Chili Pepper-esque Help Me Help You and Hollywood.
See The People Upstairs at 10 p.m. on Friday at The Dubliner, 435 Plaza Real, Boca Raton (561-620-2540).
Sista MaryBeth ( has a new self-titled debut (Bluzpik) that’s also an indicator of her live prowess. Recorded with guitarist Robbie Altar, bassist Bob Cleary and drummer Fred Epstein, the bluesy, six-song EP ranges from the R&B of Unsaid to the swinging Pickleman –– all with the singing guitarist’s raspy, Bonnie Tyler-like vocals.
See the Sista Mary Beth Band at 7 p.m. on April 28 at South Shores Tavern, 502 Lucerne Ave., Lake Worth (561-547-7656). - PBPulse

"Boca 100: Four Local Bands Making Noise"

Voted one of the top bands in south florida - Boca Magazine - Boca Magazine

"SunFest superlatives: Who was tops at the five-day party?"

Like many of you, I'm having a SunFest hangover today -- mine is in my legs. I was informed that the trip from the Bank of America stage to Phillips Point, home of the LaBovick & LaBovick stage, was 1.2 miles. Some of you jog many times that every day. Not me. Gotta get into shape. Anyway, I thought I'd share some of my favorites and give you the chance to talk about yours in our SunFest Superlatives: Best food: I searched for the top concession food during the entire five-day length of the fest, only to realize I had found my favorite on Wednesday: Argentinian skirt steak with beans, rice and chimmichurri sauce. Served behind the Tire Kingdom stage (the Meyer), this was a well-prepared dish, only made better by the sauce. The pineapple chicken ran a very close second, and is worth getting simply for the looks you get when you eat it. Best non-concert activity (music division): REO-ke on the Kool 105.5 barge was the place to be on Friday, before the band REO Speedwagon took the stage. Best non-concert activity (sports division): Watching the Kentucky Derby on the ESPN760 north barge. It was like watching the world's biggest horse race in a nightclub. Best show (headliner division): I thought Weezer had this sewn up, but along came Nas and Damian Marley on Sunday afternoon. Propelled by what might've been both the biggest crowd at this SunFest and the biggest crowd for a SunFest afternoon show in its history, the rapper and the reggae artist combined for a two-hour blast of a show that explored both genres. SunFest deserves big props for this move, getting the guys behind the Distant Relatives album before it has even arrived in stores. Best show (support division): No one had the energy that was given off by New Orleans' Cowboy Mouth, who played the LaBovick & LaBovick stage on Friday night. Lead singer Fred LeBlanc wasn't happy until every single person on Phillips Point was cheering, jumping and having a good time. And there's a 10-year-old named Ethan out there who's going to be a huge hit at elementary school this week, thanks to the band bringing him up on stage. Best show (by a local band, only heard about by word-of-mouth): I'm very sorry about missing what was, by all accounts, a very accomplished show by The People Upstairs. This funk group from Palm Beach County put together one heck of a concert on Friday evening on the LaBovick & LaBovick stage. Unfortunately, I was in the middle of doing another story, and so, only heard it from afar. But a few people mentioned that their show was worth seeing. I owe them a club visit, for sure.
- PBPulse


Still working on that hot first release.



Funk. Reggae. Rock - In one word : Chemistry.

In there 11th year playing and performing together it is the chemistry and camaraderie amongst the band that has been the glue to hold them together. It's the genuineness that appeals to all, not just the fans. It's a mixture of brotherly love, low-brow comedy and musical talent that makes The People Upstairs more than a band. They are an act. All this is captured in their latest EP release, "Take it how you want". With the dance-hall jam "Give me a reason" about making love on the dance floor, to the less emotional and obviously satiric "Always Drunk". This new EP highlights the the boys improved songwriting abilities and is delivered in their highest quality recording to date.

Proven instant appeal to a diverse audience. The People UpStairs have quickly become well known across South Florida as THE quality local act with a sound audiences immediately connect with. Combining modern rock-funk with a groovy island touch and Latin rhythm to bridge barriers and broaden appeal. After hundreds of live shows and distributing thousands of demo CDs, the diversity of their fans has been proven to span all races and ages. Immediate reactions are immensely positive and the fans loyalty only increases the more they listen. The ensemble includes vocals, bass guitar, lead guitar, drum set, and a plethora of auxiliary percussion. Each member has been playing music since at least the 6th grade with many receiving extensive formal training. The band formed in 2001. TPUSs members have been playing together since high school no doubt why The People UpStairs are often told how tight their sound is. The People UpStairs who draw their name from their practice studio, a loft snugly sitting upstairs above a plumbing companys shop are in demand all over Florida for their crowd-pleasing live performances. The band has traveled to Florida States Tallahassee, the University of Floridas Gainesville, and the University of South Floridas Tampa at the venues request (and expense) to have The People UpStairs entertain their college-town audiences. At home in South Florida, The People UpStairs (often fondly referred to as TPUS) have become advertised regulars in several venues with establishments competing to book the band on high-traffic nights. The band is generally booked two months in advance, and performs more than 150 shows per year.

Band Members