The Vibrant Sound
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The Vibrant Sound

Provo, Utah, United States | INDIE

Provo, Utah, United States | INDIE
Band Hip Hop Alternative

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Press


"Charitable Concerts"

Many BYU artists gave during UNICEF’s Utah Tap Project.
Provo’s “The Vibrant Sound” was part of the Tap project, which raised money for children inneed of clean drinking water.
McKay Stevens, who is working on his Ph.D. in applied social psychology at BYU, has plannedabout 20 concerts where proceeds go to help others.
- The Daily Universe


"79th & Flight Song Review/Free Download"

The Vibrant Sound has been getting a lot of love in Provo since the recent release of their first album, Downtown, and deservedly so. The group blends a myriad of styles to create a musical amalgamation that brings people of all stripes to Velour on a regular basis — indies, Molly Mormon/Peter Priesthoods, beauty queens, Provo all-stars, summer sales tools, those that wear socks with sandals, etc. To these concert-goers, songwriter-vocalist McKay Stevens’ socially conscious raps are part just-edgy-enough-to-feel-dangerous hip-hop, part comprehensive American history lesson.
Coincidentally, “79th And Flight” is probably the least politically oriented of the band’s songs. With Stevens taking a brief hiatus from his role as the Provo music scene’s resident moral conscience, the Vibrant Sound rips through a fun ditty that defines the term “summer jam.” Featuring rhymes about the likes of Pacman and Vision Street Wear, ’80s references ad infinitum and a catchy chorus, this track is the perfect way to soundtrack your last week of summer vacation. So enjoy it, people: turn up some Vibrant Sound and soak up your last week of freedom. The Beast beckons.
- Rhombus Online Magazine


"The Vibrant Sound"

The Vibrant Sound: McKay Stevens, Northplatte's co-founder, grew up in Los Angeles and was heavily influenced by the West Coast hip-hop scene — N.W.A, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre. He remembers obsessing over the Beastie Boys "License to Ill" in second grade and taking part in rap battles when he was in fourth or fifth grade.
Stevens picked up a guitar at 15 and rejected the hip-hop of his youth at age 17, deciding it was "garbage." His current sound is what he describes as "indie hip-hop" and features often socially charged lyrics set to bluesy instrumentation.
"(The inspiration for) my indie hip-hop stuff really is coming from a very poor, urban culture and the community and the things I saw there and the way that I grew up with that," he said. "There's some political issues and society issues that I think are important."
- The Deseret News


"The Vibrant Sound = Minus The Bear + Shwayze + Citizen Cope (CD Review)"

The Vibrant Sound has some seriously cool jazzy tunes... - SLUG Magazine


"The Vibrant Sound Live Show Review"

Mixing a plethora of influences, including hip-hop, soul, R&B, funk and rock, McKay Stevens and Company certainly kicked the show’s energy up a notch from their very first note. From the moment the band launched into bouncy opener “Summertime” with Stevens’ spot-on rendition of Will Smith’s “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” theme song, the audience was ready to dance and it was immediately clear who they had come to see.
The band tore through a nine song set featuring numerous guests, including Provo’s favorite son, Joshua James, on keys, and comprised mostly of material off their newly released debut album, Downtown. While they also threw in a re-imagined cover or two — including a straight-up filthy (and that’s a good thing) cover of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” complete with Stevens laying down original rhymes, and a slow-burning version of the 80s pop classic “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” featuring Scott Shepard of The New Nervous on lead vocals — the Vibrant Sound shined brightest on their original material.
The political overtones of “The Industrial Revolution” and “The Proletariat” were not lost on the ears of the crowd, regardless of their minds’ acceptance (or lack thereof) of the messages. The mostly white audience — this is Provo after all — even responded enthusiastically to the black history anthem “Abolitionist Newspaper,” which prominently features Stevens rapping about African-American liberation over snippets of Martin Luther King speeches.
If there was ever a place to find a cultural disconnect, this would be it — but there was none to be found. It is often said that music can bridge cultures and races, and span creeds and ideologies. It seems the Vibrant Sound have discovered how to do just that — and make you dance and sing along at the same time.
Steve Pierce is the co-founder and editor of Rhombus. He generally thinks hip-hop is dead, but the Vibrant Sound gives him hope. - Rhombus Magazine


"The Vibrant Sound CD Release"

THE VIBRANT SOUND CD RELEASE ?Many people recognize McKay Stevens as the man behind North Platte Records, an independent record label whose roster features some of Utah’s fastest rising stars including Joshua James, RuRu and Desert Noises. But Stevens, who also teaches at UVU and apparently never sleeps, started out as a musician and continues to play, most recently performing as leader of Vibrant Sound. The eclectic group layers hip-hop rhymes over loose beach-ready guitar for a light, easygoing vibe belied by thoughtful social commentary as on “Abolitionist Newspaper,” a song that samples Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech “I Have a Dream.” - Salt Lake City Weekly


Discography

Golddigger single releasing early 2011

Debut album Downtown released late 2009 with hit singles “Downtown” and “The Industrial Revolution” getting airplay on radio

Photos

Bio

The Vibrant Sound is a movement of ingenuity. Combining eclectic styles from Los Angeles to New York and back around to the North Shore of Oahu, this group has captured a sound that defies boundaries on all sides. Based on the songwriting slash lyrical delivery of leadman McKay Stevens, the Vibrant Sound came together to create music for ghettoblasters to speak through and people to connect to. Touching on issues of poverty, racism, and the media, this group is conscious of the community problems we all face. At the same time they keep it light and humorous on other tracks addressing relationships or nostalgic childhood memories. With a bowl full of soul they create an atomosphere with their music and live show that captivates audiences and keeps them bobbing their heads. Though originally based on Stevens' acoustic flows, the addition of a human drum machine (Jacob Skaggs), the warm vocals and jazzy guitar of Ed Eyre, and the North Shore harmonies of trumpetman Aaron Eskaran has given this group a unique sound that can only be labeled as one thing, VIBRANT!