If you were not in attendance at the monthly Live From Oz showcase on Sept. 6, you missed out. The talent was exceptional as always, handpicked emerging talent with a promising future. MBK Entertainment offices and Oz Studios was the usual location for the showcase and it was packed to capacity, full of tastemakers and industry professionals. Some notable guests in the crowd included Jerry Wonda (Producer - The Fugees, Mary J. Blige, Diddy, Miguel), upcoming Interscope artists Tiara Thomas and Mateo (Krucial Noise), and of course the mega-manager Jeff Robinson.
The night started out with R&B artist Lydia Caesar, a "do it on my own" type of artist who wowed the crowd with her cover of Paramore's "The Only Exception" and her song about her hometown "St. Louis." She even found a fellow that shared that hometown and set the room on fire as she serenaded him. She has written every song on her debut album "Caesar" and even had her video for "St. Louis" debut on BET's 106 & Park.
Masha was the second act of the night changing the vibe of the room as she sang song such as "Ugly" and her colloquial "Middle-finger song." This feisty act is under Primary Wave management and works closely with Claude Kelly (Tamia, Miley Cyrus, Whitney Houston). The singing sensation has already made a name for herself on YouTube reaching over 3 million views and will finally release an EP called "Stupid, Stupid Dreams," which will be available October 22nd.
The third act of the night slowed the room down. Mree managed to silence the packed room as she delivered great harmonies with her singers. Grammy Award Winning Bon Iver has taken an interest in this experimental folk artist as she is doing amazing with over 6 million YouTube views and highly regarded album that was released last month entitled "Winterwell."
Standing out in his canary yellow sports jacket, Caleb Hawley brought the energy right back up in Oz, with his set that included electric guitar, bass, and drums. His music had an odd familiarity to it, one many were saying resembled the great Prince, with his funk vibe and hard-hitting bass melody. Hawley went on to surprise the crowd by covering Beyonce's "Love On Top," playing to the many women who were already interested.
After the featured performers, Robinson entertained the crowd with his rendition of a Frank Sinatra classic and the host and fellow artist, Anthony Hall played crowd favorites like "Emotional." The night ended with an impromptu performance by Mateo singing a new song from his new EP We've Met Before, called "Sing About Me."
Drinks provided by TY KU, Jam Jam
Food provided by Pasta Room
Photos: Rodney Gibson